Saturday, December 30, 2006

Pink Technology

I admit it...I gravitate towards technology that comes in pink (probably because I don't expect "real" technology to come in pink).

I immediately bought the original iPod Mini when it came out in pink, and now have a new pink techno-toy in my collection-- the coral pink Nintendo DS Lite!(

I knew it was meant to be mine when, stopping into the local Toys"R"Us store yesterday, just to look, there happened to be only one DS Lite available, and the 10-year old boy who was looking at it assured his mom he truly did not want the pink one. So it became mine! (Let me be clear that I am not a gamer...the last time I played a computer game it was Wolfenstein 3D on a Windows 3.1 machine!) I bought the Big Brain Academy brain-training cartridge and it is hard!

The technology is powerful, to say the least. The DS Lite has a microphone, which is used in some games (such as another brain-training game, Brain Age), one touch screen and one static screen, does WiFi with certain games, allows multiple players to play from a single cartridge for some games, and there has been a Web browser released in Japan and the UK, which should be coming to the US soon, which is the Opera browser ported to the DS Lite.

My Australian buddy, Judy Beal, brought two of these devices to the ACEC2006 Convention in Cairns in September. She has purchased a bunch for her classroom, and the students use the "edutainment" cartridges as well as the other very cool feature...the built-in PictoChat function which allows up to 16 Nintendo DS users to connect in real time. (However, she and Greg Gebhart simply chatted their way through my presentation!) The PictoChat instruction booklet even contains some educationally-related ways to use this technology. Because you can share drawings, students can "finish the picture" from a fellow student, copy and make changes to someone else's drawing, and even make a flip book animation project!

Here are some additional links for ideas on how these devices can be used to support teaching and learning.

So, if you see me at a conference, clutching my new pink technology, come take a look!

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