As part of a TLT Ungrant, Sarah Davis, Assistant Professor in the Department of Teacher Education, received a Bamboo Tablet by Wacom.  Her goal was to use the tablet and the handwriting capability to assist in her grading.  This post is her initial thoughts on the tablet and it’s usefulness for her purposes.

It was a little more difficult than anticipated to get up and running using the Bamboo tablet to do freehand annotations and write comments on student submitted assignments in .pdf format.

screenshotWhat I had thought would be an imbedded feature of the Bamboo table, turns out to require 3rd party software. It took me a few hours and a few different softwares to find one that did what I wanted. Skim 1.4.4 is the one that works best for me (

There is a small learning curve, you change the ink color in Preferences and you have to Export and Replace instead of saving, but these solutions were not too hard to find.

Now that I have a software that allows for freehand annotations, I have been able to grade a series of papers in fully digital format. I can write comments, circle portions of the text and even put in a text box if I want to type out, or use speech to text for more lengthy comments.

I’ll keep you posted on my further progress.