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[seul-edu] pencil & paper to computer

The Saskatoon LUG has successfully lobbied our school board to do a trial LTSP project (yeah! :) ) This prompted a great deal of thought.

I don't know if this list is the appropriate venue for this, but here goes anyway...

I was thinking about how most of youngest (grade 1) daughters' school work is done with pencil and paper, and how difficult it would be to adapt these pencil and paper sort of things to a computer. In grade 1 there is still a lot of focus on learning to form letters properly. Most of the work on paper could not easily be set up as a simple on screen point and click thing. Most children this age don't have good keyboarding skills as well.

I am wondering what the state of pen/stylus input is in the linux world. I have a wacom grahics tablet that I used for graphic work. These are getting cheaper. Is anything like this used in educational software?

My daughter can point and click quite well, but she can print on paper much faster than she can type.

Is there any practical pen/stylus input systems available for linux?

It seems intuitive to me that if young children could interact with the computer using something similar to a pencil, that a lot more useful primary grade oriented software could be developed.

Am I the only one that thinks a keyboard isn't the easiest way for a young child to interact with a computer? But I also think that simple point and click things with a mouse, discourage independent thought.

Gordon J. Holtslander Department of Biology
Holtslander@sask.usask.ca University of Saskatchewan
Tel: 306 966-4433 112 Science Place
Fax: 306 966-4461 Saskatoon, SK
http://duke.usask.ca/~holtsg Canada S7N 5E2