Interactive technology has become a popular learning tool in K-12 classrooms, and it’s not going away anytime soon. In fact, interactive technology is only advancing and becoming more simplified, allowing more and more schools the opportunity to create interactive and collaborative learning experiences in their classrooms through the use of technology.
While many classrooms have implemented interactive displays and projectors to increase student engagement and interactivity, there is now a new interactive technology set to become available on the market in 2016.
MUV Interactive, an Israel-based developer of innovative technologies for wearable interfaces, has developed a new, wearable ring-like device called the Bird that transforms any surface into a multi-touch interface with 3D interactive capabilities.
By simply displaying media through an LCD display or projecting interactive media from a PC, tablet, computer, or smartphone onto any surface in the classroom, the Bird allows students and teachers to interact with the media from anywhere in the room.
“The Bird, for all practical purposes, is a Bluetooth mouse. There is no software associated and no installation really,” says Daniel Star, vice president of business development for MUV interactive. “You just pair the Bird via Bluetooth to your smartphone, table, PC, or laptop and you’re done.”
With no software to install, the Bird provides an alternate solution to schools that don’t have the time or money to install interactive hardware and software. Furthermore, the Bird allows students and teachers to interact with content from anywhere, so teachers are not bound to the front of the room and students can remain at their seats while interacting with the media being displayed.
“If the teacher has the Bird on their finger, he or she can actually move around the class and the class can move to a project space. If a team of students are sitting around at each table, and each table has their own projector displaying content onto the table’s surface, the teacher can walk around, find interesting dynamics that are happening with a particular group and with the Bird on their finger, they can move the data from the table to the wall and have everyone look at that data,” says Star.
Having the ability to interact with data from anywhere in the classroom allows teachers to be mobile and act as the facilitators of learning instead of being bound to instructing at the front of the room.
“The fact that the interaction happens at the student level and not the podium level has tremendous value,” says Star. “They can be in the back of the class and don’t have to be in the front and this has a tremendous effect on attention because the teacher becomes one of them; it’s no longer the teacher versus the classroom. The interaction is the teacher and the classroom are all together watching the same data and working on the same project.”
Furthermore, students no longer have their backs to the class when interacting with media with the Bird, which may aid in developing presentation and communication skills.
Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the Bird is the ability for students to collaborate, interact and work together to achieve learning goals. Interactive technology such as the Bird engages students and creates a fun environment for students to absorb content and build on skills.
“It becomes like a video game,” says Star. “You’re actually interacting, engaging, gamifying so that the classroom becomes participative. The secret is more than one person can simultaneously interact with the data, each one can provide their value, their opinion, bring new media, share, and collaborate. This is what it’s all about.”
MUV is working on a “social interaction” aspect of the Bird technology, where up to 10 birds can work and interactive with the data being displayed.
The Bird is set to be available for purchase in the spring of 2016.
To learn more about purchasing the Bird for your classroom, click here.
View the video below to see a demonstration of kids and teens using the bird with a number of different applications.