Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Handwriting Digitization Options

Sometimes it is very helpful to record your handwriting when creating a video - for instance, to explain and show how to do a math problem. Here are the main options at UWEC!

1. Have a Videographer Record You. At UWEC, we are fortunate to have videographers who can record you and put the video up on Kaltura for you, so then all you need to do is put the URL in D2L. If you don't want to deal with the technology, this is the way to go. The only downfall is that you have to plan a bit further ahead with this option by scheduling it with the videographer and waiting for it to be edited and put on Kaltura. The rest are all do-it-yourself options (CETL/LTS staff can provide training and some equipment).

2. iPad If you already have an iPad, it presents the easiest option. The Explain Everything app offers a lot of functionality for $2.99 and Educreations is a nice free app. A math professor created her entire online course by making basic PowerPoint slides on the computer, getting them on the iPad through dropbox.com, and using a stylus to write out the problems in her handwriting while recording audio. The video can go right on YouTube. Voila. It is not necessary to first create PowerPoint slides, but it saves time if you don't have to write out everything as you are recording.

3. Document Cameras in Classrooms. If you prefer writing on paper, the doc cam offers a nice option! Find an empty classroom, bring an SD card, and create recordings of your handwriting with your voice. The video files saved on the SD card can be uploaded to Kaltura and then streamed for students to view. CETL has SD cards to borrow. This option also includes recording of your hand, which a study found increased student learning, potentially through the social cues that seeing a person's hand provide. Check out my blog post on this study for more information. Cool, huh?



4. SMART Podiums in Classrooms. While we are on the topic of classrooms, some of the rooms at UWEC have SMART podiums, which are basically computer screens that you can write on with a stylus. Again, find an empty classroom and record away using a program such as CaptureSpace Lite which can be downloaded onto the computer relatively quickly. 


Surface Pro
5. Microsoft Surface Tablet. Windows tablets such as the Surface Pro are more functional than iPads for the work world because they function like computers. They can connect to network drives, run normal software, have internal storage, and run Office products such as Word and PowerPoint. Plus, you get to use a normal stylus, not the weird iPad ones. CETL staff have 3 Surfaces to loan to faculty; contact me if you want to use one.

Wacom pic from http://karachi.olx.com.pk/wacom-bamboo-capture-iid-497208328 
Surface pic from http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Surface-Pro/productID.275287300
Samsung doc cam pic from https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Digital-Presenter-Document-Camera/dp/B003XQVOCQ

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