[Athen] Chalkboard tracking and digitizing?

Nusen, Michael Michael.Nusen at ppcc.edu
Wed Oct 27 11:21:34 PDT 2010

Hi Todd,

If this is for in-class use, for Spring '11 we are going to experiment with the JORDY head worn magnifier (magnification range is 4x to 50x).
At this time I don't know if its auto-focus feature will allow a student to take their own notes.
We have $3,200 budgeted for this which includes docking stand, case, monitor & S&H.

Michael Nusen
Coordinator, OASIS/CAC
(Office of Accommodative Services and Instructional Support/Computer Access Center)
Pikes Peak Community College
michael.nusen at ppcc.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On Behalf Of Todd Schwanke
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 9:58 AM
To: ATHEN listserv (athen at athenpro.org)
Subject: [Athen] Chalkboard tracking and digitizing?

Good morning Athen:

Are you aware of or have you come up with any systems for tracking writing on a chalkboard to provide visual or remote access for students (particularly students with low vision) without switching away from the chalkboard? Are there any digitizing chalk holders or camera tracking chalk holders that would work similar to the mic's that web confering systems track?

We have used and looked at a number of solutions including switching to alternate media (white board, interactive white board, or document camera) and other low-tech methods (notetaker, extra time with instructor after class, telescope or distance CCTV, etc.). But, I am trying to find out what technologies others might have used that still involve using the chalkboard and so that the student can track along directly with where the professor is writing.

This could be done with someone operating a camera for pan and zoom, but what options are there to automatically track along with where the professor is writing and provide that in a real-time digital format? We already have a way to share streaming video with the student on their laptop in real-time, so mainly I'm inquiring about the camera and camera tracking or some other type of digitization technology.

The quality of the image would need to be good enough such that the students could still read normal size writing and zoom in a little if needed without the image quality becoming too grainy. Also, there is the variable of a camera being obstructed depending where the professor is standing.

If you have any suggestions, please also comment on cost, setup, and tech support.

Also, any thoughts/experiences/preferences in terms of students using a CCTV with distance viewing options that they control to follow along in classes (such as math) where a chalkboard is the preferred format?

Todd Schwanke
McBurney Disability Resource Center

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