Tag Archives: stylus

End of term – Weeknote #198 – 16th December 2022

This was my last working week of the year.

So though I had snow and cold weather in Berlin two weeks ago, it was even colder than that this week in the UK. In the South West we didn’t hit really cold temperatures, though I did experience -6°C one morning this week.

The week started with a Senior Education and Student Experience Group meeting. Originally planned to take place in London, due to a range of unforeseen circumstances we moved the meeting online. It was really useful and interesting to hear about the challenges various universities across the UK are facing.

Some key headlines from the group were (and there are no real surprises here)

  • Personalisation
  • Learning Spaces
  • Assessment and feedback
  • Wellbeing analytics
  • Learning analytics
  • Curriculum analytics
  • Influencing government and regulators on blended learning
  • Importance of support for campus (intelligent campus)
  • Reviewing the curriculum
  • Culture change
  • Digital learning environment review

One thing they did want to see more of, which crossed all those areas was research based evidence to support any advice, guidance, products across those areas.

I asked ChatGTP, an artifical intelligence tool,  what is personalisation of learning was and this was the response. I think tools like this have their place and their uses, but as with any tool understanding what its potential is, is important in knowing how you can use it, and how others might use it.

Disappointed and rather saddened to see the way Twitter is going. Despite that, and though I didn’t plan to, I quite enjoyed the #LTHEChat this week. It was run by an old friend of mine Lilian Soon, and was on accessibility.

One topic which did generate discussion was that of document styles.

I really struggle with getting people to use styles and templates effectively. Most don’t see the point and actually prefer to bold and underline headings throughout their documents and presentations. This is fine for them, but as soon as you need to collaborate on a document, you find that you need to work hard to retain styles and consistent formatting through a document. It’s a similar thing with templates. In theory if you use styles and you change the formatting of the style, then all the instances of the style will be updated. Where people use formatting tools on the actual text, this then doesn’t happen.

Why are styles important, well they are critical for screen readers in navigating documents, but also if a student (or a member of staff) wants to change a document, then styles makes it really easy.

So why don’t people use styles and templates, I don’t know. Maybe it is too hard. I don’t think this is just a training issue.

Also it is not just styles, some people don’t do section breaks instead do lots of hard returns.

Image by Patrik Houštecký from Pixabay

In many of my presentations in the past I have talked about laptop bans, and then ask can I bring a typewriter?

It always gets a few laughs.

So you should not be surprised I laughed at this.

My top tweet this week was this one.

Bamboo Paper – iPad App of the Week

Bamboo Paper – iPad App of the Week

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at various Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive.

This week’s App is Bamboo Paper.

Enjoy the ease of your own natural handwriting as you sketch your thoughts on a neat digital paper note book.

Bamboo Paper, a seriously fun new app from Wacom, provides you with the ability to create virtual notebooks for your iPad, letting you share your ideas visually with handwritten notes, sketches or doodles. Paired with the Bamboo Stylus, it turns your iPad into the ultimate paperless communications tool for use at:

  • School – map out math and science equations, compose music, create arts and crafts projects, learn proper penmanship, write non-Western language characters (think Chinese, Japanese and Arabic)
  • Work – Communicate with charts and graphs, collaborate during brainstorming sessions, sketch a design while on the go
  • Home – jot down grocery lists, rough-out landscaping and home improvement designs, entertain kids with coloring and drawing activities at home or in the car
  • What else can the Bamboo Paper app do?
  • Quickly scan your book by browsing through thumbnail images of your pages
  • Share your ideas – send an individual page or an entire book by e-mail
  • Present your thoughts to a group – connect your iPad to a projector to show off your sketches and ideas to others at meetings and brainstorm sessions
  • Print an individual page or entire book
  • Mark important notes by bookmarking individual pages
  • Who is Bamboo Paper designed for and what are some key benefits?
  • It’s for everyone especially for creative people like you.
  • In Short it’s for: note taking, sketching, doodling, inking plus:
  • Environmentally friendly – no paper waste
  • Free flow thinking
  • Capturing thoughts and ideas
  • Mind mapping, brainstorming
  • Use the app as a journal or for travel notes
  • Using it at work for meeting minutes
  • Doing homework

Bamboo Paper is designed by Wacom, the company dedicated to creating harmony between technology and you! Millions of Bamboo users worldwide can’t be wrong!


On the surface, Bamboo is a nice simple free drawing app for the iPad. Using your finger you an draw diagrams, make notes and draw doodles. You can then e-mail the page, save it as an image or if you have a compatible printer you can print the page.

Where Bamboo Paper I think will excel is if you use the Bamboo stylus. An ordinary stylus won’t work on the iPad, but a specially designed stylus will. Wacom the people behind the Bamboo Paper App have produced a Bamboo Stylus for the iPad.

Using the Bamboo Stylus further enhances numerous applications designed for the iPad by allowing users to express themselves and personalise their work. The pen brings a more accurate and precise way to take notes in meetings and classroom settings or to sketch out rough ideas while on the go. It gives creative thinkers the opportunity to be expressive and visualise their life.

The authentic and satisfying feel of the pen is achieved through subtle design elements, such as a sophisticated black and silver design with satin-textured metal body, a focus on ergonomic comfort and balanced weighting of the pen. In addition, the fine tip gives the user more detail control.

Ideal for handwriting notes, giving a personal touch when editing documents, drawing, sketching and much more, the Bamboo Stylus enriches the way in which users interact with their iPad. Users can now be even more creative, using it in the way that suits them.

Looks great, but does cost £24.99 however there are other iPad stylus out there and a quick search on Amazon brings up the Pogo Sketch Stylus for just £6.99 (+£3.99 shipping). Alas I haven’t had a chance to use either, but am tempted to buy the Pogo stylus. I think for apps such as Bamboo Paper will be great and even better for art apps such as Sketchbook Pro.

One limitation of the free version of Bamboo Paper is you only get one notebook, however you can buy twenty more notebooks as an in-app purchase for just £1.49.

Bamboo Paper is a really simple app that does very little, which is it’s real strength. If you want to draw diagrams or make notes, then Bamboo Paper is great for that. Looks like it would work even better with a stylus.

Get Bamboo Paper in the iTunes Store.