The school year is starting and you are looking for the best drawing tablet for teachers. Virtual education will likely continue in the new school year and the ability to use a tablet to conduct virtual lessons is a must.
The following drawing tablets for teachers are definitely in the top 5 when it comes to ease of use, price, compatibility and versatility.
WHAT IS A DRAWING TABLET?
The name ‘tablet’ is often used freely in technology talks and depending on who you are talking to, it can mean something different.
Today’s ‘tablet’ often refers to something like an Ipad or and Android device that has an operating system and a touch screen very similar to a laptop. It has applications or apps that we can touch to open up a program, game, document, email, etc.
These modern day computers were once heavier, more expensive and had limited functions.
However, a ‘drawing tablet’ is specifically an electronic device that uses a stylus or a pen shaped device to draw on the surface. This drawing tablet is connected to either a desktop, laptop or modern day tablet/Ipad to be able to see an image on the screen.
These drawing tablets have been around since the late 1800’s believe it or not. However, they have evolved today into something that is handheld and interfaces with today’s technology so seamlessly, that makes it possible for anyone to own one.
HISTORY OF THE DRAWING TABLET
The drawing tablet had its beginnings in 1888 as was named the Telautograph – the first electronic handwriting tablet. In 1957, a device very similar to today’s drawing tablet emerged and was used for handwriting recognition known as the Stylator.
Below is a list of the evolution of drawing tablets:
|Electronic handwriting tablet
|Earliest tablet computers
|Commercial use by schools and technology labs
|Used a wired stylus
|Portable tablet PC
|PenPoint O/S, integrated phone, fax, hard drive
|Color touch screen
|PC Tablet debuted by Bill Gates
DRAWING TABLETS FOR TEACHERS
For a teacher today, tablets have become an option for those in the virtual space. No longer are drawing tablets being used for technical operations or artists wanting to draw onto the computer, but teachers are finding it necessary to use it along with their virtual platforms.
The simplicity of attaching a drawing tablet to a computer or laptop via USB and using the pen to draw allows teachers to benefit in the following ways:
BENEFITS TO TEACHERS
- Annotate on the screen while teaching
- Make notes from student feedback in the midst of a lesson
- Demonstrate Math problems while talking through the process
- Writing sample essay starters
- Drawing music notes for music class
- Saving notes for future classes or student study
- Visual learners will be able to understand easily
- Having no choice but being on a virtual platform means using software like JamBoard, Peardeck, Nearppod, Google Classroom, Google Slides, Whiteboards, etc to draw on while explaining topics
BEST DRAWING TABLETS
So which tablets are best for use in the classroom?
After using tablets, and noting its pros and cons, the following are recommended for teachers to make the most out of the online tablet experience:
This tablet is one of the best tablets for teachers. It has a large drawing area of 9 x 6 inches which allows the user’s hand to easily make use of the entire tablet without much trouble.
It is comfortably thin at 12.5 x 8.25 x 0.4 inches and weighs a light 1 pound. The pen or stylus is battery free, easy to hold, it comes with an eraser on the tip and has 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity with60 degrees of tilt detection.
Overall, it has good drawing performance. There are 4 buttons on the tablet, it comes with USB-C connectivity which means it is fast, works on Windows, Mac and Android. It is also affordable coming in at around $60
Four rubber pads on the back allow it to grip most surfaces so it won’t move. If you are left-handed, you can adjust the settings to suit your style of writing.
There are extra pen nibs and adapters included. Drivers are easy to use and install. Overall this XPen Tablet is considered one of the best for teachers.
The Wacom Tablet is probably more well known in the drawing tablet arena. Many teachers have been using this tablet along with their online lessons this past year. It is also known as one of the best drawing tablets for beginners. So if you are just starting out with using tablets with your virtual learning, this may be the one for you.
This is a high quality tablet at an affordable price at around $80. It’s USB connectivity means it will plug right into your laptop or desktop. And at 7.8 x 6.3 x 0.35 inches it has a large drawing space, and less than one pound, it can fit into your bag or backpack without a problem.
It has 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and gives you control while making your annotations or drawing your diagrams. There are four keys which allow you to customize your most used commands like undo or copy/paste.
This tablet works with Chromebooks, an increasingly popular laptop being used by many students and teachers for the online learning platforms. The battery free pen allows ease of use without a need to recharge.
The most affordable of the tablets mentioned, the HUION H610 Pro V2 comes in at around $50 as one of the best tablets for teachers. Although slightly heavier than the other two at 1.3 pounds, its dimensions are 13.9 x 9.6 x 0.5 inches making it very small and thin.
It is compatible with Chromebooks and with Androids running 6.0 and above. This currently does not work with Ipads, but will attach nicely to PC laptops and desktops.
Its battery free, cordless pen mean no need to recharge. Its large writing area of 10 x 6.25 inches gives plenty of room for drawing and annotating on screen with 8192 pressure levels of sensitivity.
It has 8 customizable press keys and 16 customizable soft keys make actions suit your needs. The tablet comes with a pen stand and 8 extra nibs. The connection is Mini-USB and drivers are easy to install.
The HUION H610 has a new version out known as the H610X. It has a large area of 10 x 6.25 which gives you the amount of space you need to draw or annotate on the screen.
It has a battery free stylus and a 60 degree tilt function with the pen and four different rotation angles. The pen has 8192 pressure points which makes it sensitive and precise.
8 customized press keys and 8 programmable keys for the short cuts you use the most.
Compatibility is great with use on PCs running Windows 7 and above, Mac running OS 10.12 as well as Chromebooks running Chrome OS 88 and Android devices with 6.0 and above. It has a light weight at a little over a pound.
What makes it different than the V2 is it is thinner, lighter and uses USB-C instead of Mini-USB.
Whichever tablet you choose, whether it is the HUION 610X, HUION 610 PRO V2, the Wacom Intuos or the XPen Star G960S Plus, you will be able to seamlessly integrate it within your online lessons. Once you get use to writing on the surface and using it within your applications, you will wonder how you ever taught without it.
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