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College CIO Predicts Tablets Will Kill Smart Boards 150

CowboyRobot writes "Keith Fowlkes (vice chancellor for information technology and CIO at the University of Virginia's College at Wise) has a commentary at Information Week in which he makes the point that moving forward, colleges will be able to dump all the 'smart' classroom tools and devices (e.g. electronic whiteboards, clickers, projection systems, etc.) and will only need to support students' tablets. The reasoning comes down to the return on investment, which is easy to argue for tablets but not for other classroom technologies. Standardization of video across devices remains a problem, as does the issue of where files are stored and how they are shared. But these are solvable problems and we will soon see the day when electronic whiteboards are a distant memory." I think the issue of file storage was solved by openafs a long time ago, certainly at the scale of a small university.
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College CIO Predicts Tablets Will Kill Smart Boards

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 10, 2013 @10:14AM (#42545145)

    All this ignores the obvious: from a human factors perspective, one large surface with professor walking around and touching it seems to work best.

    For another example of this *style* of interaction but with everyone participating from a screen, see weather forecasting. The meteorologist is blue screened in so he can gesture and such.

    So long as there are physically students in the same room as the teacher, there will be a large shared screen that actually has stuff on it. For remote only, in theory the professor could be blue-screened onto the materials, but given the more interactive nature of education, it's probably that a professor would still have a big screen simply to make modifying the contents less awkward.

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @10:33AM (#42545371)

    A good presentation sure is. 99% of Powerpoint is bad presentations though.

    Being worried about the exact spot a graphic is in makes me think you want to create bad presentations.

    Powerpoint is #1 because it lets you turn 5 minutes of information into an hour long lecture with useless graphics and animations.

  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @11:49AM (#42546437)

    Being worried about the exact spot a graphic is in means you give two shits about how your presentation looks. It's a presentation, so like, visuals are sort of key.

    You've already failed.

    Powerpoint presentations are almost universally bad because people spend more time making the presentation than they do making the content they are going to speak about, and you're just type type of person confirming that fact.

    The visuals of a presentation either need to present and image/animation/movie of something that can't be described by the speaker accurately enough, or simply a rehash of the major bullet points of the presentation itself.

    The powerpoint IS NOT THE PRESENTATION, it is a SECONDARY AID to help with the speaker's description.

    Unless the aspect ratio is WAY off, it is irrelevant. HTML is PERFECTLY acceptable for presentations if they are done properly.

    The issue you have with HTML versus powerpoint means you're doing it wrong in the first place, not that HTML is the issue.

  • by javamage ( 1966164 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @12:48PM (#42547235) Homepage

    I've been recording and posting my lectures at JHU using Camtasia for many years...

    I whiteboard using a graphics tablet (Wacom Bamboo fun, drawing ink notes on Evernote). I write code examples on the fly in Eclipse (and if Android apps, run them in an emulator or use droid@screen to mirror). I surf to websites. When I rarely have slides, I show them. Everything I say (using a headset mic) and do is recorded using Camtasia. After class I do some minor edits and post the videos and example code from the class on the course website after class.

    Much less expensive than a smartboard (even moreso if you use alternate recording software), and the students love it (almost everyone comments on it in the evals)

    • * They can review the entire lecture easily
    • * They can focus on what I'm currently saying, rather than on writing down what I just said (some still take notes, but they're much more top-level outline than all the details). This has greatly increased the flow of the class.
    • * If a student cannot come to class, they can still see everything that I did
    • * It allows me to review what I've said in previous terms

    I'm a little surprised that the students still come to class... I suspect it's because they like being able to ask questions and interact with the other students.

  • by sdguero ( 1112795 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @02:33PM (#42548697)
    I had several professors who had classes moved to get older rooms with chalk boards 10 years ago. The main complaints I heard were that dry erase boards were hard to clean, the markers were more expensive/dried out/missing/bigger, and that the dry erase boards had to be replaced every 2-3 years if they were used a lot. These professors (some of the best I had, including an amazing CS prof) put up with all short comings of chalk (like breathing in all that nasty dust) because chalk had never left them stranded MULTIPLE TIMES in front of there classes the way dry erase boards had.

Basic is a high level languish. APL is a high level anguish.