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Author Topic: Teaching with a tablet  (Read 3319 times)
wiley
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« on: November 13, 2012, 2:15:46 AM »

Hello all,
I'm interested in using a tablet pc for teaching math, using software such as One Note or Windows Journal or something comparable. I'm imagining using it in a similar way as one would use an overhead projector or document camera, but I'd be able to edit during and after lectures and post the results online (& possibly use some in future terms). I want to be able to copy images/graphs from other programs and annotate them on the computer during lectures. I want to be able to move the files to my windows desktop and to Blackboard.

Do any of you do this / something similar?

What hardware is appropriate? I'm looking online at convertible tablet PCs (laptop + touchscreen that folds flat), slate PCs, and others.  Which is better for my application - capacitive or resistive input?

Also, I don't want to spend a ton of money since I don't know if I'll like doing this. I ordinarily teach using a white board, so this would be a big change for me.

Thanks for any thoughts.
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professor_pat
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2012, 5:50:32 PM »

Bookmarking.
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melba_frilkins
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2012, 6:20:04 PM »

Does your classroom already have a doc-cam? If so, have you tried using it? Obviously it's not the same as using a tablet, but might give you a feel for whether you like working within that type of space and how it effects your interaction with the class.
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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2012, 6:31:57 PM »

I do this.  I use a tablet PC (a ThinkPad).  Unlike tablets like the iPad, pretty much all convertible tablet PCs have active digitizers (such as Wacom's "penabled" technology) that is far more accurate than either capacitive or resistive touch input.  Some tablet PCs have a touchscreen in addition to the active digitizer, but that is less important for this application. - DvF
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pgher
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2012, 8:43:08 PM »

I don't use it for teaching, but I have an ASUS Transformer tablet with capacitive input.  I can't imagine using it to project.  Writing on it with a stylus even (which has an end similar in size to a finger) makes fat lines that are marginally legible.
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nucleo
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2012, 8:49:40 PM »

I do this.  I use a tablet PC (a ThinkPad).  Unlike tablets like the iPad, pretty much all convertible tablet PCs have active digitizers (such as Wacom's "penabled" technology) that is far more accurate than either capacitive or resistive touch input.  Some tablet PCs have a touchscreen in addition to the active digitizer, but that is less important for this application. - DvF

I'm with DvF on this:  tablet PCs are the technology of choice, here, IMO.  I use an HP EliteBook running Windows 7, and the application I use in class is OneNote 2007.  (I also occasionally use PDF Annotator, but OneNote is my go-to app.)
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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2012, 8:56:08 PM »

Incidentally, a slate PC is essentially a tablet PC without a keyboard, and might even be preferable if weight is an issue.  However, on a price/performance basis they seem to significantly lag tablet PCs.  - DvF
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slinger
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2012, 9:57:58 PM »

OP, what you're asking for does exist. I use the Educreations app on my iPad. It's free.

It's meant to be a whiteboard substitution app, but works more like a documet camera in that it projects what you are doing as you do it. Also, it records what you write, you can annotate pictures, you can save drawings, you can share it with students and others.

I don't know if the same exact program exists for tablet PCs.
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wiley
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2012, 5:33:48 PM »

Thanks all for your replies.
Melba: Some of my classrooms have a document camera. I'll try that. I've played around with one in the past, and I'd need to make sure to write larger and use a wide pen. Also, I'm not liking the idea of using a lot of paper. Perhaps a small dry erase board would do. I'll try.

DvF: I didn't realize an active digitizer was a third option - I thought it was just capacitive or resistive (unless I'm misreading your post). I like the idea of getting a thinkpad or some other convertible laptop, but I'm finding it hard to justify the expense ($1000-$1500?) on what amounts to an experiment. I guess I was hoping a $200-$300 android-type tablet would do the job.

From what I read online, it sounds like 'tablet pc' means different things to different people & so it's hard to compare. This is what I've got so far:

(1) Convertible laptop :Most expensive, but best option as it has the best input and most versatility since it has a keyboard and can be used as a normal pc

(2) Slate PC: Also a tablet, also runs windows and would work. Still expensive and less useful since it doesn't have an included keyboard.
(3) Ipad / Android type tablet: cheaper(?), but doubtful input quality and not the software I was planning to use (Windows Journal or one note).

Thanks again all for your help, and please let me know if there's something I'm missing.




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usukprof
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2012, 5:44:02 PM »

I do this.  I use a tablet PC (a ThinkPad).  Unlike tablets like the iPad, pretty much all convertible tablet PCs have active digitizers (such as Wacom's "penabled" technology) that is far more accurate than either capacitive or resistive touch input.  Some tablet PCs have a touchscreen in addition to the active digitizer, but that is less important for this application. - DvF

Yup.  Even though I use a MacBook for most of my real work, I also carry around a ThinkPad X220 tablet for scribbling on ppt lectures (particulary useful since I videoconference to some remote students) and also for inking acrobat for thesis and paper comments.

I have an iPad, but it doesn't have the accuracy of a real stylus.
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melba_frilkins
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2012, 6:08:00 PM »

Thanks all for your replies.
Melba: Some of my classrooms have a document camera. I'll try that. I've played around with one in the past, and I'd need to make sure to write larger and use a wide pen. Also, I'm not liking the idea of using a lot of paper. Perhaps a small dry erase board would do. I'll try.


If you're concerned about wasting paper, look around and find some scratch paper that's good on one side. There is a lot of that floating around. Check your department office or steal scratch paper from the math or writing lab, etc.
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daniel_von_flanagan
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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2012, 8:44:21 PM »

DvF: I didn't realize an active digitizer was a third option - I thought it was just capacitive or resistive (unless I'm misreading your post).
Just a different, more accurate and expensive, technology.

Quote
I like the idea of getting a thinkpad or some other convertible laptop, but I'm finding it hard to justify the expense ($1000-$1500?) on what amounts to an experiment.

You could buy a refurb or used. - Dvf
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juiced1987
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« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2012, 11:19:46 AM »

Refub are just fine, I do however recommend doing the refurb yourself, For example, I have a cracked screen on my iphone 4 and i just bought a new screen, found one for 19.38 which included shipping, and all the tools.
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mystictechgal
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One step at a time


« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2012, 9:13:04 PM »

OP, what you're asking for does exist. I use the Educreations app on my iPad. It's free.

It's meant to be a whiteboard substitution app, but works more like a documet camera in that it projects what you are doing as you do it. Also, it records what you write, you can annotate pictures, you can save drawings, you can share it with students and others.

I don't know if the same exact program exists for tablet PCs.

Looked interesting so I downloaded the app and registered with their site in order to check it out. Not twenty minutes later I got an email from a Senior Engineer offering any help I might need and asking if I had any questions. Geez, I haven't even really looked at it, yet--or had time to. This is either a weird bunch of folks or they take customer service very seriously; I haven't decided which. Their site says they're hiring--for what I don't know.
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