Story image

Digital Inking could drive digital thinking

17 May 17

Tactile and versatile is our old friend the pen. Notoriously mightier than that sword and, though a little prone to smudging, is arguably one of the greatest tools the human race produced.

Epic poems, literature, revolutions, policies and, importantly, schoolwork owe a lot to the humble pen. So, with a mass migration to digital, one wouldn’t be alone in missing the freedom of ink.

Many devices have incorporated this need for ink expression into their interfaces. Hand gestures, stylus and touchscreen tech can bring the versatility of scribbling on something back to the tech-savvy classroom.

Microsoft recently came across some independent research looking into digital inking, and how it can affect learning outcomes.

Sharon Oviatt, an expert in human-centered interfaces has put out this infographic looking into the effects of digital inking.

Her research found that inking enabled teachers to be more productive with their time. With respondents reporting that inking reduced both a number of physical resources they produced and the time it took to mark and give feedback on student work.

Teachers involved in the research also said with the increased ease of feedback in class, student work was also lifted. 88% teachers said using inking to give feedback improved the quality of instruction and work in class.

Combining digital technologies with human, ergonomic interaction is a recipe for innovation and it will be interesting to see where it could take education.

Microsoft’s Sam McNeill has taken their digital inking offerings into classrooms around New Zealand and says he met a similar response.

McNeill says there was particular interest in the Ink Replay ability of Office365. Being able to show students how you progressed through a process, or in giving feedback, gives the learner more insight.

Picture a real-time animation of an educator going through student work and annotating it, this enables another level to the feedback given. This functionality could enable educators to give their students more than ticks and crosses, but diagrams and notes and links to resources and more.

It will be interesting to see how more targeted education gestures and digital inking technologies start to interact with classrooms in New Zealand.

Any educators using Replay in Office365 or any digital inking techniques, get in touch and share how it works in your classroom.

Valve stops Steam Link hardware sales; promotes Android app instead
Valve announced that its supply of Steam Link hardware has sold out – and by the looks of it, it won’t be making any more.
Hands-on review: Spyro Reignited Trilogy brings back the PSOne icon
Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a great remake that features new school graphics with old fashioned style of gameplay.
Don't let criminals ruin your online shopping
It’s that time of year again. Not only have New Zealanders developed a bit of a taste for sales like black Friday and cyber Monday, the holiday season is well upon us.
Student app Niesh gets $1m funding windfall
“We’re a data driven company, and we’re using what we know to benefit students and the companies giving them rewards, discounts, and jobs,” explains co-founder Jae Yoo.  
NZ-grown fitness app draws on augmented reality
“I started working on creating an AR app over a year ago starting with just fitness. But as we moved on, it made sense to add in special features."
NZ's online merchants can now offer Google Pay
With Google Pay, customers will be able to speed through checkout with just a few clicks."
Hands-on review: Intel Core i7 8086K Limited Edition
Whilst I’ve seen commemorative coins and stamps, I’ve never seen a commemorative CPU. Intel’s Core i7 8086K is exactly that.
Hands-on review: Logitech G1 Pro Gaming Headphones and Mouse
For the serious gamer, this kit will have you happily spreading mayhem in glorious surround sound.