Teaching and learning "things" that can be done with a Tablet PC

On this page I have examples of some different ways in which I have recently used my Tablet PC -- a HP EliteBook 2730p -- for teaching and learning activities, particularly for distance (or external) students. The EliteBook has a built-in microphone and webcam. These days, most laptops now come with a microphone and webcam, so some of these things could also be done on them. (Note that some of the things listed here are on other pages.)

1. Record a narrated PowerPoint presentation, using Camtasia, for distance students to watch (or for local students to use to review important concepts and issues). This presentation was recorded in my office; but I have also made recordings during classes. I've used the webcam and Camtasia's "picture in picture" option to add some video of me at the start.

2. Use Camtasia to record a demonstration, or tutorial, of (or using) other software. In this class, I was using a simulation exercise, run using Excel, to explore issues related to hypothesis testing. The PC screen was projected, using a data projector, so that the students in the room could see the results of the simulation and evaluate the outcomes. Recording the session enables distance students to see what happened in the class room.

3. Use Audacity to record the audio of a class room session. Audacity is a free, but very functional, sound recorder, which can record, edit and export in several different common audio formats. If you don't need vision, you can just use it to record audio. I've also used it to record discussions for posting to "Voice Discussion Boards" in Blackboard. Again, these are ways of giving distance students some access to what is happening in the class room.
4. Use a Tablet PC, in class, as an electronic whiteboard using Uniboard/Sankore. There are a few things I like about this: (a) I can project images, and write/draw on them using the stylus; (b) I can prepare the "pages" for the class before hand; (c) I can run an application (e.g. Excel), then clip a screen shot onto the whiteboard to discuss and annotate; (d) everything on the "board" is preserved and can be saved as a pdf file. (Uniboard/Sankore also has the ability to record podcasts, or screen casts, but I have had problems with this. NotateIt (see below), or Camtasia, is probably better for this task.)

5. Use a Tablet PC, and NotateIt, to demonstrate and illustrate calculations and other sequential tasks and activities. The demonstration, including audio, can be captured with NotateIt, in standard video format, for sharing on YouTube, or uploading to other sites, for students to view. (The demonstration could also be captured with Camtasia but it is simpler to do this within NotateIt.)

6. Of course, you can also just record video, with audio, directly from the webcam and this might be useful for a short introductory talk. The video on the right was not recorded with the Tablet PC webcam but this could easily be done.