In a previous post, I share my thoughts about using a stylus to digitally handwrite text. There were numerous benefits noted, including students being able to have more precision when using apps and administrators writing observations during walkthroughs.
I am starting to have second thoughts.
My biggest concern is with the stylus produced by Adonit. Previously, I had purchased their Jot Pro per a recommendation from a colleague. This is the stylus with that clear plastic disc on the end.
While it was precise, the disc caused a clicking sound that was distracting to students. Plus, the discs fell off sometimes. It was recommended to me to be sure to clean the discs regularly by the company. Who has time for that?
I was reading the Steve Jobs biography at the time. In it, Jobs discouraged the use of a stylus, suggesting that we have ten already (our fingers).
Maybe I should have heeded this advice, but I gave Adonit another shot when it came out with the Evernote Edition Jot Script. Now battery powered, this stylus connects with your iPad via Bluetooth.
It worked great…when it worked. Unfortunately, leaving the battery in this stylus for even a short time depleted it to the point where it would not work anymore. The advice from the company was to use a lithium battery to ensure a long life. Unfortunately, these are more expensive and not what we stock at school. Because I have grown tired of accommodating the limitations of the company’s products, I plan on giving both away.
For those in the market for a new stylus, consider holding off on the Adonit product line. They are very innovative, but their products have yet to deliver on their promise, especially considering the high price. Their newest stylus now has a rechargeable battery, but you need a USB connection to do it. Not real conducive if all you have is an iPad. For a better value, check out the Ampen hybrid stylus with a mesh tip, or just go with a Bamboo. The technology should not get in the way of our purpose for using it.