Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch CTH-470

bamboo tabletYear 8s and Year 9s are drawn by pen tablets. They just are. For them it is highly desirable to use one and probably explains why they have really come back into fashion in a big way. They are popular in their own right with designers, digital artists, animators but students like them because they are a combination of pen, tablet and gesturing.  They are a specific device with specific purposes and so you cannot get diverted or side tracked. Students born in 2000 and beyond  have a new set of skills and skills combination. I have blogged about the pen tablets before. I was trying out one of the newer ones today and within 10 minutes there were students who wanted to know what it could do, what advantages it had, how much they cost, where they could get one and could it do this and could it do that. As a class we have looked at animation this term so we looked at the animation app and the students could see how you did it far better than I but I could see the possibilities and how we could use it for learning. They liked the thought they could write with this tablet in a very effective way and it is clear you could use this pen tablet to improve writing skills. Classic example of how to share technology experiences to drive the possibilities of the classroom! It really is sensitive to touch. I can use it to write with my normal handwriting but I need a bit more practice to get it up to normal speed. I don’t like the way the stylus is stored. It seems cosy and efficient but I couldn’t get it out. Too hard. Took me too long and hurt my hands. The other tablet I blogged about had a loose stylus. Having attached is a good idea but it needs to be done differently. The size of this tablet is better for portability , storage and the fact it just easy fits in a plastic folder bag or display folder. The connection wire detaches too which makes it better for portability and storage. I noticed this  tablet had wifi capability. You have to get the kit but it is not overly expensive. In a corporate network setting you would want to know if that kit worked or not. Large networks rightly have to be very security conscious. It would be handy in a classroom to have the wifi capability. It is about presenting in different ways and using different tools to bring out different skills. This tablet can work with a stylus or fingers. Students thought that was great. I loaded the Bamboo Paper app onto my iPad and then discovered that my fingers would work in producing quite fine writing with it. My stylus was better. So now I can mix and match devices and I think that is worth aiming for. It is important to have some consistency and familiarity with apps and software and then have a chance to branch out and vary because technology is always changing and we just need to flow with it.

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