Teaching Tablo

October 28, 2009 at 1:20 am 1 comment

This past weekend I managed to escape to Vancouver for some much needed R & R, and a tech. conference.  The conference was great, even though I *didn’t* win an Acer NetBook, nor a wine gift certificate, nor a $2,000.00 SMARTBoard.  Next year.

I did purchase a Tablo (by Siso) – which transforms the average everyday NetBook (or Laptop) into a touchscreen device.  It’s interesting – I’ve been using it for two days now (first with Math 8 and now with Physics 11) and the response of the students has been enthusiastic.

I’ve found that using MS OneNote seems to work best (right now, am exploring other free software options), but it allows me to basically layout my lesson in tabs, and then I can move through them.  I’ve found the my lessons are now more organized and thought out – I’m not having to refer to my notes, or sketches, because… well… they’re right there in front of me (and in front of the class).  I didn’t give my Math 8 students notes, per se, but a worksheet of notes that we worked through – dealing with percents and tax.  Physics 11 was a bit more… trial and error like, especially when dealing with Vectors and having to draw numerous lines (moving them was a hassle, so a vector software program would be nice).  Also, the Tablo seems to work well near the sensor (and along the top half of my screen) – but gets a little less accurate and precise towards the bottom half of my screen; I have to recalibrate daily as well – not really THAT annoying, but still…

I guess I can’t complain too much – it works, and it’s “neat” and “novel”, and the “cost” was reasonable ($100.00).  It’s “ease of use” is comparable to a mouse and other native touch screen devices I’ve used.  We’ll wait on the feedback for “Students”, “Teaching and Learning”, and “Interactivity”…  That’s putting Bates & Poole to use.

It is much more work, however.  As noted in the numerous papers I’ve read for my program, I find that it takes considerably more time and effort to plan a lesson than it did using overheads and the chalkboard.  BUT, the flip side is that I think it has and will improve my teaching, and seems to have the kids more involved.

There’s a week left in my current assignment, then I have a cou

ple months off to prep the Russian program and review how using the Tablo will benefit myself and the students.  Will keep you updated.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Clint  |  October 28, 2009 at 3:01 am

    Cool. I’ve never heard of a Tablo before, but it looks like a nifty little tool. I was just thinking today about something like this. My 3 yr old wants to physically push buttons on the screen of the computer instead of using the mouse (but he’s catching on) so something like this would be very useful.

    As for the extra time, I bet you’ll find that, once you get over the initial learning curve, you’ll be at your old lesson planning speed PLUS be able to see how this new technology will add new affordances to your practice.

    Reply

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