I have a class set of Wacom tablets (the small size of the Intuos)!!! It has been my dream to have a full class set of tablets for my students. I’ve been wanting them for two things: 1. a daily handwritten warmup and 2. for screencasting.
This past summer, I saw the capabilities of TheAnswerPad as a way to gather students’ free drawn responses. The results all come in through a dashboard display (here is a screen capture of some of the results coming in through the dashboard)
Ever since I saw the demo, I have wanted the tablets. I like doing warmups, but I hate collecting all of the scraps of paper. Plus, it’s hard to collect, shuffle through them, and instantaneously get a sense of how the class is doing with the warmup. So usually, with handwritten warmups, I review them after class and then by the next day, it seems almost too late to give the valuable feedback that ideally would happen instantaneously after doing the warmup.
So this is where the tablets plus TheAnswerPad come in! I have been shooting out one or two warmups for my class. As they submit their responses, I can scan their results instantaneously (by clicking on the thumbnail image of their response, the picture is magnified so I can clearly see the work). I have been setting a timer, too, because I don’t want this activity to last too long. If a student doesn’t know how to do the warmup, he/she is not penalized. It should, though, serve as a warning that they did not fully comprehend the lesson from the previous day. As soon as time is up and all responses are submitted, I can do a “capture” of all answers. These handwritten images are saved in a “portfolio” for me to review more carefully later. I have been quickly scanning all answers as students transition from the tablets to their notebooks, and then proceed to go over the warmup. So far, I am absolutely loving this!
The other use for the tablets will be for much more screencasting – both with formal projects and just informal check-ins. If you’ve followed my blog, you know that I’ve been playing around with student-created videos for a while now – using iPads, screenshots + a screenrecorder on the laptop, using phones to record, having students use my tablet PC / surface pro, etc. Now that we have the tablets, I am thinking that we may just use Educreations (most people know Educreations as an iPad app. But when you login through the browser, you will discover that you can also create lessons that way). Or we may use AWW + snagit for chrome. I’ll have to play more with setup over the summer to find the best solution for us. Regardless, I plan to do a lot more screencasting next year! I will do some formal projects, as I have already been doing, but I will also do more informal assignments. Midway through a unit, or a couple days before a test, I plan to ask students to create a quick screencast of a solution, as a way to gain better insight into their thought-process and better target problem areas before the assessment. In the process of creating a screencast and needing to talk through process, students often connect some critical pieces or discover areas of confusion that they may not have otherwise. So providing more opportunities for this activity will be wonderful. Again, I need to work through a simple process of having students create these and upload, but I’ll get to that piece over the summer!
For now I just wanted to share my excitement for cool things to come!