Desks of the future

One of the biggest tasks I’ve had since I started in the new school was getting the computers in the department up to speed. At the moment I have a very big mix of Mac computers. From the old colourful iMacs (Tray loading and slot loading) to the newer eMacs and I have been slowly getting them upgarded to OSX but when I saw this article it got me thinking about what the future may mean for computing. You can see a demo video of these desks here.

These desks look very similar to the Microsoft Surface that’s been around for a while now.

Have the days of 20 computers in a computer lab gone now, should we be looking to get in front of the technologies.

In the 2006/07 school year there was a pilot project being launched in and around Edinburgh to give pupils handheld devices to access the web to help them with their studies.

Even laptops are getting smaller, more powerful and “Lighter than air”.

I can think of some fantastic uses for the computerised desk, programming could become very interactive especially programs such as scratch which I have seen get the pupils attention in a very positive way.

My worry is that these technologies will cost so much money they will stay out of reach to state secondary schools and be a great idea lost.

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The new term!

Well it’s proving to be a bit difficult to catch a breath up here, so many things going on and I’m still getting used to the new way of working but so far I’m really enjoying working in the school.

I’m slowly but surely getting the department all sorted out and am certainly enjoying working with the smaller classes at standard grade level.

I’m in the process of creating a brand new S1 course centred around the idea of the pupils being band managers. This idea came from an ex-colleague down in East Lothian. The idea is the pupils learn how to use ICT skills with a purpose as opposed to just copying out and completing exercises in a book. So far there’s been some Word Processing and even a little bit of photo editing using iPhoto which has surprised me with how easy it is to use. I’m also trying to get other departments involved as much as possible so hopefully this is heading towards the curriculum for excellence that’s waiting over the horizon.

So what’s next? Computer Games of course.
I’m attempting to run the Int1 & 2 computer games courses and as such now have a TV and 2 games consoles in my room to help with the playing of the games. if anyone has any experience of teaching this course I’d love to hear from you.