Professor Herma Hill Kay poses a question to her students about how one determines a home state in child custody matters. After a brief discussion about the days assigned reading, she decides to highlight several factors that will guide her students through the material. Instead of standing up and walking over to the whiteboard to write out her points though, she quickly jots down her notes on her iPad using her finger. The transition between discussion and presentation is seamless.
In a small class this method of using the iPad as a digital white board keeps Professor Kay from moving between the whiteboard and her seat. She can focus her attention on the students that sit around her and on the topic at hand. As she writes, she responds to questions posed by students and pauses to look at their reactions
“I like the iPad much better for three reasons: (1) It allows me to see the reactions of my students while I am putting the diagrams on the iPad, which is preferable to having my back turned to them while writing on the whiteboard; (2) The iPad projection on the screen is easily readable by all the students, no matter where they sit, which is preferable to the blackboard (whiteboard) where the writing is harder to see and read by everyone; and (3) The iPad allows for spontaneous improvisation to build on the class discussion, unlike PowerPoint, where everything is set out in advance.”
Using the iPad as a digital whiteboard allows Professor Kay to save all of her notes. In the future she could even share those notes with here students on bSpace or email a PDF version to them. With the development of new apps, the iPad also has the ability to record her voice and her writing as a video file that can be posted online for her students. It even has the ability to present PowerPoint files and annotate on top of them.
Herma Hill Kay
Title: Barbara Nachtrieb Armstrong Professor of Law