Tablet PC Faculty Fellowship: Gary Ybarra

Gary Ybarra, Professor of the Practice, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Ybarra participated in a year-long faculty fellowship organized by Dr. Lisa Huettel to experiment with using tablet PCs in teaching. Although he enjoys writing on a chalkboard to accompany his presentations, he experimented with several different ways of teaching in his ECE 27 (Fundamentals of Electrical and Computer Engineering) course. For one third of the semester, he lectured using only the standard chalk board, for another third, he used a tablet PC and projector to display and capture his notes, and for the final third of the semester, his students used tablet PCs to work on problems and submit the solutions using Classroom Presenter. He reviewed the student solutions one by one during class. He was enthusiastic about teaching with tablet PCs when all of the technology was working well, and he proposed a question that engaged every student and they were all locked on the screen waiting to see his analysis of the class responses.

He continues to teach using a tablet PC, using Windows Journal to project and capture his handwritten notes and sketches. He uses different colors and line thickness as visual aids, and saves all of his lectures notes as one long file, so he can easily jump back to previous topics and add clarification as needed. He believes that student questions drive the lecture and that Windows Journal allows him to be spontaneous and responsive.

Dr. Ybarra is known for sharing his passion for engineering with Duke students as well as kids.

Photo shows Dr. Ybarra  (center) describing his teaching at the 2007 Center for Instructional Technology Showcase.