Is The Keyboard Dead?

I feel weird even posting this because, well.... I'm typing it on a keyboard. The answer is.... Not really. Or should I say... not yet?
As someone who never took a keyboarding or typing class, I have always wondered if I really should have. Although I have become quite efficient over the years, I'm a "hunt and peck" typer for the most part. I might be able to get about 30 to 40 words a minute using a traditional keyboard and I highly doubt that I can come close to that by writing with pen and paper if I expect it to be legible.
Since I started converting handwriting to text using a Tablet PC around 7 years ago, the tablet can now read my handwriting better than I can read my own sometimes. Handwriting recognition has really come a long way and continues to get better. However, more and more lately, I find myself leaving my writing in its original form and not converting to text. I can draw pictures and arrows and really do much more for my visual brain than I can with a keyboard; just one of the reasons that I love a Tablet PC.
Many years ago, I got my first cell phone with T9 input and had to learn how to communicate using my fingers on 9 buttons. It was easy but time consuming. A few years later, I got my first Blackberry with a full QWERTY keyboard. Once again, I had to train my thumbs. And then.... there was the iPhone! Typing with my thumbs once again, but with no feeling. This wasn't a big deal for me because I have always had to look at my keyboard while typing. I think the lack of keyboarding lessons actually did me a favor in this case. I have found that most "touch typer's" have a harder time acclimating to a variety of virtual keyboards.
Over the years I have experimented with voice recognition software, virtual laser keyboards and other unconventional input devices. Most of them I found to be somewhat useful but less efficient than typing with a keyboard. I just wonder that if I try to become more efficient with these devices.... would I beat my keyboard speed? I can certainly talk faster than I can type.
Now, how about our kids? I have often said that most teenagers can type 60 words a minute under their desk or in the front pocket of their hoodie on their phone. Why?... Because their culture demands it. It's their standard mode of communication. In ten years, will they be typing at all? Maybe they will be speaking to their computers as some of us do with our cars or phones today. Maybe they will just think it, and the computer will read their mind. ...Don't believe me?... Check this out!
So why am I posting about all of this anyway? As a bit of a piggy back to The KNO post below, I have been seeing some new products coming out from some more well known manufacturers, sans keyboard. No I'm not talking about the iPad, although I am sure that the success of these emerging technologies can be attributed to the excellent marketing of the iPad. Now that folks don't mind typing virtually on that "revolutionary device", perhaps they wont mind doing it on something a bit more useful?

Click here to read for yourself and decide.

As always, I hope you find this post to be useful and thought provoking. I look forward to reading your comments. :)

See you next post!

2020 Vision

Just a quick post today to share this article from the latest edition of THE Journal. It's a quick look at what the next ten years may hold for education, technology, teaching, and learning. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
And here is the printable version for those of us that love paper:

As always I hope you find this to be useful and thought provoking. I look forward to reading your comments here.

Many Thanks for reading and ... see you next post.

Skype in The Classroom

So we all know what Skype is... right?

Have you been struggling to find a way to use it in your classroom to connect your students with others from around the world? Maybe your struggle is not how... but with who? Wouldn't it be great if there was a directory of teachers that are looking for other teachers to connect with? And wouldn't it be even better if you could get on that list so other teachers can find you?
Well there is such a directory. Although in beta right now, you can become some of the first teachers to be a part of this global directory to be launched next month. Click on the link below to learn more and sign up for the beta.

As always, I would love to hear any thoughts or comments, like "This is amazing news" or "I have been waiting for something like this" or "I love Technology". Please go to the blog to do so @ if you are reading this post in an email.

Thanks for reading.... I'll see you next post.

Is This The Future Of Textbooks????

Say Hello to Kno!

(K)No... this is not a Kindle or Nook... Nor is it an iPad... or a Tablet PC for that matter. It's a Textbook? Well... more like an eReader with some added functionality, and its coming to a student near you. Check out the video below to see what this thing is capable of.

Kno Movie from Kno, Inc. on Vimeo.

OK... now that you have seen it and most likely formed a first impression, let me share mine, if I may. I kno(w)... I kno(w) [<-- you see what I did there? Clever, huh?] this is a marketing video and in a perfect world if this thing works like it does in that video... I'm impressed. What makes it different from things that I've seen in the past is that publishers have not just PDF'ed books as they have done for PC's or Mac's or eReaders. They have partnered with publishers and seem to have created a more "book-like" experience for the student. I mean really... how long do you think it would take... say... You... to figure this thing out? My guess is... not to long at all. Once you figure it out, it might take a bit more time to become efficient with it, but hey, none of these concepts are really foreign are they?

With that said... my first thought though is that it's HUGE! Who wants to carry around this monstrosity? Especially with that ... much smaller thing we all see on TV all of the time... you know... that "revolutionary device"... with the fruit on it? This thing is not quite as attractive as one of those now is it? And it's certainly not marketed as well. Lets be honest, If you weren't reading this, you probably wouldn't kno(w) that this thing even exists. If you didn't use a Tablet PC every day, would you know what it is or what it's capable of? Do you really know what all of it's capabilities are now?

Well...Check out the next video to see their reasoning for the size, and some other good stuff about this new textbook.

So, they make a single screen version too. Thats a good touch, but can it compete with the HP Slate 500 and it's full fledged Windows 7 OS, that can run MS Office and Skype and...? How many devices do we need? Can one do it all? You be the judge.

What does all of this mean for our students? How will they push the market to put out products that will do what they need them to do? What else will they use devices like this for? Maybe we should talk to our kids about this, and see what they think. Will anyone show this video to their students?

As always, I hope you found this post to be informative and thought provoking. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks, and see you next post. :)

FaceBook Heart's Skype

Apparently yesterday, the folks at All Things D posted that a little birdie told them that FaceBook is planning to integrate Skype into their platform in the near future. According to the article, this partnership will allow you to make video calls, SMS, and calls to landline phones, all from within the FaceBook interface. This really kind of exiting to me though not surprising. I figured they would do something like this eventually. My question is how this will look in a mobile platform?
And of course, my question to you all is, how will this affect the way our children socialize online? Does a video chat really count as "Face to face communication"???? Is this scary to anyone? Not to be creepy here, but it almost, and I stress almost could be a way to verify who it is you are really chatting with on the other end.
I look forward to see how this develops and how people really use it.

As always, your comments are not only welcomed, but encouraged. Please don't just respond to this automated email but visit the Blog at to comment. Thanks for taking the tie to read this post.

Articulated Naturality

OK... So most have you have probably heard of something called Augmented Reality. Dictionary .com defines it as -
"-n an artificial environment created through the combination of real-world and computer-generated data"
It's a bit of a step up from Virtual Reality that was popular in the late 80's and early 90's. If your an iPhone or Droid user, you may know about an app called Layar. If you don't know about it.... Get It!

Here's what it does.... As pictured to the right, using the Wikipedia Layer (in the LAYAR app) if you are walking around a city that you may be unfamiliar with, you simply hold up your phone and it will show you virtually what you are looking at. If you were to click on the bottom there, it can take you to the Wikipedia page of The National Cathedral. This is just one of the layers that can be applied. You can also look for restaurants with the Yelp Layer and the list goes on. Like I said.... Try it, I promise you won't be disappointed.

Now, lets get back to what this post is really about... Articulated Reality! Watch the video below, because I just don't think I can write well enough about what its capabilities are. I guess I could just say that it's the next step up from Augmented Reality.

Enjoy the video....

QPC - Articulated Naturality Web from Justin Montgomery on Vimeo.

OK..... Did you get all that? No.... Watch it again.... I'll wait.

Now, My question to you is: How will this change the way that our children will learn in the future? I would love to hear some creative possibilities about how this technology can be used personally, and in the classroom (and outside of course.... the world is a classroom you know) to learn.

As always, your comments and questions are not only welcomed but encouraged. I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great weekend!

What Does Digital Citizenship Mean To You?

Let's have a conversation. I invite you to share your thoughts about what Digital Citizenship means to you. Is it different for you than it is for your, friends, family, colleagues, students? Does your digital personality reflect who you really are... personally or professionally or both? How do you plan to prepare our students for the unknown digital world that we will all be living in? How can we help them to become responsible global digital citizens?
There are many questions that can be asked. Lets hear some of your questions and comments about what Digital Citizenship means to YOU.

Digital Citizenship, Interactive Whiteboards, and One-to-One Computing

Here are a few videos on Digital Citizenship, Interactive Whiteboards, and One-to-One Computing from the floor of the ISTE 2010 Conference that took place last week (6/27/10-6/30/10) in Denver, CO. You may recognize someone in the videos.
As always, Your comments on the Blog are not only welcomed, but encouraged. I hope your all enjoying your summer.

In case you are unable to view all of the videos, Here are the Links:

Food For Thought over the Summer Break

As we get ready to go off to a summer filled with fun in the sun, I just wanted to share a little food for thought while you sit on the beach or wherever it is you may go. I will keep this one short and let Sir Ken Robinson do the talking. Have a great summer everyone and enjoy this very inspirational talk. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

As always, your comments are not only welcome, but encouraged.

Oh, and if you happened to miss his talk from TED 2006... here IT is!

The Wait Is Over! ...Well... in 5 days it will be.

Hello World! Remember me? My... How I have missed you all!

It's pretty ironic to me that my last post was over a year ago regarding Multi-User Video Conferencing, and a [then] new program called ooVoo that made it possible for free. Since that post, ooVoo has undergone some changes that now require payment for "premium features".... like Multi-User Video Conferencing! (Grrrr!!!) The 2-way video chat has remained free, but they just don't quite seem to do it as well as Skype in terms of quality, reliability, and ease of use. So many die-hard Skype users never took the leap.
I also predicted in my post that Skype would have an answer to ooVoo soon. Although "soon" was not really an accurate prediction.... According to a recent post by the AP....The wait is over! Next week Skype will be offering Group Video Calling to Windows users for free! Apparently, the Apple version is still in development but should follow soon. Sorry Mac users, you'll have to keep waiting. :(
The service has been reported to be free for now but will require some coin in the near future. So... you better get your Group Video Skype on while it's free.
Hmmmmm, I wonder how long it will be before we will see what this will look like for say... iPads, iPhones, Android tablets and phones, maybe even WebOS tablets made by HP? How will this affect how we communicate in the future... or how our kids will communicate? Watch out Dick Tracey! I guess thats a whole-nother post.
As always, I would love to see your comments. Thoughts please?

UPDATE: Here is the link to download the BETA-