LOW-COST INTERFACES AND THEIR EDUCATIONAL POSSIBILITIES
Universitat de Girona (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Projectors in classrooms improved the functionality of computers by allowing groups of people to view simultaneously the same image (from a computer monitor). The image could be used to guide an explanation or a presentation or group interaction on a particular subject The resources that are currently available to teachers on the Internet (information of all kinds, videos, maps, etc.) can help to make the subject matter more attractive, interesting and, in addition, more participatory.
The interactive whiteboard (IWB) has brought further advantages since users are able to interact directly on the screen. This allows the person doing the presenting and the projection itself to be the focus of attention of the whole class, thus eliminating the communication barrier arising from talking from one part of the classroom while referring to images that are projected in another part of the room. Such communicative improvements can further enhance the teaching-learning process that takes place in the classroom.
Furthermore, the IWB can improve group activities in which the children are directly involved by enabling small groups to interact with each other on the board while the rest of the class can follow their activity.
There is one major obstacle to exploiting these advantages: cost.
In 2006, the Nintendo Wii console came on the market and revolutionized the video game industry through a new concept of interaction between player and console. The key to this transformation is the Wii Remote or Wiimote, the command console, which incorporates optical sensors and accelerometers arranged in three spatial axes. On December 7, 2007 Johnny Chung Lee, a computer engineer, posted on YouTube the result of his tests of new applications using the Wiimote, introducing the possibility of using the Nintendo Wii console to create a low cost of IWB.
Thanks to this development, the use of IWBs could become widespread in schools, with full advantage taken of their educational potential.
In order to assess the true pedagogical worth of this tool, the University of Girona research group GreTICE (Grup de Recerca en Tecnologies de la Informació i la Comunicació en Educació- Information & communication Technologies in Education), is conducting an empirical study which, through a pattern of detailed observation, is collecting details of various aspects of the performance of schoolchildren and their teachers while using such tools. At the same time, the teachers will be questioned about certain didactic aspects and the children will be asked about their impressions and how they compare with previous experience.
In the final paper, we will provide an advance report of the findings of this research and the prospective work of the research group.
Keywords: innovation, technology, interactive digital board, interactivity, primary school.