Fun (?) gadgets.

I allow my students to email me their assignments.  Many of them choose this option, not because they are environmentally conscious paper conserving earth helpers, but  because they are apparently incapable of reading the syllabus or listening when I warn them in advance of assignment due dates.  My policy is that if I receive the document before the end of the day, then I will not mark it late.  This makes me feel generous, and it makes them not fail the class.  It is a win-win situation.

But sometimes it is actually quite tedious to have to grade digital documents; and I really hate to have to print them all myself.  One day I was browsing at Staples and I saw the    Wacom bamboo fun digital pen tablet, and my imagination immediately ran away with me.  Oh the possibilities!  I could write comments as if I was using a pen a paper!  I could slash those digital documents apart with the same gusto that I use my red ball point pen! And then, I could use it to draw and edit photos... what fun!!!

I am not one to buy things spur of the moment, not these kinds of technological things; so I went home and did some research and found out that it was a pretty nifty device- not the most high tech version, but probably sufficient for someone like me.  So I went back and bought one.

That was a week ago.  Since then, I've been trying to get it to work.  The problem is that I can't install it on the laptop I use for my classes- it belongs to the school and I don't have the appropriate priveleges; and I just haven't had time to go to the help desk and get them to do it.  In the meantime I installed it on my personal computer and have begun to play with it.  I was so excited; but after a couple of hours,  I am losing my enthusiasm. It doesn't quite work the way I imagined; writing with the pen seems a bit awkward.  Perhaps practice will make perfect; I don't know.  I just haven't had the time.

So, the assignments languish in my inbox.  I will not grade them until I get this damn thing working.  It is so disappointing.  I had such high expectations.  Sigh.


~profgrrrrl~ said...

I have one, too, that I've yet to hook up. Had to spend out some PD funds. I really didn't have a purpose, and assumed writing on things would probably be awkward, but that it might be good for drawing diagrams. We'll see.

I may install it tomorrow (you've inspired me) and if I do I'll let you know how it goes.

Lisa said...

That sounds like a really cool tool almost like a portable Smart Board.....
My prof. just uses word to insert comments throughout our papers and then sends it back again. I don't think he ever prints out a copy!
But I guess it's different with lab reports and such.

PUI prof said...

I got a bit of carpal tunnel from grading documents in Word. Though I am quick and use all the keyboard shortcuts, it still is a SERIOUS repetitive keyboarding issue. Not only that, but we use Blackboard for the digital drop box, and its a mousing nightmare. I have gone toward the dead tree version for many things. That paper is cheaper than surgery. Perhaps your gizmo would really help. Let us know how it works out!!

gate valves said...

love the design of your blog. i like the notepad look! very nice :)