Flipped Classroom Uses Tech to Personalize Learning

The office of Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies recently acquired two Intuos Pen Tablets by Wacom (Pen & Touch Medium). Pen tablets, also known as digitizing tablets or graphic tablets, are input devices that can be used to substitute or complement a mouse. They’re very popular in the graphic arts field and are considered by some as an indispensable aid for any creative arts professional, allowing for broader pen strokes and fluid arm movements.

It's difficult, with one-size-fits-all lessons, to teach reading, writing and math skills to students with different abilities and needs. The use of this type of instructional technologies at UNT Dallas will give us more time with the students so we can adjust to their learning styles and give them the support they need to achieve the best results. 

This can be a great tool when creating instructional videos and it's the key to taking our online lessons to a new level. With an Intuos pen tablet, a headset and screen capture software we are fully equipped to start a new teaching adventure. Instructors can began recording the lessons they would normally teach in the traditional classroom.

The majority of today’s adults know the old system. The teacher stands in front of the class and tells the students everything they need to learn about the subject. When the students get home, they have to complete assignments to deepen their understanding. Often those who didn’t quite understand or even miss the lecture aren’t able to complete the assignments. At home, there is no teacher to be asked and parents who didn’t attend the lessons often are not able to help.

Our students won’t have to struggle with these challenges. In our classes, students can watch instructional videos that the instructor recorded, and work with them to on deepen their understanding of the lessons.

Working with a tablet is faster and more efficient than with a mouse. Your hand can travel from point to point on the screen in a single movement instead of repeated slides, as with a conventional mouse. It also allows more natural input for activities such as drawing and photo retouching. Having pressure sensitivity is very handy and most graphic programs can benefit from this input. Touching the tip of the pen on the tablet surface is the equivalent of a click, and the pressure (plus tilt, in more feature-rich models) can be used to vary stroke width, opacity, effect intensity, and other attributes. There are two buttons on the pen and either can be programmed for right click or other commands.

Holding a pen is also much more ergonomic than using a mouse, and most users with repetitive strain injury (RSI) or tendonitis suffer less pain when using a tablet. In my personal case, it completely cured a chronic pain I had in my right wrist. Working with a mouse requires repetitive muscle movements while the rest of the hand keeps still, creating uneven muscle fatigue. A pen, on the other hand, allows you to work in a more relaxed position and eliminates the forearm twisting that strains muscles and tendons. At the end of the day, it feels much more natural and relaxed.

What's Inside

  • Intuos pen and touch tablet
  • Battery free pressure sensitive pen
  • Full downloadable software bundle: Art Rage 3 and Autodesk Sketchbook Express
  • Color identification rings and tags
  • USB cable
  • Quick start guide
  • Software download instructions
  • Installation CD with driver
  • Online user manual and important product information documentation