In search of rec's for tablet apps for online class presentations
March 25, 2020 10:45 AM   Subscribe

Joining everyone at every level of education, I am officially teaching online only for 3 philosophy classes next quarter, and possibly also summer. Help me use technology!

I'm planning to go primarily asynchronous and have "class" participation be completely optional.

My teaching strengths are in person-to-person explanations of concepts as responses to questions, in visual representation of abstract concepts developed according to direct student input (ie, in real time) and student participation with those ideas.

I tend to just ramble if I lack a synchronous audience even when I have pre prepared notes (think: Trump, but about Kant instead of toilets) so I want some way, after polling the students for best times, to meet my classes in person two-ish times a week and still have a whiteboard to draw and write on.

What I want from my dream app:

--Works with Zoom? Or Skype. Or whatever conference system that my tech specs will allow, I am learning still.
--Has a handwriting recognition function which converts writing to text, but can easily be disabled for the purpose of drawings/charts
--Saves the visual information of the presentation as a slideshow, ideally (of each "full board") but a video is fine I guess, I have basic editing software.
--Audio is unnecessary but if I can have both audio/slideshow separately, that'd be a nice bonus.
--Somehow can split screen or take up a separate screen in the presentation, so they can see both me and the board
--Works on either an original iPad or a Lenovo Yoga 2, which will be USB'd to a 2016? macbook air. I cannot upgrade my equipment, I already spent $50 on a microphone.
--Be cheaper than $50 (god pease let it be free)

I simply don't do well with online education (both as a student as as an instructor) so this is a fun learning experience. My college's online pedagogy center is basically swamped, and are encouraging/diverting people to asynchronous online training modules they've created... which is fine, but I really just have a technical question. Any help is appreciated!
posted by zinful to Technology (4 answers total)
Best answer: Hello! I am a university instructional technologist, but I am not your university's instructional technologist. My first question would be to ask what, if anything, your institution offers as an enterprise solution here for synchronous online classes or for lecture-capture (asynchronous videos).

Zoom has a built-in whiteboard and it functions on the mobile app as well, no need to tether anything to anything. The whiteboard can be screen-capped (this is an in-app feature you don't need to roll your own here) for posterity. It purports to have handwriting recognition, but it's not great.

Whether or not your students see you and the screen is a little bit up to their own configurations in Zoom and how big their own screen is/whether they are using the mobile app as well.

You say you want the a slideshow to export somehow but I'm a little confused as to what your goal is here. You can record your lecture in Zoom for students who are unable to attend synchronously to watch later.
posted by soren_lorensen at 2:20 PM on March 25, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: looking for a way to save “each” whiteboard as an image, so if I fill available space I can somehow download it before I erase. It’s not outrageously necessary but would be useful for quick notes in a way rewatching a whole video may not reach. Perhaps screencaps will be sufficient if the digital whiteboard is separate from my face.

But I did not know this about Zoom! Hmm.
posted by zinful at 3:04 PM on March 25, 2020

Best answer: You can save each whiteboard as an image in Zoom. When the whiteboard is open (when you are sharing it) click on the "save" button to the right of the trash can. It will save just the image as a .png file.
posted by pangolin party at 3:49 AM on March 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

I am a University IT Trainer but I am not your University IT Trainer. My institution is using Microsoft Teams mostly for this. It can do all that you require & is user friendly. It’s free for some usage, which may work for you, depending on how many students you have. If your institution has Office 365, then you already have access to the paid version, which can do meetings up to 250 participants. On Twitter Microsoft for Education has posted some really good videos tutorials for academics starting to use this recently.
posted by cantthinkofagoodname at 6:58 AM on March 28, 2020

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