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Teaching with touch-sensitive screens

A SMART Board
A SMART Board

Many lecture rooms are equipped with a large touch-sensitive screen on which the lecturer’s computer image, for example his/her PowerPoint presentation, can be projected. These screens come in three types, of which the first two are most common: SMART Board, cTouch screen and SMART-Sympodium. Instead of a computer mouse, writing and clicking require using a special pen or your finger.

  • SMART Board: The image is projected via a video projector on a touch-sensitive screen.
Multimedia room with cTouch screen
Multimedia room with cTouch screen
  • cTouch screens are LCD screens on which the image appears directly, i.e. without a projector. For a demonstration see this YouTube video .
A Sypodium in the Offerhauszaal
A Sypodium in the Offerhauszaal
  • SMART-Sympodium: A touch-sensitive screen the size of a computer monitor. The image is projected on a large (not touch-sensitive) screen on the wall.

How does it work?

Navigation

With the advent of smartphones and tablets most people have become familiar with the use of touch-sensitive screens. The large screens in some classrooms work in a similar way, although there are some differences. Clicking once with the left-hand mouse button corresponds to ticking on the screen once; this can be done using your finger or a special pen (just as with SMART Boards, you should never use a whiteboard marker!). To double-click, click on the board twice in quick succession. Clicking once with the right-hand mouse button to open a context menu is slightly more difficult: it requires holding your pen/finger to the screen slightly longer until a pop-up menu appears. It is not possible to swipe.

In the video below, Birgit Lijmbach, teacher of Dutch as a Second Language, demonstrates the intercative whiteboard.

Writing on the board-Powerpoint

You can also write on the board using a pen or your finger. With a SMART Board you have to indicate that you want to write by grabbing a pen; on a Sympodium you click on one of the buttons next to the screen to select a colour. With a cTouch screen you have to explicitly indicate that you wish to write. In a PowerPoint presentation, you can do so by clicking on the screen for a long time. The following menu will appear where you click:

PowerPoint pop-up menu
PowerPoint pop-up menu

To write select Pointer Options > Pen. If you wish you can select a different colour of pen. In the same way you can select Pointer Options > Arrow to once again click normally. When closing your PowerPoint file, you can save your file including annotations.

Writing on the board - SMART Notebook

If you wish to use the board as a whiteboard, you have to launch the SMART Notebook program. (click on the Windows Start button and enter ‘Notebook’ in the Search Programs and Files field).

See image below: click on the pen icon to write. Click on the icon with the green plus sign to add a second screen. Notebook offers many options: See instruction manual . The following Youtube video demonstrates a number of options.

Screen shot of SMART Notebook
Screen shot of SMART Notebook

Pens

To write on a digital board you need a special pen. For SMART Boards, the pens can be found under the screen. For cTouch screens, the magnetic pens hang from the board. Spare pens can be obtained from the caretakers or the Service Desk on the first floor of the Harmonie Complex (you may prefer to purchase your own pen; they cost approximately € 15).

How can you use it for teaching?

One of the advantages of a touch-sensitive screen is that you can stand next to the ‘blackboard’ and point to things, while also being able to click or write in the same position. This allows you to stay in contact with your students, and your students can see what you are doing. A second important advantage is that you can create multiple screens, navigate from one to the other, and even save and upload them in Nestor. You can also prepare the screens you will be using in class beforehand. This requires you to install the SMART Notebook software. If you wish to do so, please contact ICTOL.

Last modified:09 May 2019 4.51 p.m.
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