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Digital Inking Changes Everything

The following post is not an endorsement of any of the products mentioned therein.

Microsoft Surface

Last year I became a Microsoft Surface expert. With the honor you are given a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 to use in your classroom. Around the same time I was asked to test a product from ActionTec called Screenbeam. I was also beta testing TechSmith’s new version of SnagIt. I currently use all three of these products in concert with Microsoft OneNote to record video and static notes for my students in my classes.

I use the digital inking abilities of the Surface to create notes in PowerPoint and by importing them into OneNote. While I am presenting the material in class I am creating a video recording of the notes at the same time with SnagIt. The ScreenBeam lets me wirelessly connect anywhere in my room. This allows me to help students individually in class and still project my explanations to the whole class for those who may be having the same problem. When we complete the notes part of class I can save and export the video to YouTube and create a link from the OneNote page for my students to view the static notes. Both are then posted on Google Classroom. By doing this it may take 2–3 minutes of my time to do beyond the normal time I would spend in class but this allows students that may have missed class to have the same access they would have had in class. It lets students remediate their own learning by re-watching the class.

By no means are these “professional” videos but they are real time with class interactions along the way. This is a simple way to give students synchronous as well as asynchronous information 24/7/365. Students that were absent for any reason now have access to the class materials as they were presented in class. This simple solution is what I have been searching for and finally found with the Surface Pro 4 along with PowerPoint, OneNote and SnagIt.


(@dprindle): Teaches Chemistry and Forensic Science at Byron Center High School in Byron Center, Michigan. He is the 2017-18 President Elect of MACUL.