Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Open-Sankoré and Tablets: Rapid video feedback in the classroom

As anyone who's seen the videos I post on  my blog will know, I love my tablet PC. But recently I started to use it as an electronic whiteboard, just plugging it into a projector, and writing (usually using Microsoft Word's 'Inking' feature). It's much like teachers used to use OHP rolls: I can look at the students and write and avoid having my back to them, which I would if I was writing at the board. But it's a bit old-fashioned still.

I've been looking for something that will support this practice better, and recently came across an amazing package called Open-Sankoré: It's an Open Source, free interactive whiteboard application developed in France. I think it's fantastic. It's much like the software that is bundled with interactive whiteboards. But it's utility is not just being used as a whiteboard. It has many features which can be used in other ways in the classroom.

Top of the list, for me, is its integration with YouTube. What this means is that I can video record anything that I do on my PC, and as soon as I've clicked stop, I am prompted to send my video to YouTube. So I can give individual feedback to students in the classroom "How's your assignment going?" for example, and record it. But because Open-Sankoré has such amazing annotation features (I can draw wherever I want) it means I can feed back on any kind of activity: video, blogs, programming, etc. It's just amazingly quick and easy to do, so a 2 minute conversation in the classroom can be preserved for the student so that they can revisit it (because, like all students... and me, they forget it almost as soon as it's happened)

Other features which are equally worthy of mention is it's support of W3C widgets. Since I've done a lot of work with this, this is very promising.

But sometimes, it's the simple things that win. For example, Open Sankore is the simplest way to 'ink' a PDF document, and save the inked version back as a PDF document! You'd have to have the full version of Acrobat to do that otherwise!

I couldn't recommend it more strongly!


malar said...

malar said...

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

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Nubia said...

What tablet would you recommend for Open Sankore?

Anonymous said...

Dear Mark, what tablet are you using for this? I am looking into buying a new tablet to use with sankore, exactly for teaching in class and would appreciate your advice. Thanks!