No matter how many detractors there are when it comes to digital pens, no one can avoid the fact that they are transforming education. Teachers and students are finding many more ways to use the digital pen effectively. One of the newest ways is the ‘pencast’. The pencast is a simple idea, which has transformed the way some young people work.
All it requires is for the teacher or an able student to literally make notes of all the content that the tutor delivers verbally or through other means during a lesson or seminar. These notes should be written clearly and carefully, so the digital pen can transcribe effectively. Once this is done all that information is uploaded to the system, and is then looked at later. Many teachers around the world are calling this particular form of data retention a pencast. With hints of the podcast, it shows that the technology is now being accepted widely in schools and colleges, even creating its own terminology.
Why are pencasts effective? That's quite easy to answer. Any student, even those who are not necessarily less able than others, sometimes finds it difficult to record all information that is conveyed in a lesson. Even the most alert students may miss a nuance that the teacher has, or a small aspect of the information that has been delivered. This ‘missing of information’ can mean problems, as work is needed to create the best situation for revision. Very factual subjects, such as science, can suffer terribly in this regard. The numbers of facts that have to be delivered to students through subjects like these means that if any are missed then student grades can suffer.
A record to use at a later date
Using a digital pen to create a pencast creates a record for students to refer to at a later date. This is most effective for special needs learners in particular. They will not be able to record all the information a teacher delivers in a lesson. This is simply something they cannot do. Having a pencast to come back to refer to later in the term, for example, means that they have information in front of them.
Teachers can even draw diagrams that make things more visual for special educational needs learners, as they are recording the pencast. This makes things more accessible and more inclusive for learners who need that extra bit of help to understand information that has been given to them.
However, even able learners find it useful. It's a great way to have notes ready on tap for them when they are revising for exams. Again, this is particularly true with subjects that use lots of facts. All the information is there, and generally delivered by the teacher.
We are happy to see there has been a new word formed here, and we look forward to seeing the pencast used as part of terminology in schools and colleges around the world.