Kindling the Imagination - Exploring the Incomparable #atcm90z #m90z @lenovo

The Lenovo ThinkCentre m90z showing streaming a video from Netflix.com next to
a Khan Academy Simple Equations video from YouTube




The all-in-one Desktop Lenovo ThinkCentre m90z just arrived, and wow, it's big (23 inch touch-screen display)! You may recall I volunteered to write about my experiences with the m90z, a touch-screen behemoth that is just plain beautiful and svelte (read this comprehensive technical review from ChipChick.com)! Like Kathy Schrock (KaffeeKlatsch), Vicki Davis (Coolcat Teacher), Richard Bryne (Free Tech for Teachers), and Steve Dembo (Teach42.com), I'm hoping to give-away an m90z to a reader of this blog! Contest details will be forthcoming.


FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The setup of the m90z was a cinch (it runs Windows 7 Professional) and I immediately started playing around with the touch-screen. My son, a sixth grader, was immediately engaged. "Cool, it's a touch-screen!"


The touch-screen, as it was very responsive,  left me with a question...what programs will work on a touch-screen? Aside from Wireless Generation reading assessments designed to work on touch-screen netbooks, I'm not sure. Of course, some suggest that the touch-screen is perfect for students with special needs:
Touchscreen computers have aided special needs students, as they enable those uncomfortable with or unable to operate keyboards and mice to more easily use a computer. (Source)
Other uses include kiosks in schools. Certainly, I can imagine the ThinkCentre M90z hanging on the wall of a school, available for quick access by parents, visitors, and others who need information.


The built-in webcam, though, also grabs my attention. How could we use this device to engage others vi a Skype or other VOIP technologies? 


EXPLORATIONS
Since I have two children that may serve as willing victims, I'm considering what touch-screen educational products are available, and then have these two--middle school and high school--students explore those, then have them report that via video and podcast. So, I'm considering the following:
  1. Compiling a list of touch-screen applications. For example, consider the following ones suggested here:
    • Corel Paint It! - enables you to paint with your fingers.
    • WinDVD Pro - Control WinDVD program using the touch-screen, which is pretty straightforward.
    • Microsoft TouchPack for Windows 7

  2. Video-recording a la Flip sixth grader and high school student (1 each) exploring the touch screen
  3. Video-recording their response, reaction to that
  4. Sharing the videos on my blog.
Some of the other edubloggers involved in the m90z giveaway have discussed creating a GoogleDoc Presentation where folks can share what they would do or might with the device. The collaborative effort of creating a slideshow featuring usage would be fun, too. Never having worked with a touch-screen myself--aside from a netbook--I'm amazed at how much fun it is.

Also, one of the untapped markets--I think--is the home-school audience. I'd like to explore how the m90z would make a difference for the home-school market. 


What do home-school parent-educators think? Home-school 2.0? One of the aspects that anyone--public or home-school--could take advantage of is manipulation of images on the screen. I can imagine showing kids a video like the TEDTalk shown below and then encouraging them to play around with the m90z...their imaginations would certainly be kindled!!



So, bottom line first impression? Plumb awesome as a regular Win7 PC...now I'm left asking the question, how would this best be used for learning, whether at home or in a school?

More details on the giveaway of an m90z will be forthcoming! Be sure to subscribe and follow the hashtag "#atcm90z" for more info.



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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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