The Tablet PC as an e-Chalkboard

Bob Heiny, the prolific education blogger at the Tablet PC Education blog, has posted a very interesting link to a pdf article  written by Chi N. Thai, University of Georgia, on using the Tablet PC in an extended classroom environment.

The paper was presented at the 2006 Workshop on the Impact of Pen-based Technology on Education. In the paper, Thai goes over how they used Tablet PC technology to annotate PowerPoint slides and present real-time to students spread throughout the country and to Japan as well. To address band-width and traffic issues, they used the Totally Ordered Reliable Multicast (TORM) protocol.

Great reading for those interested in Tablet PCs and the solutions people are coming up with to solve the problems associated with remote learning and interactive participation.

Here is the abstract to Thai’s paper:

To enhance experiential learning aspects for undergraduate and graduate engineering students during class lectures, an Extended Classroom facility was developed to provide the same classroom experience for local and remote students, whereas all involved (teachers and students local and remote) could hear, see and otherwise interact with each other. In real time, all local and remote participants could annotate their personal versions of classroom activities,being recorded into searchable multimedia files that they could take home to review and modify. This feature was particularly useful for courses requiring students to remember elaborate software operation procedures that competed for their attention away from the actual engineering concepts being delivered. The instructor could also perform live demonstrations using remote networked equipment that served as brief activities to help students remember content. A Tablet PC was used as an electronic chalkboard within this environment to annotate PowerPoint slides and prepared text documents, as well as to create adhoc handwritten or drawn materials during reviews or consultations. This facility had been used to teach Java Programming, Systems Simulation and Applied Machine Vision courses with overall favorable assessments from students. Particular assessments about Tablet PC effectiveness are presented herein.