Join Chris Mattia for an in-depth discussion in this video Using mobile as a digital whiteboard, part of Teaching Techniques: Blended Learning.
- Now that we've seen how to share the screen of our mobile devices to the rest of the class, let's look at a couple of other ways to leverage them in our classes. The first is to use a tablet as a digital whiteboard. Begin by sharing your screen with the rest of the class. I'll use the ENV 432 reflector. Next, open any drawing application. The app that I prefer is called Explain Everything. It's an incredibly powerful app that's available for both iOS and Android.
Touch the plus button to open a new project and then select a color template to work with. I find that for classes, the white background with black, red, and blue is easier for students to see. Explain Everything has a primary toolbar on one side of the screen or the other, with three selectable color blocks underneath. On either the top or bottom of your screen, you should see toolbars for the slide controls, recording, home, and sharing. The rest of the screen is a dedicated whiteboard.
With the pencil tool selected, use your finger or a stylus that works with your device to write on the screen. While the pencil tool is still active, you can change to the eraser tool to clean up any stray marks or mistakes, if necessary, and return to the pencil tool to continue writing. When you're finished, press the hand tool to lock in that drawing as an object. You can now move the object around on screen and resize it using a pinch in or out gesture, and rotate it as needed.
To clear the board, touch the plus button in the slide toolbar to create a new board. Touch the pencil tool to continue the lesson. To change pen colors, touch one of the color swatches in the color bar. Lock in your drawing by switching to the hand tool and then reposition your drawing as needed. Explain Everything keeps track of each of your slides. You can navigate using the arrow buttons or touch the Slides menu to jump to a specific slide.
When your device is being projected, students can see when you're writing, but when you point to something on screen, they can't tell what you're pointing at. To solve this problem, select the laser pointer tool, and then wherever you touch on screen, a pointer will appear for your students. The recording toolbar also allows you to record the screen and your voice right on your mobile device. In the next chapter, we'll look at how to use reflector, and a desktop screen recorder to record from your mobile device.
Okay, let's share our class notes with our students, so in class, they can take notes on what we're saying, rather than frantically copying down what we're writing. Touch the Share icon. We can share as a video, a PDF, an image of the current slide, or an Explain Everything document to a variety of Cloud services. I prefer to share as a PDF to my students via our shared Google Drive. You may be prompted to log in, but since I've already logged in, I just need to navigate to my course folder, and then my Unit 01 folder.
Then touch the Export button. Then name your document. I'll call mine Notes 01 and touch OK. Your document will now be saved directly to your course folder. Finally, touch the home button in Explain Everything, and you'll be prompted to save your project to your device. Once again, you can name your project, in case you need to go back and make revisions. Using a drawing program on a tablet whose screen is shared with the rest of the class, can allow you and your students the flexibility to explain complex ideas in class.
When you blend this with the recording capabilities of a screen recorder, the instructional possibilities are endless.
- Understanding blended learning
- Humanizing course materials
- Designing blended courses with Google Apps
- Setting up sharing on iOS and Android devices
- Capturing mobile screenshots
- Recording audio and video
- Creating a YouTube channel for sharing video
- Blending courses with an LMS