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Brian Scarbeau Insights from a seasoned Computer Science Trainer

Today, I'll blog about Multipoint  which was demonstrated at the Emerging Technologies session at the MVP Summit.  As everyone knows, students love to use technology. Notice the keyword everyone! However, not all schools in different countries can afford to have a computer for every child so they have to share.

As a classroom teacher, I remember the days of sharing pc's and I was like a traffic cop getting kids equal time on the computer.  I did my best to make sure each student was able to use the pc.

At this session, I was able to see students surrounding one pc and only one student using the mouse and being engaged in their learning. Then I saw a picture of several students being engaged around the pc with their own mouse and pointing and clicking at objects on the screen.

Students in India using MultiPoint technology to learn on their classroom Windows PC.

Each child gets their own colored cursor and learns with fellow classmates. This doesn't solve one pc per student but it does help get more kids involved with technology. I was quite impressed with the learning that was taking place in this particular class.

Here's some more information:

MultiPoint, says Dr. Richard Anderson, a professor of computer science specializing in Educational Technology at the University of Washington, is doing two things. "First, it is supporting collaborative learning, where students are engaged in group activities and learning from one another.  Second, it is a cost effective mechanism for expanding the reach of computing hardware.  Cheap input devices allow many children to interact simultaneously with a computer, greatly reducing the cost per student. The reality in the developing world is that the number of computers available for education is severely limited, so this simple and elegant mechanism makes it possible for many more students to access computers in a pedagogically sound manner.”

The product was developed by Microsoft Research and you can find more information on their site.



Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 7:26 AM | Back to top

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