Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What Impact Can Pen-Based Technology Have in Your Classroom

I attended a session on Workshop on the Impact of Pen-based Technology Education (WIPTE and the DyKnow (Dynamic Knowledge) software. This concept/software is used in classes where students use pentop computers. The teacher uses the software to present information to the students. What the teacher is presenting shows up on each student's computer. The teacher can annotate the slides and control what is viewed on the students' monitors by releasing the pages one at a time. The teacher's annotations appear on the students' screens as they are made.

Students can also make annotations. They can submit their panel for the teacher to review. The teacher can choose to display some of the panels for review by the class without revealing the owner of the panel. The panels can also be submitted for the teacher to make comments at a later time and to return to the students.

The teacher can choose to give control to a student so that the student can make annotations from his/her computer while the class watches. The class can also share a single panel. That is multiple students can make annotations on a single panel while the class watches on the classroom screen and their individual screens.

The DyKnow software allows teachers to ask multiple choice questions and display the distribution of the student answers. It also allows the teacher to lock one student's or all students' screens by displaying on each computer an "attention" screen.

Students can print their notes, save them to USB or access them from the internet.

During the mock health lesson, the instructor had the class highlight important concepts in the narratives, answer questions about the concepts and draw Venn diagrams illustrating the connection between two diseases. It was very engaging for the students and kept their attention. Not only were they presented the information, but they were asked to process it right away. Additionally, students are able to see the notes and responses that they have made and the key responses that the teacher revealed later.

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