Tip Tap Tap turning school desks into IoT workstations

8 Oct 2015

Tip Tap Tap's CEO, Stephen Collins. Image: Connor McKenna

Offering a whole new way of teaching children, the Irish start-up Tip Tap Tap is taking boring ‘dumb’ school desks and, with the help of internet of things (IoT) technology, is turning them into interactive workstations.

IoT Makers Week graphic

Based out of the Nimbus Centre in Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), Tip Tap Tap have been exploring the possibility of shaking things up in classrooms that, for decades, have not changed the way in which subjects are taught.

While interactive whiteboards are gradually replacing old chalk blackboards, the school desk remained an area that technological advancement had yet to touch, despite the fact that a student spends most of their school day gazing at its top.

That is why Tip Tap Tap has created their own desk, on which interactive numbers and letters are laser-engraved. When posed a question by a teacher, a student can give the answer by physically entering it on the desk.

Speaking to Siliconrepublic.com, Tip Tap Tap’s CEO, Stephen Collins, says that this not only helps a child to not feel pressured to give an answer verbally in front of the class, but also gathers data on the students’ performance.

“If a child answers a question every time, but it takes three-times longer to answer that question, that could be indicative of a learning difficulty and it’s impossible to manage that through manual assessment right now,” Collins says.

These desks, he continues, are part of the overall development of everyday IoT technologies, which are growing in number. He describes this as ‘ubiquitous computing’, and says it’s important that it not impede your everyday life.

IoT Makers Week will explore the internet of things revolution and the makers driving it with reports on Siliconrepublic.com from 5 to 9 October 2015. Get updates by subscribing to our news alerts or following @siliconrepublic and the hashtag #IoTMakersWeek on Twitter.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic