A New Solution for my #FlippedClassroom: @Wacom’s DTU-1031 + #giveaway! #edchat #flipclass

Using the Wacom DTU-1031 For My Flipped Classroom:

I love my mac. But I’ve held on to my tablet PC just to make my screencasts for my “flipped classroom.” Honestly, that’s the only thing I use the PC for. It’s getting old and I’ve been searching for a new solution. I know many people use the Wacom Bamboo, which I’ve found to be a great “in the classroom” tool (I’ll go into more detail), but my handwriting is just not as smooth and that bothers me enough not to use it. I also prefer, when doing my videos, to be writing on a surface where I can see exactly what I am doing. And so I’ve hung on to the tablet for video creation.

But last week, I got a new toy – the Wacom DTU-1031. And I’m really loving it! The DTU-1031 provides a 10.1 inch LCD display powered by a USB cable. Additionally, there are 4 customizable ExpressKeys on the side to assign to common functions (such as bringing up the properties menu or an onscreen keyboard). You can also customize the button on the pen to perform a variety of functions (I went with eraser, of course!). My writing was flawless when I am sitting down at a desk and the tip feel and sensitivity can be adjusted to your liking. I will say that I’ve never enjoyed writing on my tablet PC as much as the feel of writing on paper because, well, writing on glass just does not provide the same traction. However, after customizing the settings on the DTU-1031, I am completely satisfied with the writing experience. The only downside is that it’s not wireless and for that I’ll have to hang on to my Bamboo Capture!

The one thing that will have to change in creating my videos using the DTU-1031 with my mac is my typical workflow. Let me explain. Typically, I have created a PPT lesson to serve as the basis for my screencast and then used the inking feature in PPT. However, in using the Wacom and inking with PPT on my mac, the writing is not smooth for some reason (curves look pointed and the motion is not fluid). So I had to come up with a new solution, which ultimately is going to be much better, I think.

Problem: inking in PPT
Solution: save PPT as PDF and use Open-Sankore to ink

If you haven’t used Open-Sankore before, it’s a free interactive whiteboard software (here is a quick video showing some of the key features). So my new workflow might be:

-create PPT
-save as PDF
-open with Open-Sankore
-do my inking in Open-Sankore (which actually gives me many more features than I had in PPT)
-record with Camtasia

I’ve also been using the DTU-1031 to do a lot of inking on the screen (to create solutions, reviews, etc) as opposed to writing on a piece of paper and scanning it. For simple inking on a PDF, I tend to use FormulatePro.

Finally, I’ve been using the Wacom DTU-1031 for my after school extra instruction sessions. Typically, only a couple of students come in and we review any difficult problems that they didn’t quite get in class. I’ve been able to pass the tablet around so that a student can solve the problem (in Open-Sankore). Since the tablet displays the work and my computer screen mirrors that, we immediately have two screens to be looking at. If more than 2 students come in, I project my computer screen on the board so that it’s readable for all of us. When we are done, I can export the work we’ve done to PDF and send that to all students who were in the group.

Using the Wacom Bamboo Tablet in the Classroom:

The best thing about the flipped classroom is the individualized and personalized work that goes on. Often times, students will get into groups based on their needs for the day. So if one group is stuck on a specific question when I come around to help, we will try and tackle it together. I found myself going to the board a lot on occasions when the group size was more than 4 students because it was too hard for them all to see what I was writing on a piece of paper. The problem with that, however, is that I was not sitting down with them. I know it seems minor, but sitting with the students during small discussion time can be so valuable. They ask different questions and the working dynamic is just totally different. Now that I have the Bamboo Capture, this can be my wireless solution. As long as I have my computer screen hooked up to my project, the tablet will give me the ability to sit down with a group, but have the writing be projected on the board, so that we can all see it and discuss at once. The tablet can also be passed around so that students can jump in with insight and take over. An additional benefit of having this work projected on the board is that the whole class can be aware of the problem that I’m working on in the small group so that they can join in based on need. Of course, I would prefer using the DTU-1031 for this work also, but since it’s not wireless and I tend to move around a ton, I’m just not sure how I could make that work. So this is where I see myself falling back on the bamboo tablet.

Note: I’m still getting used to writing on the bamboo, but one of the things I discovered to be really helpful was to tape a piece of lined paper over the tablet. The pen is still recognized through the paper and this makes it much easier, and in my opinion smoother, to write on.

~ Giveaway ~

And to kickstart the summer off right, one lucky reader will have the chance to win a Wacom DTU-1031 to use in their classroom! To enter, please leave a comment below if you’re using a Wacom tablet and have any suggestions or best practices that you’d like to share OR if you don’t currently use a Wacom tablet, explain how you’d like to use it in your classroom.

23 thoughts on “A New Solution for my #FlippedClassroom: @Wacom’s DTU-1031 + #giveaway! #edchat #flipclass

  1. I would use a wacom tablet to enhance the videos that I create for my classes. I would also use it to create interactive instructional activities that studied could work on.

  2. I currently use a digital pen for videos, but that leaves some things to be desired. That would included working a problem I have assigned and/or including calculator screen shots. I have a work around, but it is kinda clunky and I cannot point directly to the graph. (I have to do all of my writing, then drop in the screenshot of the calculator of graph)

    I would like to use the wacom tablet to not only create videos, but also create 2 minute intro videos that would introduce the topics for the students before they come to class.

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Rob Eby @robebymathdude

  3. Sankore looks interesting — I’ll definitely be checking it out over the summer!

    I used a bamboo tablet for my student teaching: I would “print” a set of notes to Window’s Journal Note Writer” and use that platform to fill them out. I like Window’s Journal because it lets me erase particular strokes instead of just pieces of the board like a typical eraser, and it has presets for rectangles and ellipses.

    Another thing I like to do is have a blank Journal document and turn it transparent using a Hotkey script. This lets me make an overlay or a trace of whatever else I have on my screen.

    I’ve been blown away by the explosion of educational youtube in the past few years… so one of my summer projects is going to be to try and join that world with some math videos. A DTU-1031 would be awesome for that ;)

  4. I have been using Doceri for the iPad, which has a nice pinch-zoom feature that allows you to have smoother looking handwriting. I would love to try any of the Wacom products, it just is not in my budget right now. The DTU1031 seems like it would respond a lot like an iPad.
    Best practice has a lot to do with audio quality. There are many tools that can make a good instructional video, but those tools lack a quality microphone.

    • Camtasia Studio has an “Enable Noise Reduction” option, which helps greatly to reduce background noise. I also ended up getting a mic, which makes a big difference (Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Condenser USB Microphone).

      • Two things that Doceri doesn’t do as well: 1. Sound Quality 2. It takes a screenshot so annotations can’t stay on the screen for any animations or transitions.

  5. I have an ipad mini I’ve tried to handwrite on for videos but it just doesn’t make the cut. I would find this immeasurably useful for screen casting!

  6. I am impressed with this new tablet, and for a flipped/mastery format that I use, this would be a game changer. I think that the individual, small group, and whole class capabilities of this tablet is just what is needed for providing individual differentiation, small group seminars, and whole class check-ins. This would get daily, all day use in my room.

  7. I’ve had a Wacom Bamboo since December. It was my Christmas present and I love it. I use it to annotate ppts during screencasts. WAY easier than drawing w/ my finger on the touchpad.

  8. I use a Wacom tablet to make my flipped videos. It’s a really old model, but it was what the school had when I got started. Iit works fine. I like that during class I can be among the students and project to the screen

  9. Thanks for the great blog post. I’m a high school math teacher in Michigan and I’m going to begin flipping my classes next year. I’ll be the first person in my district to take the leap. Something like this bamboo would be so amazing to win and to be able to get off on the right foot with the proper technology to effectively create my videos along with being able incorporate the tablet with my students during classtime. Thanks again for the great post and the inspiration to take the leap and go full board with flipping!

  10. I have been flipping my math classes (Geometry, Algebra 2, Math Analysis) for the past year to year and a half with great success. I especially get a kick out of seeing that students and teachers from other schools are using my videos on YouTube.

    I use Camtasia Studio for recording my newest videos along with my wireless mouse tablet. For years I used a Wacom Graphire Wireless tablet to present all of my notes in class (before I started recording actualy video lessons). I absolutely loved it!!! The tracking and accuracy was great along with the pressure sensitivity. One day it broke from being accidentally knocked off of my desk by a student backpack. I was distraught to find out that it was no longer being produced and that there was no real replacement for it in the Wacom line (the short lived Intuous Wireless had major Bluetooth issues for me and never worked). My current videos are all made with my current tablet which does not have the precision or the pressure sensitivity of the Wacom products.

    This summer I will be re-doing most of my videos for my lower two classes and adding many new features (including embedded quizzes, etc.) to the others. I have no real need for a wireless tablet when I produce my videos (USB would work perfectly as I sit at my desk) and the accuracy and sensitivity of the Wacom DTU-1031 would be perfect. I would be able to do so much more in terms of drawing diagrams and adding shading and perspective to my graphics. I could then use my wireless tablet along with the DTU-1031 and allow multiple student groups to create and project their solutions for viewing by the rest of the class as well as on the class web page. I have also started to have students create their own video lessons as tutorials to post on my class pages. The DTU-1031 would be spectacular for this! I would be using this tablet around the clock in my classroom.

    My school is also going through major modernization. Many teachers are asking for tablets rather than IWB’s (SmartBoards, etc.) and my administration has come to me to ask about the various products I have used over the past 6 years or so. It would be great to be able to try the DTU-1031 out and see if it would fit the needs of our teachers so that I can make a recommendation to our administrators.

    Thanks for promoting this giveaway. :)

  11. Did you consider getting an iPad and running Doceri? As Eric mentioned, you can pinch to zoom so you can write more precisely, change the writing backgrounds, and record, while having complete control of your computer. And, it’s wireless as long as you’re on the same wifi network. Also, you can use the camera within the app to take pictures of student work and instantly project it.

    And, I never thought I’d say this, but the iPad is a couple hundred bucks cheaper.

  12. I use the wacom tablet for digital drawings and stuff, it is really great for these sort of things. and the wacom tablet is really handy for making my anime character designs.

  13. Curretly I’m using an iPad with Goodnotes, connecting it to my PC with AirServer and then screencasting it with Camtasia.
    I would like to try the Wacom DTU with the Wacom pen. I think it’s a very different feeling compared to the big rubber pen on the iPad.

  14. Hi there!

    I’m currently saving up for a Wacom Tablet, so I don’t own one right now. But with my measly student allowance, it’ll be a pretty long time before I get my hands on one of those. It’s my dream to own one, really. :)

    I’m saving up for it because I know that with the use of that gadget, I could enhance my skills as an artist, and an aspiring digital one at that. I’m taking up Advertising Arts, and I’m pretty sure that something like this will be beneficial for my growth– as a student, as an artist, and as an advertiser.

    By being equipped with the necessary tools such as this tablet, I could help not only myself, but also those who are looking for it. To broaden my aspiration to help other people, I’d upload drawing and art tutorials on various sites such as youtube, facebook, twitter, and even my blogs(I have livejournal and tumblr).

    Thank you for this opportunity! If ever I win, I would maximize the use of this gadget; every bit of it.

  15. Thank you for all of the thoughtful comments! Jeff Dekofsky is the lucky winner this time around. I expect that he’ll write up a nice follow-up post for us all to enjoy :)

    • Thank you so much. I cannot tell you how excited I am to try the tablet out this summer as I create new flipped classroom lessons and activities. I will absolutely write a follow up and let everyone know how it is working out. ;)

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