Friday, March 6, 2009

Siftables - The Coolest Blocks Ever!

This morning on the TED Talks Blog I saw this video of David Merrill from MIT introducing a really fantastic technology development called Siftables. Siftables are little computer blocks or digital blocks that contain motion sensors, neighbor detection sensors, digital displays, and wireless communications. From the video it appears that these blocks are roughly one inch cubed. The blocks can be manipulated to create words, equations, pictures, and designs. One of the more outstanding features of Siftables is that you can align blocks to form an equation and if you remove one block and slide another in its place, all of the other blocks change to keep the equation true.

The video below explains Siftables in more detail than what I've shared above.


Applications for Education
Siftables are not yet commercially available nor do I have any idea what they would cost, but there is a ton of potential for Siftables as an educational resource. Siftables would be great for young students just learning to spell and do arthimetic. Siftables could also be great for older students to develop and try solutions to mathematical problems.

Check out the video (it's only seven minutes) and leave a comment with your thoughts about how Siftables could be used in your classroom.