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Incorporating Tablet Portable Computers Into The Classroom

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Reaching Students: Innovations to Curriculum in ET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.735.1 - 13.735.6



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Paper Authors

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Sofia Vidalis Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg

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Joseph Cecere Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Incorporating Tablet Portable Computers into the Classroom


Universities are constantly updating to keep up with changes in the student’s future profession. That is why Penn State Harrisburg’s engineering technology classrooms and laboratories emphasis is placed on integrating modern technology with practical experimentation. The complexity of accomplishing various learning environments has become enormous. Therefore, integrating a multifunction lecture/laboratory/wireless computer room at Penn State has allowed this combination of learning into one environment.

This multifunctional room comprises of wireless tablet portable computers which are hidden and secured in mobile work stations. Each wireless tablet portable computer houses various programs, instructional aids, document resources, and has access to the university network for lab and lecture use. The mobile tables, which tablet portable computers are housed in, are flexible and can be reconfigured to meet students’ need for working in groups. This facility provides faculty and students the flexibility through lab and/or lecture use and interaction through multi-platform user interfaces.

This paper will discuss the potential benefits and challenges encountered by students and faculty members at Penn State Harrisburg when using the tablet portable computers in the multifunctional classroom. This paper will also discuss some applications and functions that improve teaching, learning, and research initiatives through using tablet portable computers in a classroom environment for both laboratory and lecture use.


Two years ago, Penn State Harrisburg (PSH), which was an upper division and graduate college, expanded to offering lower level classes and started to accept freshman. This change was challenging but exciting to the college. The college became a highly sought after campus with enrollment significantly growing which required offering more courses. Because of the significant growth of student enrollment, the college was pressed to increase the usage of existing spaces, which included laboratory facilities. The Structural Design and Construction Engineering Technology (SDCET) program already offered several labs and classes in their designated space but also initiated a revamping of this space. The face lift was to redesign and modernize the space, the physical fixtures, and instructional material, as well as become a wireless computer room. This endeavor was a success and has become a high demand by the program and the college.

Facility and Fixtures

The classroom facility at first consisted of just your computer-based presentation systems such as instructor’s computer, overhead projector with screen, and a DVD/VCR player. These support high quality handwriting over slides, enables the instructor to prepare materials with supplemental text, pictures, or diagramming, and also to show videos. Advantages to this system

Vidalis, S., & Cecere, J. (2008, June), Incorporating Tablet Portable Computers Into The Classroom Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4102

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