Hello world

Over the past 30 days I have taken a break from blogging.  My daughter Zofia was born two weeks ago and the demands on my time did not permit me to blog.  She was born September 3rd 2009 at 7:52am CST. Zofia arrived 9.2 lbs and measured 20 inches from head to toe.

zofiaShe is worth every second of my time.

Can Microsoft Surface make you smarter?

At the 2009 Brainstorm conference I had an opportunity to see SMART’s Microsoft Surface knockoff, the SmartTable. SMART is selling this table for a whopping $8,000.00!

Ask any K12 teacher, Curriculum Director or Ed Tech Specialist if your districts’ approved curriculum is able to run on a SmartTable.  Chances are the answer is no. Just like SMART’s smartboards dumboards I’m afraid their SmartTable was even less impressive. Again their custom software cannot be modified easily to meet any district’s requirements. But shouldn’t it be easily modifiable to succeed and allow any educational software to run on their table?

smarttableSMART’s sales team pointed me to their custom programming tools (SDK) that permits schools to make application changes to “force” existing school software to run correctly on their SmartTable.

Lets think this through: Your school purchases software from say – Adobe, but has to have their school’s IT staff custom program Photoshop in order to join SMART’s “commonly used software” list and run on their SmartTable? Since when did over extended school districts hire ex Adobe software engineers to recode Photoshop?

I gave the SmartTable a spin at BrainStorm 10.0 and was not impressed with this “dumb” product either. I’ll admit when I first stood in-front of the SmartTable — I was thinking of Microsoft’s Surface. And that is where they ‘get’ you into purchasing. I also suggest reading their technical specifications to the SmartTable.

Many think the SmartTable is a touch screen flat panel display. Actually the SmartTable contains a projector placed on the floor inside the SmartTable (its actually a fully enclosed box) projecting a display against a glass surface. Its nothing more than their Smartboard crammed into a box.

For $8,000 that’s not high tech at all.