iPads and Styluses

One of the attractions of using the iPads is the ability to handwrite on the screen. This is especially useful in Notability [which can convert your handwriting into text, unless you are the MDS Tech Director with exceptionally abysmal handwriting. Your mileage may vary.]

See https://support.gingerlabs.com/hc/en-us/articles/360013361351-New-in-3-0-for-Mac-Handwriting-Recognition#:~:text=Drag%20a%20rectangle%20around%20the%20handwriting%20you%20want,to%20copy%20the%20text%20to%20your%20Mac%27s%20clipboard. for details on how to do that.

As of Fall 2020 iPads for the 9th, 10th, and 11th grades can use the Apple Pencil, Logitech Crayon, or other styluses. 12th grade iPads and Middle School iPads can use other styluses – there is a rough list below looking at some of the options.

Please note that styli are NOT provided by the school.

The Apple Pencil
Logitech Crayon

There are a few general categories of styluses available:

  • Apple Pencil – More expensive, but works VERY well.
  • Logitech Crayon – less expensive than the Apple Pencil. Has some different features that make it an intriguing choice.
  • Bluetooth attached – these require a pairing process, which usually works quite well. The quality level can vary a lot, as does the price.
  • “Capacitive” styluses – these work on all the iPads on campus, but there is a great variety in pricing and quality. Generally these have a “smushy rubbery” tip, though some have a “harder” tip.
    Some people love them, others can’t stand them.
  • There are also some with a small round disc at the end of the stylus.
  • You will see references to “active” styli – generally that means there are some electronics involved [bluetooth] and charging a battery.
A quick web search for “iPad Stylus” gives many options and prices.

Some general advice:

  • There is a wide variant on what is acceptable to the person using the stylus.
  • If you [or your student] is prone to lose things, but really wants or needs a stylus, the best advice is to use a cheaper one.
  • The Apple Pencil is arguably the superior choice, especially is using it for long stretches of time – but at $100 or more losing it is quite painful.
  • The Logitech Crayon, which is in the $60 range, is less painful if lost. It also works very well, and has some advantages over the Apple Pencil [for example, the shape means in will not roll off the desk.}