June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Computers in Education
13.606.1 - 13.606.13
Faculty and Student Use of Tablet PCs: Perspectives on Their Pedagogical Effectiveness ABSTRACT
The Tablet PC is gaining in popularity as a digital teaching tool in engineering education. Instructors report its use as a flexible platform for seamless interweaving of lectures, software demonstrations, web access and other classroom needs: a single device functionally equivalent to a blackboard, computer, computer data projector and overhead projector. Much of the emphasis to date, however, has been on the instructor’s sole use of the Tablet PC: during the class period students still mostly rely on paper/pencil or traditional workstations. This paper presents instructors’ and students’ initial impressions on the use of Tablet PCs within selected courses in different engineering programs at the University of the Pacific.
As with any technological teaching tool, Tablet PCs have their advantages and disadvantages. Their main instructional advantage lies in their flexibility. Within the same class period, students can use the 'tablet' mode for annotating course notes using different colors or for developing a design, then link to the internet to gather data and information, and change to 'PC' mode to run a model and incorporate model results into their class notes. The simple feature that allows the screen to be oriented in different directions allows students to readily share their work and ideas with others, facilitating use of active learning group exercises in classes. One main advantage identified by students was the ability to organize and archive their class notes and associated materials. Despite some administrative issues such as boot-up time at the start of class and network connectivity issues from time to time, Tablet PCs were found to be appropriate for use in certain engineering courses and they can serve as effective multi-functional teaching and learning tools.
Means of instruction at a university can range from the simplest and traditional, black or whiteboards, to sophisticated Tablet PC-based settings allowing full student-student and student- instructor interaction1. A Tablet PC allows the user to annotate or draw directly on a variety of widely used software programs such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, together with programs specifically written for the Tablet PC, including Windows Journal and Classroom Presenter2,3. In addition, within a wirelessly networked environment, students and instructors can work between and among groups while still maintaining access to design software and online resources4. Whether simple or technologically advanced, effective teaching requires organization, clear and interactive classroom presentations, effective use of resources, and appropriate use of technology to promote student learning5. The Tablet PC can serve as a useful tool to help keep students engaged and enhance student learning6.
Twenty-one Tablet PCs, received in 2006 as part of a Hewlett Packard "Technology for Teaching" grant, are shared among all departments at the University of the Pacific, but are currently used for different courses taught in the Civil, Electrical, and Computer Engineering, and Engineering Management programs. Some types of courses may lend themselves more readily to use of Tablet PCs than others. For example, in design courses or courses that integrate
Saviz, C., & Fernandez, A., & Hughes, K., & Kalend, M., & Mathews, C. (2008, June), Faculty And Student Use Of Tablet Pcs: Perspectives On Their Pedagogical Effectiveness Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4474
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