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Supplementing Instruction with Pencasts created with a SmartPen

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Teaching Materials Science Using Innovative Methods

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Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1115.1 - 23.1115.5



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Paper Authors


Surendra K. Gupta Rochester Institute of Technology (COE)

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Dr. Surendra “Vinnie” Gupta is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and a member of the graduate faculty of Materials Science & Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He is a recipient of the Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching at RIT where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Applied Mechanics, Computational Techniques, and Materials Science.

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Supplementing Instruction with Pencasts created with a SmartPenTwo years ago, I began supplementing my classroom instruction with Pencasts created withLiveScribe’s Echo SmartPen in courses in which structured problem solving was a majorelement. When writing with the SmartPen on a special dot-paper, the pen captures a video of thewriting and simultaneously records the audio in the room. Thus, I could speak and write, and thepen would synchronize the audio with the video of writing. The audio and video recording iscalled a Pencast which can then be replayed in video or audio or both using a personal computer.The Pencast file can be emailed or posted on the web. A student can download a freeware called“Live Scribe Desktop” to replay a Pencast.Microdots printed on the special dot-paper enable the infrared camera at the tip of the SmartPento track everything you write or draw. The tactile feel of the pen is natural and comfortableunlike writing or drawing on a tablet computer. A micro-USB connector is provided to uploadthe Pencast file to a computer, and also used for recharging the pen. The uploading and replayingof a Pencast is a simple and easy process.I first used Pencasts as supplement to my classroom instruction in a “Strength of Materials andDynamics” course that I taught to industrial engineering sophomores. I would prepare Pencastsof solutions to additional example problems, and upload them into our course managementsystem called “MyCourses” for student use. Many students found it as a valuable and helpfulresource.This paper will describe how I am using the SmartPen in a sophomore-level Materials Sciencecourse that I am teaching this Fall. As an example, many students find determination of Millerindices of a crystallographic plane in cubic lattices to be tricky and complicated. The xyzintercepts of the plane can be found either graphically or by developing the algebraic equation ofthe plane. I have prepared Pencasts of several examples using both these methods. The paper willsummarize my experience with and student response to such supplements.In the platform presentation at the conference, I will also demonstrate how a problem-solvingsession is recorded, uploaded to the web, and then replayed using Livescribe Desktop.

Gupta, S. K. (2013, June), Supplementing Instruction with Pencasts created with a SmartPen Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22500

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