Siftables: Not to Be Ignored

13 Dec


While watching the TED video with David Merrill, the MIT grad student who introduces Siftables. Small, square, relatively ordinary tiles, Siftables can can virtually change the world of education as we know it. Finally, a manipulative tool for students that favor bodily kinethetic, visual learning preferences has entered the classroom. Upon watching the beginning of the video, I was reminded of the similarities between Siftables and a cell phone- I want to say the Galaxy. The phones/tablets transfer information to each other ones the screens are touched together, which I am assuming provides limits to what is shared for privacy/copyright reasoning.

Siftables resemble this notion in that they can interact with each other, become interested in one another when placed next to each other and can solve problems together. While I was extremely interested in the math manipulatives, I was the most interested in the letters and paint colors. Two Siftables  tiles had two different colors, and when one was poured into the other, the color changed. To me, that was just amazing that each tile can not only sense each other, but completely interact with each other and pour colors.

Additionally, I was very interested in the timed letter changing application on the Siftables. After a specified amount of time, the letters change, allowing the students to create a new set of words altogether. This would be a great tool for students with learning disabilities, as long as the timing on the tiles was lengthened. Differentiated instruction will really benefit from Siftables in a whole new way- whole class instruction can now be an everyday tool if students with learning needs are given Siftables to help them through the lesson.

These tiles are also great for learning centers, specifically literacy learning centers. I would particularly want to implement the story telling aspect, where students can choose which tiles lie next to each other, allowing the characters to essentially interact. Each story is “an open ended story and the child gets to decide how it unfolds.” Musically gifted children would love these too! They can create the exact sound they may hear in their head- right down to the base line!

The Siftables create an entirely different means of interaction via digital media. They also provide more depth to the definition of text, and writing as a whole. These small, computerized tiles have the ability to create words and stories- they are without a doubt a form of text in today’s world.


One Response to “Siftables: Not to Be Ignored”

  1. mccart71 December 18, 2012 at 1:59 am #

    It’s amazing how far technology has gone! I can definitely see students love using Siftables in the classroom and it would be really useful, too. Younger grades would really benefit from this technology because they can learn colors blending together and combining letters to make words. It makes me want to play with them too, they look like fun!

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