Type, Click, …Swipe

typewriterThis past weekend, I took my kids to a museum in St. Jacobs, Ontario. They were fascinated by the antiques called typewriters – especially when the metal bar for each letter lifted to strike the inserted paper. Wow!

It is incredible how far along technology has progressed. Typewriters will always fascinate our children but there still was a learning curve with its use. The arrival of computers grabbed the world’s attention but there still is a learning curve with ‘mouse’ control. In the past few years, the arrival of personal, mobile touchscreen devices (iPads, Playbook, smartphones, etc.) garnered the widest audience.

Just last week, I attended the ECOO Conference (Educational Computing Organization of Ontario) where hundreds of teachers from across Ontario convened to share ideas and experiences. During the many sessions over two days, there was a sea of tablets (iPad, Galaxy Tab2, etc.) being utilized to take notes, participate using the Twitter backchannel or download the presenter’s files. Educators of all ages were actively engaged with these touchscreen computers.

What is the learning curve with these mobile devices? Just ask a toddler. Children as young as 2 or 3 years easily manipulate these touchscreens as there are no longer ‘big keys’ to press down, no ‘mouse’ to control – just a screen where you can tap, swipe and even pinch.

How easy is that?

Stacy Marcynuk
Director of IT, Curriculum
Kingsway College School

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