I had earlier blogged about RFID Learning Table, a software application developed by Daniel Dacey’s New England Computer Solutions. It was installed on the stonemasonry section’s classroom computer. This computer had always been used to operate SignLab VinylPro stencil cutting equipment, and was recently connected to the Internet.
Classroom Internet access
Having a computer in the classroom allowed us to access many useful sites such as Google Earth, Ning, YouTube, Flickr and lots more sharing sites. It was also useful for presenting Powerpoint presentations and instructional videos using the RFID Learning Table to access them. However, the computer and its network connection were eventually brought into line with the rest of the institute, and these privileges were stopped.
ACER Travelmate 6410
After several months of waiting, I took charge of an institute laptop on March 13th this year. Several weeks later I managed to get the RFID Learning Table installed after the network managers agreed to package the application to suit their requirements. It was not an easy decision for them to make as the institute is in the process of ‘rolling out’ ResourceBank and my.TAFE. The RFID Learning Table effectively duplicates these applications, however as they are not yet developed, I will continue to develop resources. Learning objects produced for RFID Learning Table are easily transferable to ResourceBank, and are then able to be managed with my.TAFE.
Self directed learning
Students choose lesson topics from a range displayed in a small book of cards. Each card has the learning topic written on the front, and an RFID tag stuck on the back. The lesson is accessed by placing the tag on the top of the reader. Lessons are accompanied by assessment sheets, and a teacher provides extra assistance.
Further development of RFID tags for learning
Currently, the RFID Learning Table application is most useful in the classroom, as it is designed to be read with either a desktop or a laptop computer. I plan to one day expand its range to the workshop using hand-held computers. Sue Waters has published excellent resources about this topic at her wiki. A tag beside each piece of workshop equipment will access learning topics in the hand-held device, describing its safe and effective use. This system would also be useful for safety inductions, applicable to any workplace, as well as marketing the institute’s operations at public events.