Name and e-mail: Joe Buchanan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Keywords (technical): PaperShow
Course title: n/a
In autumn 2009, I was asked to give sessions on business website design to each of two groups of Women into Enterprise students. The sessions were 3 and 2 hours long, and were to cover largely top-level information to point the budding entrepreneurs in the right direction and build on their natural resourcefulness.
I had given a similar session in the summer, but decided the day before to rework it to make it more participative and to take into account any attempts the students had already made on developing a web presence.
The room in which I delivered the second session was on the small side; the projector screen took up most of the front wall.
What took place?
I started off each session by introducing the students to three major elements that go into producing any publication, be it a novel or a website, and drew on their experiences.
What was the role of the technology?
PaperShow was in the main a flipchart substitute – useful in a small room and in order to be next to the laptop which drove the rest of the session. I used a blank sheet, building up a diagram to illustrate my ideas and using different colours to add notes about student experiences. It was also a handy piece of technology to grab at the last minute instead of rushing to create content in advance.
In the second session, the course tutor requested to use the PaperShow herself, and used it to draw a mind map of the key questions students should be asking themselves as a result of the session.
All diagrams were exported as PDFs and made available to the students, either through Moodle or through the website we had created as part of the session.
How did the participants find it?
[No direct feedback was sought on the use of this technology, so the following is just from reactions.] It was a good plan to start off my sessions using PaperShow: the students’ interest was immediate and their attention was grabbed by the novelty and the immediacy. The students confirmed that even the smallest of my notes were readable. The course tutors showed great interest in the technology itself and could see the potential for using it in their own sessions.
What tips do you have for others?
I started the first session with the PaperShow pad on the same table as the laptop and projector. I press hard when I write and the projected image was shuddering as a consequence, so I moved the pad to a different table. In addition, I suffered from low battery on both occasions – mostly as a consequence of leaving the cap off the pen for the whole session, rather than replacing it after the first 15 minutes. So I would recommend ensuring that you have a minute or two to replace the cap and export the diagrams before carrying on with the rest of the session, if you know that’s the end of your PaperShow requirements.
Plans for the future
If I give any more such sessions, I would perhaps prepare the bones of the diagram on a PowerPoint slide and then annotate them – still using PaperShow as a flipchart substitute, but just upping the quality of what I produce.