I realised this week that I hadn’t talked much here about one of the most significant technology changes we’ve made for students this year, that is moving to the tablet pc format for the notebook computers at our school.
A group of teachers, including me, trialled tablet pcs over the last year and have found them really useful. I still do most of my work via the keyboard but having the tablet pc functionality is great. This year all the new computers in the College were Toshiba Portege Tablets and apart from some issues with an over-high resoution that makes type incredibly small, they’ve begun very well.
Unfortunately, the class I’m teaching (Year 12 English) don’t have the new computers. They’re in their third year of the Fujitsu Lifebook they got in Year 10, and some of them are aging. A hard drive died in class on Friday, and that brought everyone in the class to that awareness about backing up!
Still, all the students did get the new verson of Office, so I’ve been pushing OneNote with them a lot, and they’re beginning to see how useful it is to organise notes, and how much better it is than having a folder full of word files. And, I’ve been able to use my tablet, plugged into the data projector, to handwrite on OneNote screens, and ink on PowerPoints, which is good fun.
I should mention that, while it’s been in the blogroll for ages, I did create a tablet pc wiki which chronicles some of our thinking and exploring with this format. And I must remember to post here what we discover this year as we go on.