Drawing in the classroom

February 5, 2016

 

A while ago, I attended a presentation at my department on how to employ Apple TV in the classroom teaching and since then I've been thinking whether or not this will be something I could try out. I have Applet TV at home, so this is nothing new to me and considering that I would be able to monitor any kind of content from my iPad. I draw quite a bit of diagrams with my students during class, either on white board or smart board. I do it either on my own, or they come to the front and draw. Unfortunately, I sometimes teach in classroom where apart from the projector I actually have none of the things I could draw on. Here where the Apple TV and iPad seems to be an answer.

 

On wednesday, I attended a small workshop organized by our Learning Enhancement Unit, where I had a brief chat about the practicialities of using Apple TV in the classroom. It seems that if I use Apple TV, then I won't be able to use smart board at the same, so most probably will have to split classes in two sections when I switch between these two devices. However, my biggest hope with Apple TV is also to involve students more in the lectures, so would like to be able to walk around the auditorium and possibly draw even if I'm not standing right to the computer, or ask a student sitting further away to make a contribution to this.

I had a bit of time yesterday afternoon to try to figure out some alternatives. I found out at least four different drawing apps (Educreations, ShowMe, Whiteboard, and Draw) that are free and that potentially could be used in my classroom and could be simply be mirrored that to the classroom screen through Apple TV. There are many other apps but they do not specifically fit my needs. 

The simplicity of those apps all based on the fact that you do not need anything more than just your finger to draw. I, however, sometimes need to write down some labels of the concepts on the drawing, so perhaps having something more advanced would be great. I met two students from CU graphics on our internalisation all conference for professional services in December and I noticed they use a special pad and a stylus to draw their picture on a computer. I was at first thinking about buying such a set a month ago, but honestly the price discouraged me. But yesterday, seeing that I can easily draw in an app on iPad, I figured that I can simply use an iPad as that pad and just buy a stylus. 

 

I suppose this may not be a new thing to use, but is certainly new to me. Time will show whether it was a good idea. Now, off to choosing the perfect stylus for the device I have. And later off to practicing in-class use and planning new activities including drawing for the summer semester.

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