Tablet PC’s are a popular tool for teachers to project handwritten work in the classroom. However, this is not an option for all teachers. Many prefer to use a Mac and many who use a PC prefer a non-tablet PC (especially since these machines are typically more expensive).
Personally, I use a Mac. When I first started teaching, though, I used a tablet PC. I often miss the opportunity I had to handwrite and project my writing from anywhere in the room (my school has wireless projects, so I can easily move around the room with my laptop connected).
I recently got the brand new Bamboo Slate. My initial interest was simply that it provides the ability to write on any notepad, making handwritten notes digitally available with the click of a button (the magic of the Bamboo Slate is in the pen and pad that the notebook is placed on; there is no need to write on special paper, any legal pad will do). Not only is my handwriting digitally available in handwritten form, but I can also use the handwriting to text functionality of the Wacom app.
After receiving my Bamboo Slate, I started thinking about other classroom uses, beyond what Wacom advertises. I noticed that there was a “Live Mode” feature in the Wacom Inkspace App (this is the phone app where all digitized work is stored). When Live Mode is turned on, I realized that I could see what I was writing, in real-time, in the phone app. This got me excited! Of course, the notepad is wireless and extremely portable (equivalent to carrying a clipboard around). So, I immediately thought I might just have struck upon a new way to wirelessly project handwritten work in my classroom. The only missing detail was how to get from my phone screen to the projector in my classroom (our projectors are only enabled to connect to our computers, not phone). If you’re using a Mac and an iPhone, QuickTime Player is an easy solution to this problem! What many people don’t realize is that QuickTime Player allows you to:
- do a screen recording
- create an iPhone screen recording
In this video, I will walk you through my setup for Live Drawing with Wacom Bamboo Slate
Alternatively, if you have a program like Reflector, you can do this same type of thing. I was talking with Brian Friedlander (@assistivetek) about this idea and he created a video solution for this option: Using Live Mode on Bamboo Slate with Reflector App
So cool! An under $200 solution to turn any computer into a wireless, pen-enabled writing device. Not only is this of benefit in the classroom, but it can also be a great addition to video conference call on Google Hangouts. For instance, I am teaching an Online AP Calculus course this year and we meet each week for a synchronous Google Hangout. Of course, since this is a math class, I often need to show to solve an equation, and I prefer handwriting to typing as I explain what I am doing. By doing a screenshare in Google Hangout and using the process I explain in the video I shared above, I can seamlessly write on my Bamboo Slate and share that with my students via GHO screenshare in real-time! How amazing and powerful is that?