School desks of the future: Pupils test multi-touch screens

Students in the United Kingdom are trying out desks with interactive screens that can recognize more than one person’s finger presses, reports the BBC News. Researchers at Durham University observed classroom interactions and then worked with manufacturers to produce the necessary software and hardware. Their SynergyNet system has a teacher’s console to monitor what each child or group of children is working on. The system will be tested in primary and secondary schools and in higher education throughout the U.K. over the next four years. Liz Burd, who led the project by Durham’s technology-enhanced learning research group, said: "The new desk can be both a screen and a keyboard, it can act like a multi-touch whiteboard, and several students can use it at once. It offers fantastic scope for more participative teaching and learning."

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