Making screencast videos with a pen-enabled device

If you want to record material that is highly visual, consider using a pen-enabled device (or Tablet PC) such as a Surface Pro or iPad to give your screencast videos an extra dimension. With these devices, you can quickly make sketches or draw pictures as you explain your ideas in the video. You can also incorporate annotations into your presentations to help students see how an idea or concept is developed.

Tablet PCs are particularly useful for the technical disciplines (e.g. maths, sciences, engineering) which use symbols, equations and diagrams. With your pen in hand, the laptop screen becomes more like a standard whiteboard and allows students to follow along as you work through the technique.

If you’re walking students through a difficult concept or idea or explaining how to follow a process, try using annotations, linking arrows, and the crossing out of mistakes as a valuable part of the thinking process. The ability to use a pen/stylus for this is essential.

Using a pen-enabled device is a valuable way of giving feedback to your students.  For example, you can make a recording using the pen while you’re marking an essay. You can then explain the intricacies of your feedback rather than attempting to distill this complex feedback in to a few words in the side margin. Other ideas include recording your feedback for a sample assignment and making the video available to help students understand the requirements of the assignment, or having students record themselves assessing a peer’s work in this manner—a great learning experience for both the author and reviewer of a piece of work.

These are just some of the ways a pen-enabled device can you help you create videos to support an active learning classroom. If you are a VU staff member and don’t have your own pen-enabled device, there is an ipad available in the Video Hive for you to use. The new Panopto system makes it easy for you to record screencast videos like this to support your teaching.

By: Rosy Borland

The video below is demonstrating how a pen-enabled device can be used: