In their project, "Enhance Project-Based Team Learning in the
Mobile Computing Curriculum with Tablet PC's", the faculty at
Virginia Western Community College are using tablet pc's in their college level
programming courses taught ONLINE, and for face-to-face robot control projects
for local middle school students. Not surprisingly, the tablet pcs are making the
learning experiences more engaging AND more efficient for the instructors...
Dr. Diane Wolff and colleagues received an HP Technology for
Teaching grant in 2007. Not surprisingly, they are finding great benefits from
using the "digital ink" capability of their tablets to support their online
course discussions. Specifically, they are using:
Techsmith's Camtasia software to generate audio-annotated
PowerPoint's built-in audio recording capability
(Instead of running the "show" directly, launch it via "record narration"; as
you talk and advance slides, your audio is linke to each slide for later reply)
OneNote for note-taking and feedback
Macromedia Breeze (now an Adobe webcast solution)
for live online sessions with students
Dr. Wolff, "The ability to draw out ideas
and brain storm in online meetings has been a real plus for numerous classes."
Their project also includes an outreach
component designed to raise the awareness and interest of Middle School
students in the field of computer programming. By programming Lego robots in
JAVA via the tablet pcs, the effort appears to be exciting the students. "In the
short time that we have done this in pilot projects, I see the light go on for
many of the students, and the excitement is very rewarding", says Dr.
The team at Virginia Western Community
College has gone one step further - they have created a fantastic set of guide "booklets"
(online pdf documents) that contain very helpful, illustrated tips for using
tablet pcs in various ways, which they offer for free: http://virginiawestern.edu/istgrants/tablettips.html. You can read more about their "mobile programming" grants and projects at http://virginiawestern.edu/istgrants/
Thanks for sharing, Dr. Wolff and team!
Jim Vanides, B.S.M.E, M.Ed.
Worldwide Education Programs
HP Global Social Investment
For information about the HP Global Social Investments, visit www.hp.com/hpinfo/grants