For students at DePauw University, technology has changed more than just the way they take notes—it has changed the way they learn. With Wacom interactive pen displays at the heart of DyKnow Vision, an interactive teaching system used at DePauw University, students can stop spending all of their time taking notes and focus on personalizing the information and understanding the lessons.
"DyKnow Vision was designed to enhance the way teachers and students share written information during class," says Dr. Dave Berque, Professor and Chair of Computer Science. "Teachers typically work through large amounts of information during class and the majority of each student's energy is devoted to copying what the instructor has written into their notes. With DyKnow Vision, students can write notes, diagrams and formulas that augment teacher content that is automatically integrated into their own sets of notes."
As the professor imports PowerPoint slides or other pen-centric content and edits in real-time, the DyKnow Vision software transmits the material to each student's Wacom display. "The students use their electronic pens, and sometimes keyboards, to annotate their individual copies of the class notes based on their own thoughts and comments made by the instructor and the rest of the class," explains Dr. Berque. Both the teacher's notes and student's annotations are saved at the end of the class for later review and study. Students can then replay diagrams stroke by stroke as they examine their notes from class, and listen to an audio track if the teacher has chosen to record one.
"Before, I was lock-stepped into following handouts, and wanted to find a way to deviate from my plan based on questions the students ask," continues Dr. Berque. "If a student asks for another example, I want to be able to give that example whether it's in the handout or not, as it is important to encourage students to be engaged in class. The traditional way of doing that is to stop and ask a question, but with DyKnow Vision, I can build in questions directly on my Wacom display. Now, students can sketch answers to the questions, which I can review and optionally share with the class."
DePauw currently has four classrooms equipped with Wacom displays for each student. In total, the university has more than one hundred Wacom stations that are used as open laboratories when they are not in use for classes. This approach is used by dozens of courses each semester in disciplines including computer science, economics, biology, chemistry, psychology, Japanese language, Arabic language, communications and kinesiology, and the university has plans to expand the number of its Wacom stations to include additional courses.