by Hemanth Achamveedu on October 17, 2021
5 Best and Affordable Digital Writing Pad for Online Teaching in 2021
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Digital writing pad is an essential component of your teaching environment. This comprehensive guide will help you in deciding the perfect writing tablet for your online class.
Online teaching is gaining popularity since the pandemic. Traditional schools, universities and educational institutions had to close down.
The sheer convenience and flexibility to connect with students from home. Many teachers shifted to online teaching to connect with their students.
One of the online teaching tools that you must have in your arsenal is a
Digital writing pad
If you are a teacher in search of a budget-friendly writing tablet for teaching online, This comprehensive guide will help you make the right decision. But before that let’s first understand what is a digital writing pad and what is its necessity?
What is a Digital Writing Pad?
A digital writing pad is an electronic device accompanied by a stylus, which is a pen-like instrument. Once connected to your laptop or computer with a USB, it helps you seamlessly perform handwritten actions like:
Otherwise very cumbersome to do using a traditional mouse.
Why every teacher should invest in a Digital writing pad for online teaching?
When starting out, the first step is setting up your virtual teaching environment. A computer/laptop with decent configuration is a must. With a good internet connection, you are good to go. Besides this, you would also want to get a good quality webcam and a microphone.
For a better professional teaching experience, u should consider investing in a good quality pen tablet for online teaching.
Here are the top 3 reasons to include a digital writing pad in your teaching arsenal
1. Writing and drawing with a mouse is difficult
When it comes to online teaching explaining topics and lessons to your students by writing is essential. When it comes to subjects like Math and Science, teachers need to:
You can use a conventional mouse for writing and drawing on an online whiteboard. Still, you will not achieve the same amount of control and precision that a digital writing pad will offer.
2. Writing on a mobile screen is tough, when you are teaching with a smartphone
Let us suppose you are an online teacher who uses a smartphone to teach online. In that case, it is even more difficult to explain concepts to your students.
For example, you use Google Meet on a smartphone to take online classes. For explaining topics and drawing figures, you are using the touchscreen. The first problem is that the mobile screen is too small an area to write and draw.
The second problem is that it is not ergonomic to take classes on mobile and keep an eye out for your students.
3. Writing on a mobile screen is tough, when you are teaching with a smartphone
Coming from an offline classroom to an online mode, teachers generally struggle to handle the technology. They are unwilling to shell out a lot of money to buy expensive equipment for their online classes.
A quick fix is using pen and paper for visual representation or filming a physical whiteboard to write notes. Still, one must upgrade their setup.
The limitation of using such physical means for teaching is that you cannot store and share your handwritten notes and lessons with your students.
Second, erasing and correcting mistakes while writing and highlighting parts of your written material with different colours is a cumbersome process.
What are the different kinds of digital writing pad
There are two kinds of digital writing pads
1. Graphic tablets with LCD screen:
These are also called monitor tablets or drawing tablets. When you write or draw something on the LCD screen, the tablet traces the strokes made with the stylus to display your writing and drawing on the tablet’s screen.
2. Pen tablets with no screen:
These tablets have either a smooth or textured flat surface on which you can write or draw by applying strokes with the help of a pen-like stylus. Whatever you write or draw is displayed on your computer/laptop screen.
Digital writing tablets with LCD screen displays can be expensive because they come with additional features which are more suited to the needs of graphic designers and illustrators.
Educators can comfortably use a no screen graphic tablet for teaching online.
You can get confused about different terms like
Pen Tablet, Writing Tablet and Graphics Tablets. They all are synonyms of the digital writing pad.
What features should you check out before buying your first digital writing pad?
When considering to buy a digital writing pad for laptop for teaching online, make sure it is compatible with your laptop’s operating system.
The size of a digital writing pad is an essential deciding factor. Digital tablets come in different sizes like small, medium and large. However, we would recommend a medium-size digital tablet, specifically 8 X 5 inches active area.
Tablets ranging from size 6 X4 inches to 10 X 6 inches of the active area are good choices that allow sufficient space for writing notes, calculations, and drawings.
Before purchasing any digital writing pad, one functionality to consider is whether the pen tablet is wireless or not.
Your computer/laptop, microphone, headphones require a lot of cable connections which makes the whole workspace very messy.
A wireless teaching tablet would be easier to work with, giving you the freedom from cable connection with your computer.
A writing tablet without a stylus is like a ship without a captain. How you enjoy the comfort and ease of writing on your tablet depends on the stylus. Three things to look for in a stylus are:
For an online teacher who takes multiple online classes throughout the day, your stylus running out of charge can be an unpleasant situation. Waiting for your stylus to charge up is equally vexing. So buy a tablet for online teaching that has a battery-free pen.
b. Pressure Sensitive:
Pressure -sensitivity is a measure by which your tablets displays the strokes thick or thin depending on how much force you exert on the stylus. With pressure, sensitivity enables you to draw shapes and diagrams to explain topics to your students when you are teaching subjects like geometry or biology.
This also allows you to control your strokes’ thickness, making your drawings refined and professional.
The stylus pen should have an ergonomic build to provide comfort and good grip as you write on the digital tablet.
5. Shortcut Keys:
Also called Express Keys,these buttons are built into the writing pad’s body surface. You can perform quick actions without using a mouse and keyboard within the writing pad itself. You can use these buttons to scroll up and down, give space, zoom in/out, erase any mistake.
You can use advanced shortcut actions like selecting different pens and highlighting colors, shapes, and lines hand panning. Some digital tablets have a rotating wheel, also called dials which serve zoom in-out functionality.
Budget is an important deciding factor for purchasing a digital pen tablet. You would want to invest in an affordable pen tablet having most of the specifications mentioned above. A decent pen tablet for teaching online within Rs 4000-6000 will satisfy the essential requirements.
Your digital writing pad should have a smooth, scratch-resistant and durable writing surface.
There are numerous brands of digital writing pads which are available online.You might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices present.To help you make the right decision we have compiled this complete guide.
Here is a list of the 5 best writing pad for online teaching available online in India
1. One by Wacom
Suitable for teachers who have just started with online teaching and looking for a budget-friendly digital pen tablet. Though it lacks high-end features, it serves basic functionalities of writing and drawing quite well.
This tablet comes in a combination of red and black.
It comes in two sizes:
Small: The active area (the surface area where you write/draw) is 6-inch x 3.5-inch.
Medium: The active area (the surface area where you write/draw) is 8.5 x 5.3 inches.
The build quality is pretty decent, made of plastic polycarbonate casing. There are black knobs at corners that prevent the device from sliding while you are writing on it.
The surface is matte and scratch-resistant. The active area is dotted, indicating the place within which you can write or draw.
This tablet is not wireless, so it requires a USB cable connection to your computer.
The tablet comes with a pen. The pen is equipped with features like a pressure-sensitive tip, ergonomic design and without any batteries. This makes it lightweight and comfortable to write with. The pen consists of two buttons that you can customize to perform actions like an eraser or right-click.
This writing pad is well compatible with windows 7, Mac and Linux and even Android.
2. XP - Pen Deco 01 V2
An affordable yet high quality digital writing pad, XP Pen Deco 01 V2 is an excellent choice for teachers. This tablet nails the three most important features for a digital writing pad for teaching:
This tablet comes in black colour
The size of the tablet is vast, with an active working area of 10 x 6.25 inches.
Impressive build, slim design with a thickness of 8 mm. Quite a lightweight feel to it.
The surface is smooth, slightly textured and comes with a protective film to put on the surface. The active writing area is indicated by four bright markings at the corners.
There is no wireless functionality, so it requires a USB connection with your computer.
The stylus is excellent, with 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity. It is enabled with 60 degrees of tilt brush effect, making the strokes smoother and controlled. It consists of two buttons with default modes-eraser and pen mode. It also comes with a pen stand.
Compatible with windows 10, Mac and Android. Zoom, Microsoft office apps. This makes it a good choice as an online teaching tablet
XP can improve the responsiveness of this tablet remarkably with IOS.
3. Huion Inspiroy H950P Graphics Drawing Tablet
A cost-effective option for online teachers, this digital writing pad has premium features like:-
Huion Inspiroy tablet comes in jet black colour.
This medium-sized tablet with an active writing area of 8.7 X 5.4 inches provides a good working surface to write and draw with ease.
Lightweight but sturdy in build; the tablet weighs only 497 gms. Design is slim and minimalistic. Being only 8 mm thick makes it easy to carry around in your laptop bag.
This is not a wireless tablet and has a micro USB port to connect to your computer
The pen is battery-free with 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity allowing you the control and fluidity to write and draw. The pen has 60-degree tilt functionality, which helps you accurately position your cursor at different angles.
It also consists of two buttons with default modes of eraser and right-clicks.
The tablet is compatible with Mac (10, 12 and above), Windows(7 and later) and Android (6 and above) and Microsoft Office apps. However, it does not support iPhone and Ipad.
All the above mentioned specifications make it one of the best interactive teaching pad for laptop
4. VEIKK A15 Graphics Drawing Tablet
A mid-range tablet that works well with laptops and smartphones, VEIKK A 15 is a digital tablet worth purchasing for beginner online teachers.
The design, features, and quality make it a good pick as one of the best pentab for online teaching for the price at which it is available
Black body with a decorative ring at the upper left corner, which comes in different colours
A medium-sized tablet with 10 X 6 inches of the active writing area.
The design is neat and minimalistic. Weighing only 570 gm with a thickness of 9 mm, it also comes under portable, lightweight tablets. Four rubber anti-slip mats are provided to prevent accidental sliding.
There are 12 express keys that you can configure to different mouse and keyboard shortcut functions. The indicator lights of Power, Pen and Keys are right beside the ring.
This is not a wireless tablet. USB-C to USB-A data cable port is provided, which can be plugged in an upside-down direction, convenient for both right and left-handed users as you can turn around the tablet as per your needs.
The stylus is battery-free, having an intelligent chip with 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity. It also has two buttons with customizable modes. The pen is lightweight though it has a plasticky feeling to it. It does not have a rubber grip but is still comfortable enough to hold.
The digital writing pad is compatible with Mac OS X 10.10 or later and Linux OS, Windows 10/8/7 Vista (32/64 bit) and Android (6 and above) and Microsoft Office apps. Not compatible with Samsung and have to buy an OTG adapter separately.
5. XP Pen Deco 03 Drawing Tablet
On number 5 in our list of the best digital writing tablets for online teaching, we feature XP Pen Deco 03 writing tablet. This award-winning writing tablet falls under the premium segment and is a bit on the expensive side.
XP Pen Deco series tablets are competitors to Wacom Intuos series tablets. Since the Wacom Intuos series is unavailable on Amazon and Flipkart, we feature XP Pen Deco 03 in our list.
Tablet has a black body with a red dial
This is a big-sized tablet with a massive writing area of 10 x 5.62 inches.
The build of the tablet is quite robust. The surface appears to be neither too rough nor too smooth. The texture is matte and comfortable to write on. It has rounded corners.
This is not a bezel-free tablet; there is decent free space around the writing area to rest your palm while writing.
There are six express keys that you can configure to different mouse and keyboard shortcut functions. The keys are arranged in a row of 2 X3 compactly to save space
This tablet has both wireless and wired functionality. You can use a type C-USB cable to connect to your computer. The wireless mode uses a wireless receiver that connects with the USB port to connect with the computer.
The stylus is battery-free. It has a rubbery feel at the top, providing comfort while holding and writing with it.
There are two buttons on the front that are clickable to switch from pen mode to eraser mode and vice-versa. The pen supports 8192 pressure levels of sensitivity..
The tablet is compatible with Mac OS X 10.10 or later and Linux OS, Windows 10/8/7, Zoom, Google Classroom, Microsoft Office Suite. .
Although there are no significant downsides of the XP Pen Deco 03 tablet, compared to its rival Wacom Intuos series, they are less scratch resistant. Wacom also updates its drivers regularly.
However, at this price point, a tablet with this huge active area, wireless functionality, shortcut buttons and wheel, XP Pen Deco 03, is one of the best tablet for teaching online
With the world shifting to online in every aspect of our lives, it is for sure that online teaching will remain a dominant form of education even if traditional brick and mortar classes resume. To deliver professional teaching online, you have to adapt of the online teaching tools and gadgets and digital writing pads are surely a valuable tool to incorporate in your remote teaching setup.