Posted November 2, 2013 by Carol Martin in Technology

Tech shopping for your child? Consider the power of the pen in learning

Writing is basic to finding out, and humans have been performing it given that the initial cave dwellers employed the finish of a stick to smudge drawings on the walls of their residences. Parents pondering of getting a tablet for their child may think touchscreen technology is heralding the finish of writing for their kids. Not so, education and technology pros say. A new generation of &ldquopens,&rdquo designed for use with tablets and touchscreens, is bringing 1 of the oldest human communication tools into classrooms that have already entered the digital age.

Unlike early styluses that forced users&rsquo hands into unnatural positions, these pens permit customers to draw, create, highlight, annotate and much more on their digital touchscreens in a all-natural manner &ndash generating the pens excellent for use in classrooms exactly where youngsters are understanding the mechanics of writing in tandem with other subjects. With pens, students can rest their wrists on the tablet surface, just as they would if using a notepad and ink pen or pencil.

&ldquoEmploying pen technologies in the classroom engages students in learning and enables educators to maximize the versatility and positive aspects of the technologies they&rsquore currently utilizing,&rdquo says Paige Johnson, K-12 education strategist for Intel Corporation. &ldquoPens free of charge both students and teachers, fostering creativity in children and enabling teachers to move a lot more freely about the classroom to collaborate with students during class.&rdquo

The benefit of a pen is easy and effortless to see. If you&rsquove ever hit the wrong buttons on your mobile device&rsquos virtual keyboard and ended up with gibberish (and who hasn&rsquot), you&rsquove skilled the limitations of fingertips: they can&rsquot make as fine a point as a pen can. Pens give young students the flexibility to alternate in between the broader strokes of their fingertips and a more precise interface, based on which is acceptable for the activity at hand.

Pioneering educators at Cincinnati Country Day School are employing pen technology to practically eliminate paper from the classroom and homework. In 1996, the college was the 1st in the nation to make sure each and every student had a computer. These days, all homework and assignments are carried out on hybrid Pc/tablets, allowing students to write, annotate, highlight and draw with their digital pens. Integrating pen technology into the classroom has resulted in elevated student engagement and collaboration at Cincinnati Nation Day College.

Parents seeking to maximize pen technologies as portion of students&rsquo education can use it in quite a few ways. As you shop for a device for your youngster, maintain these rewards in mind:

* Pens foster more space for an interactive, inventive and engaging understanding encounter for students, facilitating non-linear pondering at all age levels.

* Writing with a pen and paper is one of the first items young students learn. Digital pens reinforce handwriting lessons for younger students, enabling them to hold the pen in a natural way.

* Pens give students the flexibility to select the best tool for the process at hand &ndash whether it&rsquos a pen, their fingers or the keyboard. The pen is a creativity tool. The keyboard is a productivity tool. At times you want 1, and occasionally you need both.

*Pens enable students in larger math and science classes to write out complicated formulas and make diagrams far more simply and rapidly.

Yet another excellent resource for parents and teachers who are on the market place for a new device is the K12 Blueprint, found online at www.k12blueprint.com. Sponsored by Intel Corporation, this website is a cost-free resource for preparing and implementing technology initiatives in districts. You&rsquoll uncover beneficial details, like sensible guidelines, funding advice, curriculum considerations and true-globe good results stories.

&ldquoFor a although, it seemed as if styluses &ndash and possibly even handwriting itself &ndash would turn into obsolete as touchscreen capabilities opened up new horizons in computing,&rdquo Johnson says. &ldquoNew pen technology is proving that won&rsquot be the case. As parents shop for technology for their young children, they must preserve in mind that in the classroom, the pen can be just as mighty as the fingertip.&rdquo

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Carol Martin