Classroom computing is hot button topic nowadays. School districts are pouring ungodly sums of money into procuring the most advanced technology for their children only to have it broken, stolen, or just plain ignored by teachers who care to use their time in a more constructive way. There’s no doubt that it’s important to integrate a sound digital curriculum, but it seems like the way it’s done now racks up bills without much to show for it.
The REDIDESK is a promising all-in-one touchscreen computing solution built within a classroom desk. This combination reduces the chance of breakage or theft, and makes it easier for instructors to integrate computer learning into the curriculum without wasting time, hoping for no technical difficulties. REDIDESK is Wi-Fi enabled and its retractable computer screen still leaves lots of desk space for students to learn with. For example, it offers many orientations to facilitate group work. The desk is also easily assembled, and inventor Darren Riley hopes this aspect will offer the community of those who the REDIDESK will eventually serve the employment opportunities necessary to be empowered. Any donation amount goes toward their $70,000 funding goal so that they can begin a pilot program in Baltimore to test the REDISDESK out on a larger scale. From there, they’ll have enough data to put the desk into production.
The work done here with the REDIDESK is admirable, especially the push to create more employment opportunities in those underserved areas where the REDIDESK would cater to, but the link between superior education and computing remains to be seen. Technology cannot act as a replacement for traditional teaching, something a project as well-intentioned as REDIDESK may not completely understand. In any case, the idea is interesting, and barring exuberant costs for schools themselves, should do well considering school districts will do anything to save a buck.