Izabela Kanaan

  • Wacom Pad – Small Stipend Project
  • Izabela Kanaana
  • Dept. of Mathematics
  • October 30, 2014

Over the past few months I have played with the Wacom pad to figure out the possible ways to use it to support my teaching.

Activities

May 2014 – initial meting with Tim to install the software and get a first tutorial. 

August 2014
 – meeting with Tim and reinstalling the software. Another tutorial.

September 2014 
– practicing writing freehand using Adobe Photoshop. Limited success, too many difficulties with Photoshop.

October 2014
 - Meeting with Brigitte, Martha and Ann. We shared our experiences with the Wacom pad so far. Brigitte and  Martha experimented with Adobe Pro - also with very limited success. Brigitte demonstrated a free application, Skim, which is easier to use with the Wacom pad. Martha and I installed “Skim” on our laptops. Brigitte also  showed us her short video recorded with Camtasia.

  • Meeting with Tim and installing Camtasia and getting a tutorial. Recording my first short video.
  • Working with Skim to find the best ways to use Wacom pad.

October 28 –    Brigitte, Martha and I gave a short presentation in the math and stats department meeting on possible uses of  Wacom pads.

Observations

My original objectives were to investigate three possible uses of the Wacom pad in my teaching 

  1. Using Wacom pad in class. 
    After several weeks of playing and experimenting – I do not think that I would use Wacom pad in my class very often. Even though the application Skim allows me to open pdf files and write on them – I find it easier to use Elmo. However, if I would like to show in class some computer applications (e.g. calculations in Mathematica) and a worksheet or any other kind of pdf file – then using the Wacom pad would be easier than switching between the computer and Elmo. 
  2. Using Wacom pad to create and post digital solutions to homework and exams. 
     After installing Skim I spent a lot of time on this particular task. I practiced my freehand writing and experimented with different setting. I started creating digital solutions for my quizzes. However, I ran into some problems. Even though the application Skim allows me to open the pdf files and write on them – the freehand writing is only visible if the pdf file is opened with Skim. Other standard applications (like Adobe) do not display my solutions – so these files cannot be used on Moodle. Another big limitation of Skim is that it won’t allows copy and pasting of freehand writing. 
    Therefore, my goal for the future is to try to find another application to work with Wacom pad, which would be easy to use and satisfy my expectations. 
  3. Using Wacom to record Camtasia videos. 
    At this moment I think this is potentially the most promising use of Wacom pad, and something I should spend more time on in the future. Mathematics is full of difficult concepts – and making short tutorials could be very beneficial for our students.

Playing with Wacom pad was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed this project. And Tim Hensel from the faculty center was extremely helpful.