UMichigan Professor Uses iPads to Remake the Chalkboard

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple's big education announcement may be January 19th in New York City, but that doesn't mean Apple is the only company innovating in the educational space. University of Michigan professor Perry Samson has developed an iPad app called LectureTools that Samson hopes can turn laptops and iPads from a way to distract bored students into an interactive learning tool that keeps them engaged.


    The Chronicle of Higher Education explains:
    The app tracks students classroom participation, something Samson says could be used to spot early warning signs in students who may be having difficulty with the material. 20 classes are using LectureTools at the University of Michigan, but it's also being used at Ohio State and Michigan State.

    Article Link: UMichigan Professor Uses iPads to Remake the Chalkboard
  2. macrumors regular


    Sep 11, 2009
    Portland, OR
    All fine and dandy until one of those "Anonymous" markups is a giant penis over your Geometry lesson.
  3. macrumors 68020


    Aug 31, 2003
    Wherever my feet take me…
    I'm sure there are ways around that. These interactive things have been around long enough so that the programmers know about it & can put in workarounds if they choose to.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2005
    I was thinking the same thing. It would have to be anonymous to the class, but have the teacher be able to know who drew the inappropriate picture.

    I don't really think it seems necessary be able to draw during a lecture, interactive quizzes seem just as beneficial without trying to interpret other students writing. I could maybe see something like a share button where the teacher could ask for a question, then on person raises their hand and can submit the work to the teacher for review and have it displayed.
  5. macrumors 68030


    Oct 3, 2009
    Sounds fun, but it makes students focus on their own personal device instead on the same physical board. All students looking at the same board can create a stronger "group bond" in a way, I think.

    Also, who would pay for iPads and laptops for each student? Because not all students have these.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 7, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Think of all the different subjects out there! There are many situations that would benefit from drawing, even if it was just an arrow or a circle to direct attention to a certain portion of an image.
  7. macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2011
    lol :)
  8. macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    Not every student has the $500 textbook for the class.

    Oh wait, yes they do, because it's a listed required material.

    The same person will pay for the iPad as the person who paid for the textbook, be it scholarship money, the student themselves, or the parent.
  9. pjsamson, Jan 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012

    macrumors newbie


    Jan 11, 2012
    How I Teach with an iPad

    For the record (as the "Professor" in the story) I have described how I teach class with my iPad + laptop at I can draw on my slides, the students can draw on my slides but only on their own copy using LectureTools.

    Students without iPads can use laptops. Students without laptops can text in their answers to questions on a cell phone. Students without cell phones, laptops or iPads (or who choose not to bring them) can hand in their answers on paper and I can credit their effort.
  10. macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    Great idea, and from the description, sounds well executed.

    Are the lectures viewable later? With annotations? How about recording the audio from the lecturer's iPad and making that available later?

    There's a lot that can be done in this space. I'm glad somebody is.
  11. macrumors 65816

    Aug 14, 2009
    Folks - read this professor's blog. It has a very interesting and readable discussion of the tool. Despite the fact he is at UM his use of the tools is very interesting and finally gets us back to the roller equipped overhead.
  12. macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
    What do you mean despite the fact he is at UM? :O
  13. macrumors 6502


    Dec 7, 2007
    East Lansing
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Go Sparty!
  14. macrumors 603

    Sep 19, 2003
    No, they don't. Many students make do with course reserves from the library.
  15. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2010
    re original article

    i'm for it

    if the teacher can help the students having difficulty with the material

    hate when teachers fawn over students who already know it all
  16. macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    And many actually buy or rent the textbook. At my own college, I'd say that maybe 5% of students sometimes go with the "I can get it at the library, that'll be just as good" approach... although, IDK, maybe when you leave the STEM departments you end up with a lot more students thinking that's a good idea.
  17. Guest

    Nov 8, 2011
    I'd like to know the answer to that question as well.
  18. macrumors 68040


    Aug 31, 2007
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
  19. macrumors newbie


    Oct 8, 2011
    For people confused about how students get ahold of said iPads:
    School departments often have budgets for exactly this kind of thing, or technology grants that can only be used on these kinds of things. So they buy their department a batch of iPads to be used in-class. Think of it as buying desks or projectors.

    The students in classes using this approach really aren't expected to come up with their own laptop or iPad.
  20. macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2007
    Once again, in a story about a useful tool and an energized instructor who seems to care about student engagement, the information is distilled down to nothing more than a way to grab a hold of bored students (see paragraph 1).

    Why must entertainment be a part of education? The prof referred to is an educator. His blog talks about engaging the students. This is important. It just frosts my chickens every time the media wails and moans about bored students. Going to school is the students' job. Engaging in the process of learning is their job. Keep in mind that if they don't engage from their end, it may not actually be the prof's fault. Students have more job security than the teachers. They can do a half-assed job and it's not their fault.
  21. macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I totally disagree. It's the professors job to engage the students. Students are paying the school and the professors. If the professors don't uphold their end of the deal students might as well just read the book and learn on their own. I applaud the effort of Professor Samson.
  22. macrumors 6502


    Jun 1, 2004
    Both sides have responsibilities, but there _is_ a difference between entertainment and engagement. Think about Ben Stein's character in Ferris Bueller's Day Off "Bueller, Bueller, Bueller?" I'd call that un-engaged. However, the way teachers engage their students need not be entertaining. I was forced to a read a book by the teacher I disliked the most in high school. My dislike wasn't for the workload, but because of her style. Yet that book has become my all-time favorite. I don't recommend her approach, but you couldn't say she wasn't engaged with her students.
  23. macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2007
    Oh, I'm applauding him, also. I think tools in the classroom are great. When I fire up my own classroom, I feel like Lt. Sulu on the deck of the Enterprise.

    My job as a prof is to be an expert in my field (math, by the way) and facilitate an individual's learning of it. If an individual is bored, the teacher can only do so much to try and engage him/her. You don't get a grade for warming the chair. Well, actually, some students do and then they wonder why it is an F.

    In this story, I took issue with this tool and an adaptation of it getting presented as a way to grab the bored. Education is far more than that.
  24. macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2004
    east lansing
    Sounds like a tool I would have loved using in my college classes. That being said... Go Green!
  25. macrumors 68020


    Jun 4, 2009
    As a college student myself, I like this idea.

    I already use "clickers" (response cards) and most recently and app on my iPhone that works as a clicker. The app it self was free and the license was $18 compared to $45 for a physical clicker.

    If students can use more digital forms of learning, it saves them money (digital textbooks are hella cheaper, especially e-reader books) and can be more engaging.

    That being said, I'm "old fashoned" and still prefer paper books with pen and paper. But, if the current younger generation grows up with all digital stuff, then I'm sure they'll prefer it.

    And finally, it is the teachers job to be engaging. They can have all the iPads and apps they want, but if their teaching style puts kids to sleep regardless, then its all useless.

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