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Old 02-10-2017, 04:33   #1
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Graphics tablet for homeschooling?

We're going to be homeschooling our boys (6 and 8) for the 18/19 school year and starting to get organised on supplies.

Both boys currently go through reams of paper for their current homework and play.

Just wondering if a graphics tablet that could be paired with iPads/tablets would be a good idea?
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Old 02-10-2017, 04:42   #2
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Re: Graphics tablet for homeschooling?

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Originally Posted by terah View Post
We're going to be homeschooling our boys (6 and 8) for the 18/19 school year and starting to get organised on supplies.



Both boys currently go through reams of paper for their current homework and play.



Just wondering if a graphics tablet that could be paired with iPads/tablets would be a good idea?


I would ditch the iPad idea all together and simply get a 2nd hand Surface Pro 2 or 3 from eBay.. You'll be on full windows 10, with a detachable keyboard and you'll have a built in touch screen that (with a pen) is just as good as a graphics tablet.

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Old 03-10-2017, 17:35   #3
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Re: Graphics tablet for homeschooling?

FWIW, Consumer Reports just took back their recommendation on Surface models, noting that they have a way higher failure/repair rate than similar touch-screens from other makers.
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Old 03-10-2017, 17:39   #4
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Re: Graphics tablet for homeschooling?

Our kid uses an iPad Pro with a pen and it works fantastic. It just works!
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Old 03-10-2017, 17:49   #5
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Re: Graphics tablet for homeschooling?

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FWIW, Consumer Reports just took back their recommendation on Surface models, noting that they have a way higher failure/repair rate than similar touch-screens from other makers.
I think that was for the Surface Laptop specifically.

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Old 03-10-2017, 17:52   #6
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Re: Graphics tablet for homeschooling?

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Our kid uses an iPad Pro with a pen and it works fantastic. It just works!
I'm wondering whether the OP's question relates to owning an iPad already and is hence hoping to make the touch-screen functionality more legible? Rather than buying something new.

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Old 03-10-2017, 18:25   #7
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Re: Graphics tablet for homeschooling?

Cavalier-
I confess, I didn't take note of which model it was. (Two I think.) But if quality control and durability aren't in one part of a line, I expect they won't be in any other. That's the kind of thing that should be company-wide, as a chosen qualityrice point across the board.
With some companies, they split that into "professional" or "commercial" versus "consumer". (Consumer grade electrical drills apparently are only used for three hours, so they can be built way cheaper than commercial ones designed for contractor use.) With Microsoft? Eh, yeah, frankly their history with hardware products unimpresses me. Or does anyone else remember the MS Cordless Phone? Not a cell phone, but a cordless phone with all sorts of nice integration promised. "Poof!"
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Old 03-10-2017, 19:16   #8
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Re: Graphics tablet for homeschooling?

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Cavalier-
I confess, I didn't take note of which model it was. (Two I think.) But if quality control and durability aren't in one part of a line, I expect they won't be in any other. That's the kind of thing that should be company-wide, as a chosen qualityrice point across the board.
With some companies, they split that into "professional" or "commercial" versus "consumer". (Consumer grade electrical drills apparently are only used for three hours, so they can be built way cheaper than commercial ones designed for contractor use.) With Microsoft? Eh, yeah, frankly their history with hardware products unimpresses me. Or does anyone else remember the MS Cordless Phone? Not a cell phone, but a cordless phone with all sorts of nice integration promised. "Poof!"
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Old 04-10-2017, 03:08   #9
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Re: Graphics tablet for homeschooling?

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Originally Posted by SV Bacchus View Post
Our kid uses an iPad Pro with a pen and it works fantastic. It just works!
Interesting. I'd assumed a graphics tablet would be more accurate than the touchscreen, but perhaps I'm looking for a solution without a problem.

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Originally Posted by Cavalier View Post
I'm wondering whether the OP's question relates to owning an iPad already and is hence hoping to make the touch-screen functionality more legible? Rather than buying something new.
I'm not averse to buying another device (like the surface), but we already have a load of tablets so thought getting something that would work with them would be simpler.

Maybe the better questions are: a) Would the graphics tablet give a finer response, and b) which would they find easier to use.
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Old 04-10-2017, 04:03   #10
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Re: Graphics tablet for homeschooling?

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Interesting. I'd assumed a graphics tablet would be more accurate than the touchscreen, but perhaps I'm looking for a solution without a problem.



I'm not averse to buying another device (like the surface), but we already have a load of tablets so thought getting something that would work with them would be simpler.

Maybe the better questions are: a) Would the graphics tablet give a finer response, and b) which would they find easier to use.
A tablet (or graphics pad) with pen is more complex to use than paper, and it's a different media. (Analogous to different instruments playing a similar tune). You can achieve different results using different tools.

I think graphics tablets never went "mainstream" because they're complex to use and disconnected from the result (your input in one place appears somewhere else). Tablets with pens are more similar to pen/paper, but still more complicated to use.
Questions:
1) What types of tasks to you want this for? Drawing? Writing?
2) It's not clear what problem you are trying to solve. What's wrong with continuing using paper?
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Old 04-10-2017, 11:00   #11
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Re: Graphics tablet for homeschooling?

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Old 04-10-2017, 16:06   #12
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Re: Graphics tablet for homeschooling?

I have used tablets for intensive and extensive self education projects and have always found A4 paper and pencil the better choice.

YES, I went thru hundreds of pages of paper. ;-(

I think there must be personal differences between learners and some of us simply recall better and more when we take notes by hand and or make drafts / find solutions / etc. 'manually'.

The above may not apply if your kids are already on the smartphone / texting / console bandwagon.

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Old 05-10-2017, 13:02   #13
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Re: Graphics tablet for homeschooling?

There have been studies done on college students taking lecture notes on computers versus longhand, and the folks taking notes longhand seem to retain more, every time.

Whether that's part of the mental translation process (words go in, complex muscle movements must go out) or whether they didn't use the same kids to measure each (kids with better memory might be choosing to do longhand?) I don't know.

But using tablets as the "source" device to encode your replies to questions or projects would be a different thing. I know I still find it easier to sketch something out in pencil, than to mess around with software and machines. Although just the opposite, I'd want the software for something that required accuracy and repeated step-and-repeats.

Probably best to let the kids choose after using both. No doubt they can still use the tablets for internet access in port.
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:49   #14
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Re: Graphics tablet for homeschooling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
Questions:
1) What types of tasks to you want this for? Drawing? Writing?
2) It's not clear what problem you are trying to solve. What's wrong with continuing using paper?
Mostly drawing. They go through a _lot_ of paper, so the idea was to find a solution with less consumables.

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I think there must be personal differences between learners and some of us simply recall better and more when we take notes by hand and or make drafts / find solutions / etc. 'manually'.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
There have been studies done on college students taking lecture notes on computers versus longhand, and the folks taking notes longhand seem to retain more, every time.
Their actual schoolwork we'll still use jotters. The retention point is pretty interesting but aside from that I think hand writing is becoming enough of a lost skill.

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Probably best to let the kids choose after using both. No doubt they can still use the tablets for internet access in port.
I don't think they've ever used a stylus on a tablet so maybe that's a good place to start.
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:30   #15
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Re: Graphics tablet for homeschooling?

There are also BIG differences in how different styli make lines. Some just make a line. Some are pressure sensitive and vary the line width, or density. Like a charcoal pencil or airbrush. Some allow outright artistic work and the back end acts as an eraser. Others make you "undo" line segments. And a rare few even need on-board batteries, or recharging.


Then of course kids being kids...you might want to get a couple of spares before you cast off. Just in case.


I have no idea which ones do which, but since it is to encourage the kids, that's worth a research project in it's own.
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