ICT gets all touchy-feely

Is educational technology only about keyboards and other familiar input devices? Actually, no! There’s a lot of cutting-edge work going on in the realm of haptics.

Professor Margaret Cox explains what haptics is:

Haptics is the sense of touch, so haptics technology interfaces with the user through the sense of touch. It consists of ICT devices similar to those used in computer games which can for example feel the movement of the hand, the force it exerts and the speed, giving feedback to the user.

This research project has won two major Medical Futures awards and there is a very interesting article about this virtual reality environment for dentists it on the BBC news website.

Take a look at this video too: it lasts for just over a minute.


I have to say, this sort of technology makes me feel a whole lot more relaxed about having a student dentist working on my teeth – that has always made me more nervous than the drill!

So how might this be relevant in education? Why not join us for an online talk by Dr Cox, followed by a discussion? This will take place on 28th June at 7pm UK time, and you can join by clicking here. If you’re not in the UK, find out what time it is in your neck of the woods by using this timezone converter.

And while you’re waiting for that, have a look at this article on upcoming online discussions, where you’ll find another, longer, video about haptics.

There’s an article about converting timezones in the next issue of Computers in Classrooms, the free e-newsletter for people with a professional interest in educational ICT.

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