Instructional Design and eTeaching Services - Boston College

Skip to main body content

Main Header with IDeS logo, navigation and search tool


Font size

 A   A+

In addition to general convenience, tablets can allow greater flexibility in presenting course content, and more interaction with students. IDeS offers consulting on recommended scenarios for using iPads and Windows-based tablets as well as general best practices for teaching.

Getting Started

Recommended Uses for Tablets in Teaching

Instructors in many fields have found that tablets lend themselves particularly well to annotating content, making screen recordings, and working with PDFs. A few suggested apps for these uses follow below:


Annotate an image or diagram in class, combining rich "static" content with the spontaneity of drawing on chalkboard.

Windows tablet
  • For organizing and annotating documents
    • OneNote included in MS Office Suite

Screen Recording

Take annotation or any other screen activity to another level by recording a session with voice narration for students to view later. These recordings might serve as content for a "flipped classroom," or tutorials for reviewing concepts where reinforcement is helpful.

  • For "out-of-the-box" whiteboard recordings
  • For recordings with content such as PowerPoint
Windows tablet
  • For recording on Windows 7 to WMV format
  • For recording Windows 8 to publish online 5 minute limitation

Working with PDF files

Enhance discussion of a test or use a document in demonstration by annotating it and saving a version with annotations for later reference. The same approach could also be used for grading student papers.

  • For "out-of-the-box" viewing, annotation, and export
  • For customizable annotation and other tools
Windows tablet
  • On Windows 8 or Windows RT
  • If using OneNote already

Windows based tablets work with the same software as PC laptops and desktops.