In this post I want to share a style of computer that could be of interest to those in the education field. I was recently loaned for evaluation purposes a Lenovo ThinkCentre M90z 23 inch computer by representatives of Lenovo Computers. In the past I have posted information about the Apple iPad due to its unique application in the field of education. I feel that with the ThinkCentre M90z, Lenovo has perhaps also created an interesting niche for educators to take a look at. Best of all, I was given the opportunity by Lenovo to give one computer away to a reader of this Blog. Anytime I have a chance to give away an item like this to a reader, I will find a way to make it happen. At the end of the month (April 30, 2011) I will have a contest announcing how this computer will be given away. Want to make sure you get the post regarding this give away? Please take a moment to subscribe by RSS or email. Your subscription means a lot and I enjoy sharing all of the things I learn in the field of 21st century educational technology with you. You can also follow me on twitter at mjgormans. Now, let’s take a moment to learn about a style of machine that just may have a special place in education. Have a wonderful week! – Mike
Note – Think about joining me for my ISTE Webinar entitled STEM to STEAM To STEAMIE: Turning Up The Temperature on STEM Education.This webinar will be held on Wednesday, April 20th at 4:00 PM EDT. This is a fee based webinar. A premium ISTE individual or institutional memberships might include the fee. Click here for Info. I also will be presenting a free webinar (at Discovery Education) that involves getting started with MIT’s Scratch in the classroom. This is a short 30 minute session (6:30 PM EDT) that is one of four other 30 minute webinars from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM this Monday, April 18. You can register for this free Discovery Education Series at this link.
If you aren’t quite aware of the Lenovo ThinkCentre M90… first note that it is one of those all in one machines with a limited CPU footprint. The typical CPU box does not exist and is actually built into the monitor. Oh the monitor! What you lose in that large typical CPU footprint found in school labs across the nation you gain in a monitor that is a 23 inch flat screen wonderment! Not only is it big and viewable by a group of students… it is a touch sensitive screen. In fact, it is this monitor that persuaded me to accept the invitation of reviewing this machine for its education value… along with being able to give one away to one of you!
As schools move into the era of 1 to 1 computing, the student devices will more than likely be portable so they can be moved around with ease. They will rely on battery power, will not require a computer station, may be limited in some of the specialty applications that some areas of education use, and will not have as much screen real estate as some may wish for in certain applications. These portable devices will bring an amazing transformation to the way students learn, create and innovate. As this transformation occurs there could still be the need for several full functioning machines in every classroom. It may prove beneficial to provide a few large screen machines for presentation/learning stations and group collaboration. Computer labs may still require machines that allow use of specialty programs and provide the screen size necessary for applications such as CAD, page-layout publishing, and sophisticated multi- media production.
Enter the niche for machines such as the Lenovo ThinkCentre M90. It is this type of machine that could be the complement to many 1 to 1 programs. Set up took less than ten minutes from out of the box. It was wonderful to just set up a screen. You see, that screen includes the CPU, wi-fi, speakers and, if you want, the keyboard as well. I soon had it up and running and of course began my first adventure as anyone would…investigating that remarkable 23 inch flat screen! The color was sharp and the images were vibrant. While I know it would be appealing to students in a classroom, it was a welcome change for this baby boomer’s eyes that do most production on a laptop. Now, while I am not quite ready to throw away my keyboard, I was really impressed with the touch sensitivity of the screen. This touch screen capability could open up a wide range of group collaborative opportunities in the classroom. The use of a touch screen interface also facilitates an ease of use for students because of their wide use of touch screen phones and tablets. I do believe that the engagement it will bring to the classroom may require some extra effort with regards to screen cleaning. As a production computer, I enjoyed the ability of having several windows open and viewable at once. This could be especially useful in a lab used for production whether it be CAD, multimedia, or publishing. In this case, while the touch screen could provide some unique functions, I still believe the keyboard is essential.
While my experience with the Lenovo ThinkCentre is far from extensive, I have found the machine to be a welcome change from my world of portable devices. I know that any school making the journey to a 1 to 1 environment must be sure to discover ways to accommodate and meet those needs that some portable devices might not meet. It is computers like the Lenovo ThinkCentre M90 that could provide that additional component in facilitating real learning in the 21st century classroom.
I want you to be aware that I am collaborating with an outstanding group of fellow bloggers in both the review and give away. Each blogger I have listed for you below will be giving away a Lenovo ThinkCentre M90 on their week scheduled. My week will begin on April 30 and end on May 4. Start thinking about great gaming playing sites for students that promote content standards in education. That will be the theme of my contest and I hope to publish for you a monster list of gaming sites to go with my Game Making Series that you don’t want to miss. Watch for official contest entry coming soon! Richard Byrne from Free Technology For Teachers kicked off the first give away this week (April 14, 2011) with a contest that you still might like to enter. Kathy Schrock’s KAFEEKLATSCH Blog continues the contest this week (April 18, 2011). You may wish to visit all the bloggers’ sites and contribute during their contest week! By sharing our ideas through this contest, we all become winners while one lucky person each week will receive for their home or classroom a Lenovo ThinkCentre M90. As you explore these links below not only will you have over 25 different weeks to win… I know you will learn about some awesome bloggers, including some of the very best in education!
Lenovo M90z Giveaway Participants
|Free Tech 4 Teachers||Apr 14||Apr 18|
|Ilja Coolen \ ICSS||Apr 15||Apr 19|
|Physician Mom||Apr 16||Apr 20|
|Scrubd In||Apr 17||Apr 21|
|Kathy Schrock’s Kaffeeklatsch||Apr 18||Apr 22|
|Steve Hargadon.com||Apr 19||Apr 23|
|Box of Tricks||Apr 21||Apr 25|
|Clinton Fitch.com||Apr 22||Apr 26|
|Around the Corner||Apr 23||Apr 27|
|Tech Savvy Ed||Apr 25||Apr 29|
|Small Biz Technology||Apr 26||Apr 30|
|Ablet Factory||Apr 27||May 1|
|Click Newz||Apr 28||May 2|
|Geekazine||Apr 29||May 3|
|21st Century Education Technology||Apr 30||May 4|
|A GeekyMomma’s Blog||May 1||May 5|
|Marsha Collier’s Musings||May 2||May 6|
|VA Insiders Club||May 3||May 7|
|Your Virtual Assistant||May 4||May 8|
|Jake Ludington’s Media Blab||May 5||May 9|
|Mobile PC World||May 6||May 10|
|Dangerously Irrelevant||May 7||May 11|
|Bud the Teacher||May 8||May 12|
|Kikolani||May 9||May 13|
|Geeks To Go||May 10||May 14|
|Chad Lehman.com||May 11||May 15|
Thanks for joining me on another journey as we travel the road of 21st century education with one another. I look forward to continuing to hear from you and as always welcome you to subscribe by RSS or Email. Remember that I am also on Twitter at mjgormans and have a vast amount of resources for you at my 21centuryedtech Wiki. As you explore 1 to 1 computing… you just may want to keep your eye open on the Big Picture! Have a great week! – Mike