After seeing Maggie's thread on the use of an iPad in the classroom, I thought I would share a few thoughts on using a Windows tablet in the classroom for those interested in this technology.
Before I explain more, I can say that I am writing this because there is a Windows tablet out there that has been absolutely fantastic for me while teaching organic chemistry here at Reed: the Asus EP-121 running Windows 7. If you are interested, I have posted links below.
First disclaimer: I don't have any commercial interest in the product but I can say that it's been an absolute game-changer for me. Whether it is for commenting on pdf files, preparing a problem set on the fly, taking notes during conferences (OneNote is a blast!) or writing directly on the slides during a Powerpoint presentation, it has really affected the way I use computers in a college setting.
Second disclaimer: I am an organic chemist, not inorganic. So bear with me! :)
Third disclaimer: I am not a Mac enthusiast. One of the main reasons for this being the limited availability of chemistry software on this platform. Furthermore, in terms of "tablet" capacity, with Macs you are pretty much limited to iPads, which are indeed fantastic for entertainment. My biggest problem with iPads is that you are limited to apps and can't install software. Thus, for me the biggest advantage of using a Windows tablet is that all the usual programs are fully functional just like with any PC: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, ChemDraw, NMR software, etc.
I just bought my tablet and had only half a dozen opportunities to use it in class before the semester was over. But being able to write directly on the slides during a Powerpoint presentation has been quite simply wonderful. Gone are the days where half the students can't see what's written on the board on the opposite side of the room. Also, it's been really nice to write on the slides, then save the file at the end of the class and post online my lecture notes that still contain what I wrote during the lecture. And I have had tremendously positive feedback from the students about the "interactivity" of it all.
If you are interested, here are links to the tablet I have mentioned. It is more expensive than an iPad (at about 1200$) but keep in mind that it is very powerful. I wouldn't really compare it to an iPad, more to a very portable tablet PC. It comes with a Bluetooth keyboard and a Wacom stylus (no batteries necessary) that can be stored in the computer casing. The handwriting recognition is very impressive.
From Asus website:
A good review covering many aspects:
The Amazon page has a lot of useful info:
Anyway, I just thought some of you might be interested!