Do ‘glassboards’ have a future in the classroom?
Futures traders may be heartened to hear that an escalating competition among manufacturers of cutting-edge technologies for the educational field could contribute to a significant rise in the value of glass commodities.
Glimpsing the future
During an all-day pedagogical conference on new educational methods and tools held on Oct. 5 by the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board at Rosemère High School, several vendors displayed prototypes of some of the new teaching tools they’re now offering.
They could replace not only the old-fashioned chalkboard, but also the more recent Smart Board, a classroom innovation which is largely replacing chalkboards, but which is based on interactive whiteboard technology and uses a projector.
A rumor circulating these days among some high-tech experts is that Corning, the giant U.S.-based manufacturer of glass products mostly for industrial purposes, has been producing all the glass for Apple Inc.’s iPads and iPhones, although Apple doesn’t admit it.
Large glass surfaces
But if that is the case, you need only look at those relatively tiny devices with their shiny interactive glass interfaces and then compare them with some of the proposed new educational tools – many of which look as though they are no more than giant-sized computer tablets.
The difference is they use a great deal more glass, and in some cases a specific type of product by Corning known as Gorilla Glass. It is now being used extensively in portable electronics and possibly also in some larger devices like those on view during the ped day.
Glass in the future?
What with the recent downturn in demand for products made by conventional desktop and laptop computer makers like Dell and HP, there would seem to be less doubt at this point that interactive glass is the wave of the future.
Corning itself leaves little doubt about the shape of things to come in an industrial video (A Day Made of Glass) that the company produced and which can be seen on You Tube. Part of it was projected for the SWLSB’s teachers.
In it, the company looks into a not-too-distant future when two-sided, highly-interactive glass display boards are used not only as medical tools, but also in the classroom. One of their potential teaching advantages would be animated and three-dimensional projection.
While some may think this type of technology is still decades away, on display in the atrium outside the Rosemère High auditorium were two prototypes for big touch-enabled screens which their makers were proposing for use in the classroom.
Robin Bennett, the SWLSB’s director of educational services, told Newsfirst Multimedia that interactive glass technology for educational purposes “is in its infancy. It really is. I think there’s a future in it for sure with tablets and media like that. But if you look at Corning’s vision they say this will be the future.”