The Qwizdom Q7 slate is a wireless slate that can be used to interact with a computer. The company who sell these slates (Qwizdom) sent me one to check it out. With the NCTE are recommending schools should invest in slates before moving into the world of Interactive Whiteboards, it was a good opportunity for me to see whether a slate could do almost as much as an interactive whiteboard.
For those of you who have never seen a slate, it looks almost exactly like the slates your granny (or great-great granny) would have used in school – well smoother and more plastic than that – but you get the idea. Using a stylus, one can wirelessly “write” on the slate and the mouse should follow suit. To click, you simply press down on the nib of the stylus and there’s a right-click button on the stylus for those who need that.
The thing that makes the Q7 slate stand out for me, is all the little gadgets on the slate. My only other experience of a slate before this was a blank canvas and I pointed and clicked and that was it. There’s a full keyboard on this slate, loads of tools such as cut, copy and paste and then lots of other buttons that would be useful for presenting – virtual pencils, highlighters, line drawing and other stuff you’d usual find on an IWB.
The slate is also designed with quizzes in mind. On the bottom of the slate are buttons with options usually associated with quizzes, for example, the choice of Y or N for “true or false” style questions and A, B, C or D for multiple-choice-style questions. The software that comes with the slate is called Actionpoint, which seems to work with PowerPoint and other Microsoft products. I’m not sure if the software works with other Office programs such as OpenOffice.org or Star Office.
I asked a couple of children in my school to try the slate out for drawing a picture in MS Paint. The younger child (1st class) found it difficult to match up what he was “drawing” on the slate to what was appearing on the screen and he was fairly frustrated with it. The older child, (5th class), also was frustrated initially with it, but got used to it after a few goes. As for me, I would say I probably had the same feelings as the 5th class child.
I was impressed with the Q7. I’d probably describe it as a “slate on steroids” as it’s got so many extra strengths over a normal wireless slate. While I prefer the interaction of an interactive whiteboard for primary school children, if I was going to invest in a slate, I’d be looking very closely at this.
Last Update: August 17, 2017