What is it?

Sympodiums are a tablet-style display that are attached to computers to provide a more interactive and versatile workspace for instructional use. Users may write or draw on the screen using a stylus tool to annotate or make notes on any application or window. Similar in functionality to SMART Boards but without touchscreen capacities, Sympodiums may be attached to a classroom projector so that viewing is not only limited to the instructor/user.

Key features
  • Make notes or draw on any computer application or window.
  • Annotate Powerpoint presentations, websites, images, and save these notes for later use in other lectures.
  • Provides students an interactive space to collaborate on classwork or for more engaging instructor-led demonstrations of key topics and concepts.
Who Uses It?

Sympdiums are used by instructors to demonstrate or make interactive notes combining computer applications with engaging, media rich material. Sympodiums effectively allow instructors to teach students using a variety of different resources, combining different learning objects to enhance the classroom learning environment using the display as a single focus point. The ability to annotate video, spreadsheets, computer applications, web pages, notes, pdfs, and more allow for a dynamic learning experience.

How Does It Work?

Sympodiums effectively turn any computer into a device that supports a more versatile use of the machine by providing writing and drawing tools. Users manipulate a stylus to write on the screen and can change the properties of the tool by pushing buttons that control color, style, or function. Sympodiums are often used in conjunction with SMART Notebook, which provides a dearth of options useful for augmenting your instructional sessions.

Things to consider before using a Sympodium

  • Just as with most other instructional technology, the implementation of Sympodiums into your course might entail significant pedagogical changes. Exclusive use of a Sympodium in an instructional session demands that the instructor remain the in the same location as the device through the period.
  • Because Sympodiums ultimately rely on a computer, instructors ought to first be comfortable with using a computer for lecturing or leading discussions in class.

Uses as an Instructional Technology

As a replacement for a traditional blackboard
  • Instructors can use Sympodium in conjunction with SMART Notebook to create a ‘digital blackboard’ that allows you to introduce media into instructional sessions and also save any work for later.
For annotating presentations and lectures
  • Users can write or make notes directly onto any Powerpoint presentation, Word document, or most other common instructional software to call attention to specific passages or points.
For providing digital copies of a lecture to students
  • If used with Notebook software, you can save any work during an instructional session from a Sympodium as a PDF, image file, or Notebook file that may be distributed to students for their reference.

Resources at Wooster

  • Sympodiums are currently in several classrooms in Taylor, Mateer, Wishart, and Scheide academic buidlings.
  • Instructional Technology provides training and support for Sympodiums.

The content on this page was derived from webpages maintained by the Duke University Center for Instructional Technology