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Activating Computer Architecture with Classroom Presenter - page 2 / 8

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2. Presenter System Figure 2 depicts the basic architecture of the Presenter system. The instructor loads a presentation composed of an ordered deck of slides onto a mobile tablet computer. She can write on the slides with the tablet’s pen and control the presentation—advancing slides, changing pen color, etc.— using controls displayed on the tablet. The tablet wirelessly transmits control information and writing to a computer driving a data projector, synchronously displaying slides and writing to the entire class. In a distance class, a remote site would have its own computer and projector controlled by the tablet via the Internet.

Figure 2. The architecture of Presenter in the classroom. An instructor controls the presentation from a mobile Tablet PC. The tablet is wirelessly connected to a machine driving the display of the presentation on a data projector.

Presenter transmits and displays writing and control information in real-time over an 802.11b wireless network. In-class use of Presenter has been tested with most known brands of Tablet computers currently available (including Acer, Toshiba, HP/Compaq, Fujitsu, NEC, and Motion

Computing models). projector must either connected to the same

The machine controlling the data have an internet connection or be wireless network as the instructor’s

tablet (no live classroom has data projector,

internet connection required). Assuming a already been outfitted with a computer and using Presenter would cost about $2000 for

the Tablet PC and $150 for a wireless base station. Both these could be shared across classes, or the tablet could used as a personal machine by an instructor.

of be

Three key features of Presenter and, we believe, for lecture presentation systems in general, emerged from our in-class experiences with our system. First, Presenter integrates writing directly on top of slides. The instructor can use the

tablet pen to write notes or diagrams directly over the slide, as shown in Figure 1. The instructor can also shrink the visible slide and writing, creating new writing space around the slide. The ability to write in the context of the slides maintains the connection between extemporaneous writing and the prepared content. Sustaining this link enhances the slides’ value as a support structure for communication – a “mediating artifact” [16] − in the classroom. Additionally, if the instructor has even more to say, she can jump to a “whiteboard” slide to work an impromptu sample problem or continue discussion beyond the context of the prepared slide.

Second, writing in Presenter is represented with high- quality ink, which renders in real-time and looks and feels natural. This is enabled by the high pen sampling rates and resolution on recent Tablet PCs and Tablet PC software support for smooth curves and pressure-sensitive line thickness. High-quality writing allows full use of the available resolution on the display, increases instructor comfort with writing and eases student comprehension of hand-written text.

Finally, Presenter separates the instructor view of the

projected

display

supports

three

presentation from the

Actually,

Presenter

that students see.

viewing

modes:

instructor (seen on the “primary” tablet), student. Instructor and projector modes are

projector, and described here,

while student mode will be further discussed in Section 4.

The instructor uses the instructor view on her tablet while the projector machine ships the display view to the public

screen.

This

separation

allows

the

include a wide array of tools—such as

instructor pen color

controls—and

information

displays—such

as

the

view to and style filmstrip

pane

on

the

left

side

of

the

display,

showing

miniatures

of

the

slides

immediately

preceding

and

following

the

current

slide. tablet

Furthermore, with no can go completely

tether to wireless,

the data projector, the giving the instructor

freedom to control her presentation from anywhere classroom or even to pass the tablet to a student.

in

the

Additionally, Presenter supports “instructor mode objects” − text or drawings visible only on the instructor tablet view and not shown on the projector view. These objects can contain reminders, notes, or hints to the instructor of issues to discuss in relation to the slide or questions to ask the students. These objects can also encapsulate information that the students will be asked to actively derive in-class – in contrast to more traditional static “here’s the resulting answer” treatments. Pictures, graphs, or diagrams can be annotated with circles, lines, or other drawing objects that the instructor can “draw over” in class to highlight important areas or show modifications.

One unique capability of the Presenter system is that it facilitates the creation of an artifact from a given lecture. Inked notes created in class can be saved in conjunction

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