Tablet PCs in use at Colorado State University

Looks like I might need to take a drive down to Fort Collins and check out Colorado State University’s Tablet PC implementation. I love these stories on Tablet PCs and education:

Via the Tribune.


Students sat in Stephen Thompson’s class, typing notes on their laptop computers. Thompson drew a chemical equation on the board, and without hesitation, the students stopped typing, flipped around their computer screens and jotted down the equation by hand with a computer-compatible pen, capturing the equation into their notes.

With the help of Tablet PCs, students are engaging in a new, technology-based chemistry curriculum at the Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Center at Colorado State University which could eventually displace the large lecture/recitation learning strategy in favor of a student-centered, inquiry-based approach.

In the Labtop System, being developed by Stephen Thompson, director of CSMATE and professor of chemistry at CSU, the Tablet PC is placed at the point of learning. Tablets combine the computational power needed for science and engineering with the portability of paper and the wireless connectivity of a laptop. The Labtop system seamlessly unites lecture, laboratory work, use of instruments, homework and field work, literature searching, modeling, simulation, and computation and assessment using interdisciplinary case studies. The Labtop System allows students to develop higher-level critical thinking skills as students design their own experiments integrating well-crafted research questions, robust procedures and the opportunity to strengthen their communication skills.


The research is funded through a $415,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s FIPSE program, or Fund to Improve Postsecondary Education. Hewlett-Packard Corp. also has granted Thompson an equipment award of 21 tablet PCs, numerous peripherals and a monetary gift through the company’s 2006 “Technology for Teaching” program.