Recently, Dr. Neil Roodyn sat down with Eric Havir from the Microsoft Surface team to talk about some of the apps Dr. Roodyn’s company, nsquared, based in Sydney, Australia, was building for the Microsoft Surface computer. The apps are designed for educational purposes, some with the focus on young learners, others focused on older students. How I wish I had something like this when I was in school!
The first application he demonstrates is one that lets you play with letters on the screen of the Surface computer. The individual letter tiles can be moved around to form words. A variation of the app includes numbers, which could be used to create equations.
A second application designed for older students involves building an electric circuit by dragging pieces around on the screen. Using tools which can be dragged out from the toolbox provided, you have to build a circuit that lights up a lightbulb. I remember having to do this in science class ages ago, but it looks a lot more fun on the Microsoft Surface!
A third activity for chemistry students lets you build a molecule on the screen by combining elements and/or changing the number of subatomic particles they have associated with them.