I haven’t mentioned lately how much I love the Tablet PC, so let me just state for the record: I still really, really love my Tablet PC. And so do the teachers at my school who have been taking part in the tablet pilot this year. Love them. Really.
Today, I teamed up with my colleague Rob Mancabelli and his wife Gayle Allen and presented on our pilot to a rapt audience of about 30 tech types at NJ Techspo in the smokey, noisy Ballys casino in Atlantic City. Rob went over the project plan, Gayle, who is in the doctoral program at Columbia, presented some pretty persuasive research findings that she had put together after doing a number of observations, interviews and surveys, and I got to demo the technology. (I loved that part. Really. Loved it.)
The result? Well, um, let’s just say it’s too bad we weren’t getting a comission from the tablet makers ’cause there were quite a few converts, I think. And yes, we had the obligatory “so why do I need a smart board?” discussion.
But I have to say that while the tool is pretty amazing, I think our process has been even moreso. I got the sense that most people were more envious of the almost complete buy-in we’ve had on the part of over 200 teachers in our build out for next year, based as much on the way we made our decisions as the technology itself (if not more.) Teachers are invested in becoming better practitioners with Tablets, not just happy to be getting laptops. That is a significant difference.
One side note: I finally got to meet fellow Jersey blogger/podcaster Jeff Moore for a quick chat before the presentation. That’s always a treat when that happens. It’s almost like being a birder, crossing of bloggers on your life list. Well…almost…