Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Moore's Law--Revolutionizing Teaching with Technology

At first glance the linked article would appear to be about the advances built into games that are in or near release by Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. A closer look reveals that the development of more powerful processors, reflecting Moore's Law, is revolutionizing product offerings. There must be implications for teaching, but since these are not discussed in the article, I'll speculate a bit.

Instead of ever more powerful general purpose PCs, the application of computing power is leading to the creation of specialized devices. One of these is the "mobile media station," which combines the telephone, camera, and music player in one unit. Another is the entertainment device, such as games. Finally, we have the standard PC.

It's not far fetched to add a fourth category, which I'll call the "learning tech unit." Combining media and educational functions, specialized learning tech units could easily be created which would displace today's separate clickers (keypad technology such as Classroom Performance System (CPS)), iPods, and laptops. The core of such a unit would almost certainly be a tablet PC, but a super tablet enhanced with communications abilities.

As football coach George Allen used to say, "The future is now." Or at least in education, right around the corner.
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