Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On-going quest for the right stylus

I continue to experiment with ways to have students submit work digitally, grade that work digitally, and return marked-up copies of work (feedback) to them digitally. While grading papers and exams from the fall term I decided to try the Jot Pro stylus that was available from Information Technologies (IT). The IT department has a variety of items available in its "sandbox" that faculty can check out and make sure you like the way they work before investing resources in purchasing the item.  I looked for a list or information about the sandbox on the IT website so I could link to it but couldn't find one. If such a list exists, perhaps someone could add a link in the comments.

As styluses go, the Jot Pro is a bit pricey ($29.99 on the company's website ).  For me it was a bit of mixed bag.  Many features of the Jot Pro I liked -- it does make thinner lines, so I can actually hand write some commentary on the documents I'm reviewing (these are pdf documents I review using GoodReader).  As the company says: "The transparent precision disc naturally glides across the screen and lets you see exactly where your mark will be made."  That's true. Take a look at the pictures on the website. And I liked everything about the style of the device too -- it's rubber gripping surface, it's magnetic cling to the top of the ipad for storage, and even it's cap (screw top, with threads at the opposite end for holding the cap while using the stylus). 

But, for me, the problem was the outside edge of my hand.  If I'm really going to write like I do on paper, the reality is that I rest my hand on the surface of paper when I'm writing.  The surface pressure of my hand confuses the ipad and it then has a hard time picking up the pressure from the stylus.  This time around I ended up using the stylus for short comments (probably five words or less) and then if I had more to say I used a comment box and typed in my comments (using my wireless keyboard).  Overall, I probably will purchase one of the Jot Pros for my own use, but it doesn't completely let me do what I had hoped.


  1. I ended up buying the Bamboo stylus by Wacom. It's also pricey but it works really well.

  2. In the world of rapid increasing in technology the use of iPads for education purpose is in early stages in some developing countries but college like mention in the above is serving the new generations about the latest technologies which is almost very interesting.

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