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November 2008 Onwijs got the chance to start working with a new technology, the multi-touch interface, as can be found on the Microsoft Surface™.
The Surface is a computer that looks like a table with a touch screen that registers input from several users.

This means no mouse or keyobard: users can interact directly with objects on the screen.

As an extra feature Surface also supports object recognition. It wil recognize objects that are placed on the screen, like an ID card, a glas of wine, a cellphone or a toy car.

This promising technology seems perfectly suited for use in an educational environment. Cooperating through direct manipulation is something that is completely normal for children, especially when they're playing. More then for most adults.

With this in mind Onwijs started a number of projects using Surface-technology.

After several demonstration projects it is clear that multitouch technology, especially in the form of tables, is indeed very suited, not just for educational purposes but also places like museums and libraries.

With the introduction of Windows7 and the presentation of numerous touchscreens and touchtables information becomes available at the tip of a finger.


Surface applications
Onwijs has create several dozen Surface applications, as part of a project or as a standalone application or collection of applications. Most Surface applications have been ported to other touch based platforms.
Download demo
Mariquita Download an example application for the new Sur40.
Mariquita is a searching game that demonstrates that a multitouch application can be simple and fun. Download it here.

Surface at school ( IV ) - De Barkentijn
June 2010 pupils and teachers at primary school De Barkentijn in Rotterdam RuimteRekenen had the opportunity to try out a Surface unit with over 30 educational multitouch Onwijs applications .

A novelty with this pilot was that pupils could create their own TipTile-presentation and can view it on the Surface.

Look here for a video impression.
Surface at school ( III ) - De Trampoline
Primary school De Trampoline in Leidschendam is the first Dutch school with their own Surface unit. It will be used in a project where several innovatieve technologies will be tested en compared. Three groups (1st and 2nd grade) will each get a different device to try out.

RijtjesSpel For this purpose Onwijs developed a set of Surface-applications, partly in cooperation with students of Hogeschool Rotterdam.

With exercises like WordCloud, CombinationGame or FormPuzzle pupils can train their language and logical skills.
Surface at school ( II ) - De Schakel
In March 2010 children from the 6th, 7th and 8th grade of primary sschool de Schakel in Eibergen get the chance to work with several new technological innovations, among which is a Surface unit. This is part of a project Leren van de toekomst (Learning of the future),which is an initiative of SURFNet/Kennisnet, an educational organisation funded by the Dutch government.

SommenSpel Onwijs participated in this project and created a series of Surface-applications about a part of the math curriculum: fractions, decimals and percentages.
There are five exercises with names such as ProblemGame, FractionTrain and DuoFraction (roughly translated).
In a menu application pupils can use objects to pick an exercise and identify the participants. The chosen application will use this info to adapt to the level of the group.

Video impressions of the whole project can be found at Jeugdjournaal and Editie NL.
Surface at school - De Clipper
On November 20th primary school De Clipper in Rotterdam opened their new media centre. To help celebrate this Onwijs demonstrated one of the newest type of media: the Surface.

Special guests for the festivities were Dutch writer Hans Hagen and his partner and tv-presenter Monique Hagen. To honour the guests Onwijs created two presentations on their work on the Surface.

clipper There were also a couple of Surface applications that were made especially for this occasion (with drawings of the Clipper pupils) and a number of educational programs and some demo's by nsquared.

The Surface unit was intended to stay at the school for a week, but this was extended to a period of three weeks. Both for the pupils and teachers as for us this was a great first opportunity to see how a Surface could function in a school and it gave us a lot of new insights.

The event got a lot of attention, not just from the kids, but also from the media (radio, television and newspapers).
Here is a short impression, made for television.
Play together, learn together
SamenLeren Play Together, Learn Together is the catch phrase for a project where Onwijs will introduce Surface technology in (primary) schools.

The plan is to make a tour with a Surface unit and a collection of demo applications and give teachers and children a peek at the future of education.


Nederland Leest 2010
For the 2010 edition of the national manifestation Nederland Leest (Holland Reads) Onwijs made an new presentation for the Microsoft Surface. This year the subject was a book called The big ward by Jacoba van Velde.

nll2010 Onwijs also made a short film impression about the author.

News coverage on the manifestation included a short view of the Surface application.

The features a web version of the presentation, along with the film impression.
The Forgotten Bombardment
On May 17 it´s been 70 years ago that a great part of the city Middelburg was destroyed by German bombs. Het Zeeuws Archief, the Gemeente Middelburg and the Adriaan van Westreenen Foundation organized a grand memorial.

Middelburg Onwijs is one of the sponsors and developed 2 Surface applications for the exposition at City Hall. These will reflect Middelburg before the war, the bombing and the reconstruction, using historic photographs and movies and eye witness reports.

Onwijs also made a documentary on eye witness Mr. C.J.P. van Westreenen.
Surface in the library
October 23d was the starting date of a national manifestation called Nederland Leest (Holland Reads). The purpose of this project is to get more people to read (books). All activities revolve around one single book, which is freely distributed.

For the VOB, an organisation of Dutch clipper libraries, Onwijs created a Surface-application about this year's selected book (Oeroeg) and it's author (Hella S. Haasse).

The application made a tour, visiting a number of libraries all through the country.
As a bonus, we created an online version (obviously with less functionality), which can be seen at
As part of the project Beelden voor de Toekomst (Images for the Future) Onwijs developed a MultiMediaQuiz, in cooperation with Logica.

VideoQuiz The application has a section aimed at the general public, with video fragments on a certain subject.
For children there is an (educational) quiz segment which shows short movie clips with quiz question.
Source material comes from several regional and national archives and is organised in four themes that have a bearing on Zeeland (the province) and are somehow related with the general subject 'water'.
There is also a web based single user version which gives an impression of the material and functionality.

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