Category: PC Tablets and Journaling

Analysis of Online Whiteboard Tools

NOTE: This post was revised considerably on 5/31/12 after a followup use with Dabbleboard proved to be awful.  Given this new development, I have to recommend Scribblar and I will plan to have a “backup” whiteboard handy in case the chosen system is “having a bad day.” When I meet students online for office hours, it’s vitally important that we have an shared online whiteboard to use as a space to do problems.  These online whiteboard tools tend to come and go, so don’t shoot the messenger when one of the tools in the list below disappears. The good...

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Abandon the Red Pen

This post was originally published as a column in MAA Focus (Oct/Nov 2011). The columns are no longer available online so I’m republishing here. Even though I’ve had a tablet PC for a while now, it’s been hard to get used to grading student exams and problem sets (like exams and problem sets) in the digital world.  The primary reason for the roadblock was that I usually grade one or two problems at a time, and this always seemed well-suited to grading papers in a stack, all on the same page.  In past semesters I often printed the papers...

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Custom Stamps for Grading in Adobe Acrobat

Many people have asked me to give a tutorial on creating custom stamps in Adobe Acrobat for paper grading.  There’s no reason why you couldn’t do something similar in other programs by pasting images into files, but there’s no doubt that the ease of one-click access to custom stamps is a nice feature of Adobe Acrobat. Step One:  Create the content of the Custom Stamp You can use any program on your computer to create the content: MathType, LaTeX, Wolfram Alpha, Mathematica, Maple, Sage, Word, Journal, etc.  Write the content and try to make it somewhat compact in width...

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Math Technology to Engage, Delight, and Excite

This is the Plenary Address from MAA Michigan last week. Math Technology to Engage, Delight, and Excite View more presentations from Maria Andersen. Possibly Related Posts: Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Add Graphs In The World to Courses Taking the Algebra Out of College Algebra Group Exploration in Math Elaborations for Creative Thinking in...

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Lost Pointer in Tablet Projection?

Many of us in math (and many other technical subjects) are now using tablets (slate tablets, tablet PCs, or peripheral tablets) to teach classes. Using a tablet to project what you’re writing has several advantages over traditional whiteboards/blackboards: 1. You can face the students (instead of facing the board). 2. You can make better use of color, shading, and drawing tools (see How Tablets Enhance the Math). 3. You can save your lessons in as either images or screencaptures (videos of the computer screen with your audio recorded in sync). There is, however, one problem. When you project the image of your journaling software onto the “big screen” in your room, the pen tip is typically projected as a black pixel. This is not so much of a problem when you’re actually writing, but is a big problem when you’re using the cursor to point at some part of the screen (nobody in the classroom can see where you’re pointing). Luckily, there’s a simple solution. Kenrick Mock (@macharoni on twitter), from the University of Alaska Anchorage, a computer programmer and tablet PC enthusiast has written two programs that simply create a colored circle of emphasis around the cursor area. The pen tip becomes easily visible. I’ve written Kenrick’s free PenAttention program before, but it was worth mentioning again for two reasons. First, Kenrick has just written an update for...

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