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Old 07-01-2008, 03:52 AM   #16
tomliversidge
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Originally Posted by Patricia View Post
Actually, the Sony Reader will read doc -- it automatically converts it to rtf.

I'm an academic and I do receive essays via email and the electronic Blackboard system. A new problem is that some students submit coursework in docx. This will require conversion. (And some colleagues have had difficulty with this.)
I prefer to print the essays, so that I can put ticks and comments directly adjacent to the relevant paragraph. I've got colleagues who make comments on a pc and email/print them. This may well work for some topics, but I'm not convinced that it's the best for all types of essay. I teach philosophy and often have essays consisting of detailed analysis, where it is important to highlight exactly which step in an argument is debatable.
Also, I like to correct grammatical errors and typos. This is quickly done on paper but could take a lot longer if I were to note and correct each one in a separate document.
Our students will also be submitting through Blackboard. We are striving for a paper-free system so are trying to avoid printing anything out. I agree there could be potential difficulties with linking comments to certain parts of a (long) document, and moderators might have problems if they need to to side-to-side comparisons of essays (unless they use 2 e-readers of course...). My current idea is to try and bid for a number of different e-readers to evaluate their suitability (rather than x number of the same model).
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:58 AM   #17
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How complicated are these research papers? Are they text base only or do they have pictures and links?



Just a FYI. The annotations are not recorded on the doc but on a separate file. So the annotations would not be visible to that word file.

=X=
The assignments will be mainly text based documents. I see iRex also has software for converting the written annotations to text (MyScript Notes). Does anyone have experience of using this? I'm not 100% sure how academics would even use the ability to make comments using a stylus. It might be enough for them just to write notes for themselves on the iLiad and that's it... they have to fill out a separate feedback sheet and give a final mark. The word doc itself isn't returned to the student as far as I am aware.
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:02 AM   #18
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Hmm... doesn't make sense. Why would a machine with no keyboard or fancy swivel hinge be more expensive?

BOb
Think part of the cost is reducing the size of the components, and making it as thin and light as possible, while giving it a reasonable battery life.

When you combine all those factors, it adds up.

Because, after all convertibles except for the digitiser screen and the swivel hinge are pretty similar to standard laptops. Those do add costs, and are usually reflected in the 10% to 20% premium you usually pay for a tablet.

Slates are a completely different kettle of fish.

Keep in mind that the almost no company making slates is marketing them to consumers really. They are all aimed squarely at the vertical market. So quality, sturdiness, reliability, usability all have to be optimised which adds even more costs. While they may be able to get away cutting some corners in the consumer market, it probably wouldn't work in the corporate market, where a long term support contract means that any shoddy work ends up eating into your profit margin.
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:20 PM   #19
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There were several reports of publishers using Sony Reader (and I think, one about the Kindle) to read manuscripts. That seems to work quite well for them.
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:11 AM   #20
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Mind you, a document saved as A4 PDF would be quite difficult to mark on an iLiad screen, because the text would be so small -- the marker's handwriting would need to be equally small to fit between the lines!
Depends on what formating guidelines the students are given. Standard format at my university for all papers is double spacing with 3 cm margins.

I currently (hand) edit my papers on my iLiad - I print the original MS Word doc to pdf (I use the default settings in the MS word pdf printer - the documents end up as A4 pdfs), transfer the pdf to the iLiad, then rotate the pdf, and zoom out some of the side margins. The font ends up large enough to read comfortably, and with the double spacing, there's lots of room for hand annotation.
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:18 AM   #21
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I dont want to give markers the opportunity to edit the word docs themselves. Is there a stripped down version of this program that just displays word documents?
Further to my post above - getting your markers to work with pdf versions of the original documents would be an ideal way to discourage this kind of tampering.
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:39 AM   #22
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tom, there's Microsoft Word Viewer:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en

Or just make .pdfs and enable annotation and use a Tablet PC.

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Old 07-02-2008, 12:41 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
Hmm... doesn't make sense. Why would a machine with no keyboard or fancy swivel hinge be more expensive?
He told you: it's aimed at markets where they can charge more.

What it costs them to make it, and what they sell it to you for are separate questions. Their Cost Of Goods Sold will set a minimum price they have to charge. Beyond that, the limit is what you will pay. Depending upon who you are and what you do, that price will vary widely.
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:43 PM   #24
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Or just make .pdfs and enable annotation and use a Tablet PC.
One of the issues was that markers weren't comfortable reading assignments on screen, which is why he thought an eInk based solution might be better. A tablet PC would not address this.
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:46 AM   #25
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One of the issues was that markers weren't comfortable reading assignments on screen, which is why he thought an eInk based solution might be better. A tablet PC would not address this.
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The question I have is that are the markers concerned about the eyestrain from the LCD screen, or the more common problem of Form Factor.

Part of the problem might be that the markers are more used to the usual, system of directly marking up the assignments, and don't want to have to do that on a fixed moniter, and mark on a seprate sheet, or use a a keyboard to do so on the comp. I know i would't.

A Tablet on the other hand, does make it more natural, i.e more pen and paperish experience.

If eyestrain from the lcd is the main issue, then the illiad, or the upcoming Astek 9.7'' might offer a solution, if they need the ability to mimic a pen and paper experience. However, as mentioned, there is going to be a bit of a lerning curve, as e-ink behaves a little differently from normal screens, so that has to be kept in mind
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