Application of tablet PCs to lecture demonstrations on optical mineralogy

Thomas D. Hoisch, Barbara A. Austin, Shawn L. Newell, Mark F. Manone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Learning optical mineralogy requires students to integrate a complex theory with microscope manipulations and image interpretation. To assist student learning, we performed lecture demonstrations during which digital photomicrographs were taken and delivered to students using Tablet PCs, whereupon they were imported into note-taking software and annotated with digital ink by both instructor and students. We tested two different methods for delivering images: (1) images were delivered via an ad hoc wireless network using the file transfer capability of NetSupport School, using the instructor's computer as the hub, and (2) images were saved to a shared folder that could be accessed by students via the regular campus wireless network. Students loaded the images into either Microsoft OneNote or PowerPoint, and then annotated them with digital ink using the stylus pen as the instructor lectured. Use of the campus wireless network resolved issues of slow image delivery encountered with the ad hoc wireless network. Summative assessment revealed that most students thought the Tablet PCs helped them to understand the complex visualizations. The degree of acceptance among students of using Tablet PCs for note-taking during lectures improved considerably when the issue of slow image delivery was resolved. In addition, students commented that it was helpful to have the images close up and that the colors were highly accurate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-231
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Geoscience Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Application of tablet PCs to lecture demonstrations on optical mineralogy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this