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Some comments from CSULA students introduced to Tablet PCs in their classes:

Course EE244 (Digital Engineering)

* “The Tablet project provided new challenges and chance to do authentic projects with technology. Without this project, we would not have been able to come across something like this. It is directly applicable to [the] job.”

* “Using the hardware: I saw something real happen. It shows how much work is involved in doing something as simple as adding binary numbers; how complex it is and how all the components need to fit with each other.”

* “Content understanding was fantastic. We are no longer just using the textbook and just reading the theory, but we are uploading it on the board, using the software and [it] helped all of us who are visual learners.”

* “The hands-on aspect of the class was so encouraging. I felt like I was implementing [and] designing... I was not just reading a book.”

* “I have taken a similar class before in a community college but this was unique. No teacher has ever provided such detailed materials online. Are all the classes at CSULA taught this way?”

Course Engr154 (Freshman Design)

* “By using the tablets we had the chance to make better animations for the midterms and final project and saved us a lot of time.”

* “Note-taking was easier because I wouldn’t run out of space, and didn’t have to worry about forgetting my notes at home. Also, I didn’t have to print any papers because I could do the work on the Tablet PC and email my work to the professor.”

* “It made taking notes more enjoyable because of something new.”

Course EE454 (Biomedical Instrumentation)

* “Overall, I really liked the Tablet PC. I thought it was a good learning tool for engineering courses.”

* “Tablet PC was awesome....”

* “Using the Tablet PC was a great experience and made the class more exciting and interactive.”

Tablet PCs, DyKnow—a peak into classrooms of the future

HP grant establishes learning center, innovative teaching strategies at Cal State L.A.

A close-up picture of a Tablet PC.

About 250 students attending Cal State L.A.’s engineering classes last two quarters didn’t need to bring a pen and notepad to class or to raise their hands to ask the professors a question.

Through a $260,000 HP Innovations in Education grant, eight pilot courses from freshman to senior level have been revised using Tablet PC-based teaching strategies. Also, online virtual classrooms were created using DyKnow streaming unit, allowing students to post questions online and to review the archived lecture video to enhance retention.

Picture of engineering major Eric Calderon using a Tablet PC.

According to HP Project team leader Jane Dong, a professor of electrical and computer engineering professor at Cal State L.A., “This is a glimpse into what most classrooms might be like in the near future. This project enhances student learning, offers excellence in curriculum and instruction, and expands the use of wireless technology in teaching and learning.”

What is a Tablet PC?
Described as a “hand-held notebook PC,” a Tablet PC has a flat panel with wireless capability and includes a stylus that can be used to input data by tapping or writing on the screen.

What is DyKnow?
DyKnow is a classroom management system that allows educators to monitor numerous computers in a wired and wireless classroom environment, and also provides students virtual interaction with professors and direct access to class material as it was presented during class.

As part of the HP grant project, an HP Collaborative Learning Center (HPCLC) was also established on campus to:

1) extend collaborative project-based learning model to a broad spectrum of undergraduate/graduate courses;

2) stimulate the students’ interest in engineering and computer science for better retention and to enhance their hands-on design skills;

3) create multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary design/research experience;

4) collaborate with NSF-sponsored IMPACT LA program to bring fun and inspiring engineering activities to high school/middle school classrooms.

The Center includes an HP blade server to provide remote lab access, a dedicated HP mobile classroom to facilitate collaborative project-based and inquiry-based learning using Tablet PCs, as well as lab space to host hands-on project and research activities.

“With the support of HPCLC,” Dong said, “we expect to build a long-lasting leadership that changes the teaching pedagogy in engineering and to create a friendly, supportive and involved learning community to help our students succeed and be better prepared to enter the working industry.”

Videos on the HP Collaborative Learning Center at Cal State L.A. and more:

Links to sites with related information:

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Last Update: 01/12/2016