In the last post in this short series we looked at how the digital pen was transforming the work of children in schools, particularly in the areas of science and engineering. The ability to draw diagrams and then change them at will but without the stress of having to do it on paper, makes the digital pen a real lifesaver for many young children. It has particular relevance for special educational needs children, many of whom do not do well with frustration or failure. Having the ability to adapt to work quickly and change it without any threat makes for a better learning experience for this particular group of children.
But all children benefit from the use of a digital pen. There was much research in the late 90s from people who felt that using a pen makes children learn better. There are many touchscreen devices in schools at the moment. Touchscreens are very good for learning, primarily because they offer a quicker access point to work. They also allow for quicker access to different materials and A/V input. But it has been shown that children learn better when they have something physical in their hands that they are using to write or draw with.
This has particular relevance for the older child. As they reach middle school and move on towards senior school children are expected to be more proficient at taking written notes. If they are able to use a pen to write written notes and record information this will stand them in good stead as they get older and face the larger burden of note-taking that comes with post 16 life.
Accurate and efficient
The digital pen allows for accurate and efficient note-taking for the majority of children. All they have to do is use the pen like a normal pen and this will record the notes onto the internal hard drive system, which will then translate the notes to a computer. This allows for much quicker note-taking and also, because the children are working through the words in their head when they are writing, better learning.
This is one of the reasons why the digital pen is beginning to take over the world. Rather than the worst-case scenario that was doing the rounds a few years ago, when commentators felt that the pen would be wiped out by tablets and computers, the digital pen is making a huge comeback and showing that the act of writing is still very relevant to young people today.
You still hear adults these days talking about how they don't write any more. These days, for many adults, it is more of a question of typing information into the computer or tapping a screen that is touch sensitive. The more we have children working with digital pens in schools, the more opportunities we have to use pens. This will keep this very valuable piece of technology alive even as the rest of the world changes at an uncontrollable pace.