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Going Beyond Passive PowerPoint in Lecture

Whether capturing a live lecture or using a recording-studio setup, many faculty are interested in getting away from “plain old passive PowerPoint slides” (popps?) to provide a more whiteboard-like experience. Here are some suggestions from various EECS faculty.

Note: Most of these suggestions are intended for annotating your slides, rather than free-writing text or equations.

If you have a setup that's field-tested, please edit this page and contribute it here! The more specific the instructions (i.e. shopping list and prices) the better.

Windows Tablets

One possibility is to get a Windows tablet PC such as an Asus EEE, which has stylus support; connect its output directly to a projector or screen-capture setup, run PowerPoint, and use the stylus to annotate your slides.

Reflector for iPad

  • Field-tested by Prof. Randy Katz in CS61C Fall 2013, Bjoern Hartmann in CS160 Sp 13 for sketching lessons.
  • Reflector allows your iPad to project its screen to your Mac. ($10 software available on line). Mac plugged in to projector, you carry the iPad around the class room. Bluetooth connects the two. It also works over WiFi if the two devices are on the same subnet.
  • Example usage: make slides in PDF, use a note-taking app on iPad (such as GoodNotes to annotate them with a stylus ($80), use Reflector to make this all visible on projector screen (or laptop screen capture).
  • Note: Styli for capacitive touchscreens are at best mediocre. Detailed drawing isn't really possible.

Wacom Cintiq tablet

Field-tested by Profs. Jonathan Shewchuk and Koushik Sen.

This tablet connects to your Mac via USB and has accompanying software. However, the tablet is in two parts requiring four cables, plus a powered video splitter to split the video signal from the Mac to go to both the tablet and the projector, all entailing a 6-minute setup and 4-minute breakdown.

Dedicated wireless presentation system from Teqavit

Prof. Babak Ayazifar enjoyed using this system in EE20.


Field-tested by Prof. Eric Paulos.

The $99 AppleTV can be configured to turn any screen or projector into a shared screen via Apple AirPlay, as long as the AppleTV and computer are on the same network. (If that network is the EECS-Secure Wifi network, you will need the proper keys to complete the configuration.)

Microsoft Surface tablet

Provided by Prof. Atul Prakash, a Berkeley EECS alum now at UMich:

For programming courses, I needed to be able to switch between presenting code and presenting slides that I could annotate “live”.

I tried Doceri for ipad, which mirrors the display of the Mac to the ipad (reverse of Reflector) and allows writing on the mirrored display, but it would sometimes lose sync with the Mac (wireless problem??) and the writing resolution/palm resistance was poor and lagged your physical movements.

  • A better solution was a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 augmented with keyboard, (optional) Kingston remote to help flip the slides, installed cygwin, etc. So, I can present both code and present powerpoint slides and its pen works well for writing while lecturing.
  • Since Surface's keyboard is terrible (flexes as you type), I used Box/Dropbox to synchronize my lecture slides between Mac (which I use to edit) and Surface Pro 2 (to present).
lecturing.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/28 17:02 (external edit)