The Ultra Mobile PC

Learn Everywhere, Learn Everything
Okay, maybe you won't learn everything, and maybe not everywhere. Though, the Ultra Mobile Personal Computer (UMPC) looks very cool and may be something for schools to look into as a 1:1 computing solution. Think about the possible implications of learning on students with this puppy. That may be awhile, but I can't be the only one thinking this right now. In the meantime, teachers savvy with integrating technology quickly should take the UMPC through it's paces. It was unveilled at Cebit technology fair Thursday.

Samsung Q1

Are your students still lugging around huge, stuffed backpacks? The 40GB drive has enough storage for a library of texts, student work, and audio/video files. If and when textbook companies offer subscription services students could be able to access their texts anytime, anywhere. At school, students could synchronize within the school network access, share and backup data.

Gamer Mind-ed?

Students should take to it quite well, especially if they are the gaming type. Because the screen is a touch screen there is a unique DialKeys feature that requires a thumbing action similar to that of gamers. Here is how the Origami Project Team Blog describes DialKeys:

DialKeys basically takes a standard QWERTY keyboard layout and splits it in two halves. It’s a little hard to describe the layout but there are lots of screen shots of DialKeys to show what it looks like. The basic idea is that you hold the device in two hands and use your thumbs on the screen to type in text. It takes a little getting used to, but people are always amazed once they use it a day or two how good they get at typing with it.

While I love my handheld(s), I can see a future in devices like the UMPC. Some of the most common complaints of current handheld devices is the small screen. The UMPC's 7-inch screen provides a much better workplace for students than the 2 inch screens of some handhelds.

You can look at the UMPC two ways. 1) it is the merging of the storage of an iPod and versatility of "traditional" handhelds, albeit on a larger scale. 2) it is a scaled down TabletPC.

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