Category Archives: Classroom hardware

Oh dear – an elliptical circle!

When connected to a data projector, have you ever found that your circles are elliptical, even though you have “Equal Aspect” clicked on in Autograph?

Most wide-screen laptops are 16:10 aspect, and switch automatically to 4:3 (using 1024 x 768) when connected to a data projector.  The problem illustrated here arises with more modern projectors that can handle wide-screen, but usually to the ‘TV’ standard 16:9.  The laptop is likely to be in 1280 x 800 (16:10). The solution is to change your laptop (if you can!!) to 1280 x 720 (16:9). Older graphics cards will not offer this, in which case you should switch the projector to 4:3 aspect.

GRAPHICS TABLET FOR TEACHING

I use a graphics tablet all the time in my presentations. It releases me from being stuck behind the laptop screen, and enables me to be anywhere in the room addressing the needs of individuals, yet keeping the whole class going.

The tablet I use is the Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch, Model CTH-470K-EN for PC and MAC.  28x18cm overall 15x9cm, 15x9cm drawing area. This sounds small, but really works fine.

It has no moving parts, so it is quite alright to let the students have a go!

Curiously you have to purchase the wireless kit seperately. In UK currency the price is just under £100.  It is called ‘Pen and Touch’ because you can either use your finger (fairly useless!) or the pen.  The key tricks are:

– look at the board, not your hand
– rest your hand on the tablet using your little finger, and hover the pen just over the tablet.