At the 2009 ULearn conference I presented some thoughts on what we might be seeing in the future of eduction, and referred at one point to MIT grad student David Merrill’s work with Siftables — cookie-sized, computerized tiles you can stack and shuffle in your hands. These future-toys can do math, play music, and talk to their friends, too. (see TED video above).
After my presentation I was approached by several teachers who wanted to know whether it was possible to get their hands on these devices – and it appears that very soon it will be. It seems that these small tiles have been commercialised, and can be found on the Sifteo site, with a note saying that you’ll be able to purchase directly through this website, starting mid-late 2011. They’ll work with both mac and PC, and I can imagine these will become popular very quickly – although at $50 per tile it’ll be a while before we see lots of them around in classrooms.