Smart desks and kite surfing

From eSchool News comes a report on smart desksi.e. desktops, not as in desktop PCs but as in, literally, the top of a school student’s desk. The report comes from the UK where researchers at Durham University are exploring the possibility of turning each desk into a mini whiteboard. The report states that the researchers see this development as giving individual students a personalised, touch screen desk on which they can do school work and be monitored by a teacher from a central screen. The researchers argue that this technology should encourage collaborative learning. What is not discussed in the article is classroom management and what kind of teaching strategies would make the best use of this kind of technology. What we don’t want is rote learning using expensive smart desks.

While on holiday in New Zealand, at Fergusson (note the double “s”) Park in Tauranga, I saw some good examples of what looks like a very strenuous sport – kite surfing. It certainly looks a lot more physical than cycling – and a lot more preparation i.e. drive to windy beach, unload gear, get into wetsuit, unravel kite, get into water, get kite in the air and hold on for dear life. Of course, this sport’s afficianados may look askance at cyclists but have they ever cycled up a hill against a strong wind and driving rain? Kite surfing looks great fun to do but I think I’ll stick to watching it here in Dunbar and on my travels – see picture below.

Kite surfing in NZ

Kite surfing in NZ

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