Monthly Archives: December 2008

NERCOMP: Curricular Innovation in Freshman Communication Within a Tablet-Mandated Environment

Speaker: Andreas Karatsolis, Assistant Professor of Information Design, Carnegie Mellon University – Qatar

Provide each student with a tablet pc – difficult to support
Wanted to move into a paperless campus
Used DyKnow

Andreas’ background – Rhetoric and Communication
-situated learning
-information design

Albany College of Pharmacy:

Principles of Communication course
All networked sections – but the use of tablets in classroom was determined by each instructor

Can tablet PCs force a process of crafting a series of information design decisions?
Assignments – Eval, Proposal, Paper

Tablets and reading – how tablets could be used to improve how students read; help students know what texts do

Writing an abstract
5 necessary components – outline field, justify a piece of research
showed example of abstract – you can annotate it in class to show where 5 elements are, how they function
Students work less with content than mechanics of what an abstract is supposed to do.

Use DyKnow panels that are submitted.
Learning how to read texts in a more interactive way in class

Tablets and writing – help students on invention and revising
Peer Reviewing
Editing and Evaluation

Use tablets in class to break proposals down into component charts = structured thinking and strategizing.
Peer reviews aren’t very useful unless you give them very specific instructions of what one should look for and do
Use stylus to make connections between text they are reading and rubric they are using to guide them through the review process.

Tablets => messier, but more productive review process. Students are more engaged.

Tablets and visuals
Help students understand the relationship between text and visuals ad produce rhetorically meaningful visuals
Analyzing images

Tablet PCs can allow for greater engagement with information design.

Curricular Design

Get buy-in from faculty
Start backwards at the outcome level
Map out content outcomes to specific sessions
Map out learning outcomes to specific assignments
Align outcomes to assignments and assessments

NERCOMP: Challenges and Lessons Learned with TabletPCs: Incorporating Pen Technologies into Traditional Pedagogies

Yale University recreated a traditional pedagogical model in a way that used TabletPCs to maximize student participation. We realized that classroom management software along with the interactivity of the TabletPC could provide an opportunity, as the professor put it “to send all of the students to the blackboard at the same time.” We recently took some the lessons learned from our first attempt at a laptop classroom and used them during the creation of a newer Collaborative Learning classroom in the Library. This presentation will cover the considerations and decisions made as we transition from pilot to production including: dissemination and storage of laptops, why pen-based machines, furniture, imaging and deployment, learning curves for professor and students, and, most importantly, ongoing support.

Themba Flowers’ PowerPoint:

Tablet PCs

NERCOMP: Enhancing Field-based Classes Through the Use of Tablet PCs for Pen-based Data Collection

Meg Stewart, Academic Computing Services Consultant for GIS, Vassar College
Keri VanCamp, Ecological Preserve Field Station Manager, Vassar College

(Get PPP to post on the blog)

-Got a grant from Hewlitt Packard – got 21 tablets 2004
-Enhanced GIS program
-Teaching with GIS
-with money from the grant – they got GIS software
-Spring 2008 – they purchased new tablets.
-got grant from HP in 2008 to make a video to show students how to use the tablets.
-students worked in pairs – one has tablet, the other has GIS
-can digitize – using pen to mark land use. Pen integrated seamlessly with “ArcMap(?)”
-have aerial photo as base and can annotate – diagram sediment distribution.
-did mobile mapping workshop for faculty.


-understand a geomorphological concept – meandering stream.
-have students use an emerging tech.
-TC1100 – early tablet that they used with a GPS receiver.
-collecting wave points every few seconds.
-mapping change in course of stream.
-advantage of tablets – mobility and power; interactivity with GPS; stylus is vastly more efficient.


-have students participate in long-term ecological research during a series of lab assignments.
-study invasive plant species
-problems with traditional methodology – eyeballing inconsistencies among researchers
-inability to verify findings
-plant id is time consuming

Tablets could obviate these problems – photogrid!
-data collection more consistent among users
-a photographic record of plot is stored
-could use custom field guide for site using web browser.
-easier plant id
-point id is simpler
-participating in long-term research was useful

-speed problems
-using 10 tablets – collating data from all
-battery life – poor

Still it is a useful tool.

-enhanced scope of Ecology projects
-allows for increased complexity of projects
-could use excel in the field to record data.

-ease of use
-ability to combine data sets of various users.
-stored info for long-term project
-involvement in actual research = boon for students.

Field Archeology:

-actual experience of in-field research informing choice of major, investment in field of study.
-cataloguing everything from the site that they found in their field session.
-could do complete record of excavation – could take records from each tablet and collate.
-more like apprenticeship in real life sit., than theoretical/abstract.

Evaluating student outcomes.
-understand student confidence level with tech.
-learning outcomes
-increase or decrease in student skill level (with tablets)

Faculty wanted to see decrease in transcription errors

Used Likert scale

Students needed demo
Longer battery life
Good for dift. learning styles
Like using an emerging technology

Faculty liked two scales of visualization

Link to Vassar NERCOMP Presentation


PEN-BASED TECHNOLOGIES: Worcseter Polytechnic Institute
9:00am – 10:00am Pen-based Electronic Feedback at WPI

Kate Beverage, Instructional Technology Specialist, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Jessica Caron, Instructional Technology Specialist, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

What adjectives/adverbs describe PDT?

Quick feedback
Easy, real-time back-up
More effective learning tool
Less distracting
Simple expensive

How are faculty at your schools using digital pen tools?

Data collection
Record homework help
Annotating PDFs

“Iogear” digital scribe – convert text into 14 languages


Overview of electronic pens
Pen-based electronic feedback
-WPI case studies
-Theory and practice at WPI
Electronic pen tools and accessibility

Tools used: (among others)
Waacom – interwrite pad; graphier, waacom “bamboo”

Enables faculty to move around and be mobile…
Mimeo white board and capture – infrared technology – use reg whiteboard markers. Can record annotations and present them back to students.

Digital pens can:

Convert handwriting to digital text
Make digital content displayed in E-classrooms interactive
Be used to mark up document and share annotations in various programs
-adobe acrobat
-one note

Sympodium 360 capture recording lecture and power points => video.
Can record AVI files of “ink” annotations.

For accessibility:

-Note-takers for disability services could use tablets.

WPI Case Studies:

Professor Chick Kasouf: Marketting/Management; (outside class usage)
-more immediate way and more direct way to give feedback on papers – track changes.
-students feel it is a more personal way to get feedback on papers.

Professor Mike Elmes: Organizational Behavior and Mgt.; (outside class usage)
-free-hand comments that preserve the paperless electronic form of the submission

Professor Satya Shivkumar: Statistics; Mechanical Engineering – (inside class usage)
-Ease of use for diagramming complex systems. Can do a free-body diagram right in his powerpoint. Can interact with students about where they think certain forces are occurring.

Pen-based Electronic Feedback:

-Basic – feedback on essay based assignments
-Detail at point (immediate relevance of commentary)
-Comfort level (mode and familiarity)
-No odd formatting
-Non-text based feedback
-can demo feedback at point of immediate relevance.

Advantages of pen-based tech:

-less paper
-time saved
-students feel they are being afforded more attention
-lower frustration levels
-easier FERPA compliance
-great for distance learning situations – being able to comment on and return homework

Points to consider:

Learning curve vs. time saved grading
Expense of pen tools vs. using what you have
Paper vs. saving a tree
Physical storage space vs. electronic storage space

Accessibility issues
Power point and screen readers – screen reader won’t capture – b/c handwriting read as an image (when you convert it to text – can be read. Images will of course remain images).
Physical accessibility – for small people, people in wheelchairs, etc.

Sympodium = smart product, will be installed in all electronic classrooms. About $2000. Has many features: highlighter, import clipart. Can create an overlay over your screen

Mimeo interactive and capture $900. 12 markers batteries and software. Captures 4×8 whiteboard size

Wiimote? Youtube videos explalin how it’s used.
Dell TouchSmart – recommended by…
Waacom Bamboo –
IO gear –
Other attachments that clip onto laptop??

Creative uses for pen-based tech supplied by audience:

-Sympodium and Sports plotting
-Camtasia and Sympodium for dance markup – playback video and markup with corrections for positioning

Student sense of Pen-based Tech:
-feel classes are more interactive and dynamic
-feel feedback is more immediate and direct
-can post annotations for students to refer to at a later date.

Instructors’ sense:
-slow down a bit to write on sympodium, hence handwriting is better than when they write on the board.
-faculty can be converted to pen-based tech; even die-hard chalkboard advocates.

Waacom tablets cheapest – wired are really cheap ($60), wireless are more expensive. Will allow more interactivity for marking up papers.

IO gear pen – cheap for diagramming up notes.
Waacom CintiQ – for graphic design

Here is the PowerPoint for the WPI presentation:


And a PDF with visuals:


Student Video Projects – Dartmouth

Development of seamless support services between curricular computing, library media center and peer-tutoring center.

Faculty form for setting up projects for students – this allows them to think offline about all the components of such a project
how will they assess?
what is the pedagogical outcome?

After the form, the group meets with the faculty
Timeline for equipment availability
Timeline for due dates
iMovie workshop (tailored for course) for students
Check-in sessions that help students to stay on task and timeline
Set up Final screenings (have students give feedback about the process at these sessions)

The Jones multimedia center ( has 20 editing stations! Which includes scanners and apple computers.
They barcode the equipment to keep track of usage statistics. Part of the hardware includes checkout of hard-drives (which quickly became hard to manage) and a dedicated media server. The workflow would be to use the hard drive to work on the project but also save a copy to the server as a back up, the students “should” not work off the server.

Equipment check out:

“This program has
grown in five years from 3 used cameras given to us to twenty Camcorders, 6
Digital still cameras, and 5
Marantz digital audio kits, 6 analog cassette recorders. We
have been held back by the amount of time it takes to add establish training,
procedures, Maintaining (Charging batteries) cleaning and storage. We out grew
my office and have spilled out into several other areas.

We feel this program
is one of the most popular services we offer. We check out several hundred each

They have between 30 and 40 students works that the help do this work, with approx. 10 that are trained in-depth on the equipment and software.

There is a quick reference booklet online and in hard copy available to users of the equipment and software.

Considerations of budget and maintenance:

Each camcorder kit
cost $1,000 with bag & tripod, extra battery and lens. Price per kit X 20

We charge students
for missing parts and replace aging / broken parts. And late return $.5.00 per
hour per item.

We try to order the
same model, (for training purposes) and replace every three years, rotating
each year.

Labor is the major
factor in planning growth, it takes 30 min per camera check out/in

We average ?# of
check outs a week/month/term.

We are looking at
brining in HD camcorders this year, rotating out the oldest camcorders which we
canabalize and use as back

Student survey link:

They created a Treatment Plan which helps students to focus the project to keep expectations and outcomes realistic.

Palor Trick helps them to learn hands on about video production –

There is a site that shows past video projects, both for students and for faculty. Helps to frame future projects for courses.

A form is given to students to fill out a release form for use in IT presentations and outside viewing.

Creatively Balancing the Equation: Brandeis University

Sarah Walkowiak
Moodle based site LATTE as the CMS.

Participatory culture: low engagement barrier, sharing creations, mentorship, contributions matter, opinions of others about self and work matter – Henry Jenkins
Some new social skills needed to navigate this culture: negotiation, distributed cognition, transmedia navigation, collective intelligence, appropriation, networking…


In a participatory culture, how do people use these tools to get their work done? Using tools that are already there, the focus would be on teaching literacies and not troubleshooting the technology.

This group uses wordpress as the website to highlight faculty projects as well as introduce the use of lightweight tools to promote the critical literacies that are integrated in the curriculum.

Brown the Teaching Commons

Brown’s use of the wiki, the PowerPoint section is a good example of how we can help faculty explore how to use the tools that we support.

Multimedia Services at Brown – – this list alone is a good idea to pinpoint the areas we support, plan to support and open dialog with groups that overlap our support.

Classroom task force
Below see the highlights – how does this relates to multi-media? Technology in the room (note the podium computers) –

Priorities for the initial allocation:
1) Lecture hall renovation
Architect designed renovation of 4 out of 6 large lecture halls recommended for renovation.
This option would affect a significant number of students because capacities of these rooms are between 100-186 students.
2) Furniture replacement
Replace furniture in 24 small classrooms and 30 seminar rooms.
This would cover approximately half of the rooms that are in need of new furniture.
3) Technology replacement and new technology in classrooms with & with out technology.
4) Enhanced technology
Pilot enhanced technology including intelligent whiteboards, lecture capture, videoconferencing, and podium computers.

Think about pedagogical objectives before you install the technology.

Course Reserves initiative: can the electronic reserves also do in-house full length movies as well as audio and pdf reserves for a classroom. Could this lead the way in checking out movies for student review?

Each faculty member has a “my reserves” area with contacts to library content specialists, clips available, movies available, audio etc. OCRA was a homegrown php tool.



Faculty requests shared among media services, music library and LRC
– evident that this separate system needed to be tied into OCRA (Add
Entire Movie) – video assets stored on dedicated VF server – streamed
only through WebCt, with workflow stored in OCRA and tied into our III
ILS 2008 Continued coordination for workflow. Also with instruction for
faculty, staff and grad students.

Clearly defined goals are the key to the success of a project. CLEARLY DEFINED GOALS. Which leads to Project Management tools.

Initiative – Open Brown: the goal was not clearly defined but the outcome was a budget presented to the provost for core foundational services that would be centralized with distributed support that come from different departments. Though the theme was a Brown global footprint, they began to discuss how decentralized all services have become. This allowed disparate groups to put all the support issues on the table. Why are some services a fee service and then why not others? A large sum of money was requested of the provost to centralize most digital services.

Questions that arose from this discussion: Can e-reserves work for clip distribution, do we allow faculty to create their own clips and add them to a larger repository?

What is Video Furnace (see delicious tag) is it an alternative to CDIGIX and could it also be an alternative answer to a flash server?