Thursday, 30 October 2008

Christmas Lists... what's on yours?

With Halloween done and dusted the approach to Christmas begins in earnest. As much as you might try to fend it off, a school is the last place for a Scrooge to be as November progresses.

As is the custom, it's time to start composing your letters to Santa Claus and given that sometimes he just can't get hold of the most popular items, it's good to get your requests in early. Given that some of the tecchy things on my list are likely to be in short supply in December I thought I'd look at what's likely to be in demand now.

Top of everybody's list is bound to be the newly announced Nintendo DSi, released in Japan this weekend and seemingly already available to pre-order here in HK. The new DS is slightly smaller and boasts a built in camera and web browser. This is excellent news for those of us who firmly believe that consoles like the DSi have an important role to play in learning.

Finding publicity material on the DSi is not so easy given that it's only available in Japan at the moment, but here's a clip;

The past year has seen an effort by Sony to make inroads into Nintendo's dominance of the 'family' or 'educational' game market. Their new Playstation Eye peripheral has added a new dimension to what their games can offer and the Eye Pet looks like being a great success;

The idea that players can become truely interactive with a game is a big step forward and will make games much more engaging to a wider audience.

Talking of making games more interesting to a wider audience, how about a DS game where you can pretend to be a teacher? What a great idea! One of the games in Ubisoft's Imagine series is Imagine Teacher, a game where you play as a new teacher making your way in a new job.

You have to plan your weekly timetable, mark you books and make sure your class progresses well as you attempt to create "the school of your dreams"!

Alarmingly though, the publicity warns that you need "be careful of those who want to stand in the way of your success"..... what could they mean by that!!?

For those that need a more ambitious entry on their list, how about a train? This one requires you to wind it up with a handcrank and costs around $40,000. You do need quite a large space to fit it in though. It would go nicely in our Reception Covered Area...

From previous posts I've made it's clear that I believe mobile technologies in education will become increasingly important in the next few years. Therefore, I'm grateful to HK Ed-Tech Consultant Paul McMahon for pointing me in the direction of the 3M Mobile Projector. At around $3000 this is a very affordable piece of kit and although it lacks the phone functions that will be with us in the next year or so, I could see lots of applications within school.

So, that's just a few initial ideas for my list, now I have to convince Santa that I really have been well behaved and deserve all of the above!

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