And Finally, It All Workds

February 18, 2013 And all of a sudden, it all works. For the last few lectures, I have been struggling with the microphone, the video recording, the wireless connection, video converstion, etc. All of these are easy setups, but combined, they make for a routine right before class that rivals what pilots go through before takeoff. Of course, something always goes wrong (in my setup, not with the pilots).

So, it was a surprised when last Thursday everything worked. The microphone had enough battery to last the lecture. It paired up with the Mac without a problem. Reflector was up and running as usual. The screen capture (QuickTime Player) worked fine. The students were able to project to my computer without a problem and finally, the video conversion out of QuickTime Player ran to completion without a hickup.

The result is a clear audio recording… I want to highlight a part at the end of the video where I opened the class for students to post their "concept statement" up on the board.

The full video is posted at the bottom of this page http://dopey.cs.vt.edu/courses/lecture/cs5714-S13/02-14.xml.

Little Background

We have been doing in class an activity where students are interviewing the "Benevolent Dictator," played by me, for the design of a better student record management for the graduate program in the department. I have assured the students that this is all fictitious (wink, wink) and that the craziness that I am saying as the Benevolent Dictator are not true in my daily live as graduate program coordinator.

One of those crazy things is that I keep track of students with a set of post-it notes on the wall. They interviewd me, the BD, Bobby Beaton (TA for the class), playing the role of my Department Head, and Michael Stewart (student in the class) playing the role of a graduate students (with some coaching from my part).

We will continue using the data gathered from these interviews to do in class activities. For the lecture last Thursday, we were using the output of an Affinity Diagram that we did on Tue (unfortunately the video did not work that day).

For Thursday's class, I gave a stack of notes from the WADD activity and asked them to produce Activity Notes, as defined in Hartson & Pyla. Then each group was to display the activity notes to class and discuss them.

Back to the setup

What I want to highlight is the variety of applications used in the classroom, but yet with the same outcome.

The first group used Evernote on their Mac laptop to type the notes and display them for class. The next group used the Notes app on iOS (from an iPad) to take notes and display them to class. The third group used a different app (not sure which, I will inquire later and update this posting). The final group used Evernote on the iPad.

Evernote on the Mac

Evernote on the Mac

Notes.app on iOS

Notes.app on iOS Device

Huh?

Unknown app on iOS Device

Evernote.app on iOS

Evernote.app on iOS Device

Again, all participated in class with their own setup. The only commonality was "you must be able to display your work." This to me is fantastic, as we have "minimal" requirements for students to participate in class, instead of mandating a particular type of software or hardware platform.

I am interested in exploring how far we can take this notion of "minimimal hardware requirements" to participate in class and still have an effective use of the class. As the semester progresses, we will explore other options to see how collaboration can reach higher levels without dictating hardware and software. More to come.

-- Manuel

Posted on 02/18/2013

 

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Computing Usability

 

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