University of Vermont

Testing This

Why a Tablet PC?

We see a lot of value of the Tablet PC functionality to Higher Education from both a student use perspective as well as a faculty perspective.  Our current research, supported by a grant from Microsoft, has included the tracking of student performance in upper level and introductory Information Systems courses for students who own Tablet PC’s and students with standard notebook computers.  Our current, preliminary results, indicate a positive correlation between the amount students use their Tablet PC’s during class time with overall grade performance.  This supports our hypothesis that the natural interface of the Tablet PC Pen/Stylus facilitates more focus on the concepts presented with greater capacities to share, reproduce and catalog class notes.  

Tablet PCs enable students to have a richer post lecture record of their class time with additional capabilities to index the audio (or video) of their lecture to their notes.  With the functionality of applications like MS OneNote & Journal, students are capable of capturing the entire audio track of a presentation indexed to their hand written notes on rich content including instructor provided PowerPoint presentations, web content, PDF documents, Office documents and more in a fully indexed electronic virtual binder.  This powerful capability offers students additional ways to stay in step with the material.  For instance:

 A student preparing for his/her exam is reviewing his/her notes.  In their OneNote notebook, they see a side note scribbled in the margin labeled ‘Topeka, KA – 1913’.  Their recollection does not help them decipher this comment.  With the audio indexing capability of OneNote, they can click on that note and can hear what the instructor was saying when this note was taken.  If this was a 3 hour lecture, this indexed audio track makes audio records efficient and immediate.

A student doing homework comes across a term he/she remembers hearing in class earlier in the semester.  With the full indexing capability of MS OneNote, hand-written notes, audio files and rich content are fully indexed and searchable so searching for the term “diminishing return’s” in their OneNote notebook will find all locations where the term was referenced or mentioned in class or in their handwritten notes.

With the advent of electronic text books, on-line course readings and overall digital management of course correspondences, syllabi and assignments, Tablet PCs enable students to fully entwine the plethora of digital resources associated to the educational experience in the modern classroom with their naturally captured handwritten notes.

                Tablet PC’s also offer instructors the ability to have a portable, reliable, customizable electronic chalkboard replacement.   Instead of spending time putting handwritten notes on a chalkboard, notes captured with a Tablet PC can be saved, re-used and distributed saving instructors from having to reproduce their work and from spending class time scribbling their notes on the board while students frantically transcribe the notes to their notebooks.  With the distribution of natural electronic notes, students can spend more time in class processing information and engaging in discussion and less time transcribing/translating notes pasted on a chalkboard. 

Last modified April 16 2007 03:24 PM

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