Capturing Hand-drawn Graphics and Writing
Hand-drawn graphics can enhance teaching in a number of ways, for example highlighting or annotating text or images, writing equations, sketching diagrams, etc. Many people find drawing by hand much more natural, allowing for greater freedom of expression.
There are two approaches for digitally capturing hand-drawn graphics for use in teaching:
- Use a camera to record drawings on a whiteboard, paper, or any other surface.
- Use a tablet or graphics tablet
1. Using a camera
The simplest method can be to use a camera to record yourself drawing. Any camera capable of recording video will suffice, including a mobile phone or a webcam. There are a wide range of stands, clamps and tripods available which can be used to hold a camera in position while you draw. You can also improvise a stand with everyday objects such as a stack of books, an anglepoise lamp, woodwork clamp and/or a cardboard box.
|Other desk set up examples to capture drawings with a camera||
For further advice on recording video at home see our guide on teaching using video.
2. Using a Tablet or Graphics Tablet
To capture hand-drawn images using a tablet or graphics tablet, you will need to:
- Choose an input device
- Choose a drawing program
- Record your screen or share your screen online
The video below summarises the key features of these approaches.
|Choose an input device||
There are three main options available to you:
1. Using a mouse
Most devices have a drawing program (e.g. Microsoft Paint) in which you can use the mouse to create images and hand writing. Some presentation tools (e.g. Blackboard Collaborate) have a ‘draw’ feature in which you can use the mouse to create images, highlight text, etc.
2. Using a graphics tablet
A dedicated graphics tablet (aka digitiser or drawing tablet) is a device which plugs into your computer, enabling you to capture hand-drawn images, animations and writing. There are many options available, although WACOM is a leading brand. One example is the “WACOM Intuos CTL-4100K-N 5" Graphics Tablet”, which retails for approximately £70.
3. Using a stylus and your own tablet
If you already own a tablet or similar device (such as an iPad, Surface or even your phone), you can use it in conjunction with a stylus (or a finger) to capture hand-drawn images.
There is a huge range of styluses ranging from cheap bulk purchases such as the Syolee Tool Stylus Pen (sold in packs of 22 for £6.99) to expensive, pressure sensitive devices such as the Apple Pencil (sold individually for around £100).
Unless you have a Surface or similar device, you will need to connect your tablet to a laptop or desktop. The easiest way to do this is with Duet Display, which turns your tablet into a second monitor for your Mac or PC.
|Choose drawing software||
If you are using your mouse, touch screen (with a stylus or finger) or a dedicated graphics tablet, you will also need a drawing program. The are a number of different programs available for all platforms:
Architectural, Engineering and Mapping related software e.g. GIS
Three of these tools are demonstrated in this video on writing, drawing and annotating digitally.
|Record your screen or share your screen online||
When you have chosen an input device and graphics package, you will need to record your screen or share your screen online so that others can see it.
Recording your screen
We recommend using Kaltura Capture to record your screen. Please see our guidance page for more information about Kaltura (including Kaltura Capture).
Sharing your screen online
For formal classroom settings, we recommend using Blackboard Collaborate to share your screen online as it is designed for teaching and has a number of built in tools.
Examples of practice
The following video show examples of how colleagues at the University have used some of the techniques above to support learning in a number of areas.
Dr Anthony Rossiter has many examples of annotating PowerPoint presentation to teach maths to engineering students.
Please see Anthony's YouTube channel for further examples.
Watch this session to gain an insight into an Architecture design tutorial using Google Jamboard and an Apple Pen to review a student's work collaboratively online.