Friday, 25 June 2010

Using a tablet instead of a mouse

I've just got a Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch. It's basically an alternative to a mouse as an input device for the computer. It consist of a small tablet measuring about 250x180mm which connects via USB. You can use your fingers on the surface of the tablet to navigate around the screen, or there is a 'pen' with which you can write on the tablet and the writing appears as digital ink on the screen.
I thought this would be a brilliant way of providing feedback on students' coursework electronically. I thought if students could submit their work digitally, then I could open the document, and simple write my feedback in digital ink, rather than having to type in comments.
So what's the verdict? Well my initial reaction is that I'm a little disappointed. Firstly the original document needs to be 'sent' to another package such OneNote. That's a bit fiddly but I can live with it. A bigger disappointment for me is that it's not very easy to write small neat notes in a document. The image below is a partial screenshot showing my handwriting using the pen. I really took my time with this, but as you can see it's still not very neat. I normally have quite neat writing. If I was quickly writing comments I think it would be illegible.

I'll persevere for a while to see if things get better, but as I say – I'm disappointed.

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