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Old 10-01-2018, 09:01 AM   #1
snowcrash101
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Question Max 2 for Academic Work and online grading?

Hi, for a long time I've been looking for an e-ink device to do academic work, e.g. reading and annotating pdfs, and grading online.

A few of questions:

1) My work involves grading essays online (blackboard/moodle) via the browser. This involves a combination of selecting text with touch, and typing comments via external bluetooth keyboard. How would the Max 2 perform?

2) I'm thinking the BOOX Max 2 is the best device at the moment for this kind of work?

3) Or should I wait? Are there any new devices in 2018/19 with the same screen size that will surpass the Max 2?

Thanks for any thoughts/advice.
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Old 10-01-2018, 09:42 PM   #2
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Hi snowcrash101,

I have an academic job as well, and got Max for the same purpose.

1) This device is good for scribbling on a PDF file in its own native app. It is not good for online grading. Most websites are not made to be displayed in black and white (or grayscale for that matter). We have Canvas in our institution, and what I do is that I download all the homeworks in PDF, grade them, and then reupload them.

2) I have tested Sony and Remarkable as well. Both are great devices with crippled software. They are good as long as you are doing exactly what their native software is made to allow. I couldn't convince myself that I could live within the confines of that limited software suite, as it would break down my workflow.

3) Nothing else compares. Despite the bugs in the Onyx software (always feels like an alpha version), the device is extremely practical. The device is ultralight, it holds the charge for a long time, doesn't strain the eyes, and the A4/Letter size is a delight for reading academic papers. Of course, if eye strain is not a factor, I recommend iPad pro instead.
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:48 PM   #3
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I agree about reading and annotating PDFs on the Max 2. I use Acrobat to annotate (mostly highlight) papers stored on Dropbox, and if you exit Acrobat with the back button they automatically get updated in Dropbox. For scribbling notes on math problems, I use the built-in reader software. It's not as Dropbox-friendly, unfortunately (or I don't know how to force it to update), but it has more scribbling options.
The Max 2 is the perfect tool for academic study. I don't grade papers so I have nothing to add on that score.
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Old 10-07-2018, 02:14 PM   #4
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As another academic user of Max 2 I can definitely recommend it.

On top of previous comments I can say that I use it with bluetooth keyboard to write and annotate pdfs. It works really well.

Not big fun of scribbling but if you gonna I would suggest buying screen protector because there has been reports of screen scratches (it is a plastic, not glass,screen)

Currently there is nothing that even comes close to Max 2 for academic use (Sony is very limited by software) and I didn't hear about anything to be released soon that could change it.

I hope that the release Max 3 with frontlight at some point next year, then I would upgrade, but there are no official info/gossip about it yet.
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Old 11-17-2018, 06:57 AM   #5
snowcrash101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retrography View Post
Hi snowcrash101,

I have an academic job as well, and got Max for the same purpose.

1) This device is good for scribbling on a PDF file in its own native app. It is not good for online grading. Most websites are not made to be displayed in black and white (or grayscale for that matter). We have Canvas in our institution, and what I do is that I download all the homeworks in PDF, grade them, and then reupload them. [...]
Thanks for the feedback. With the volume of work I grade online, down/up-loading coursework would be time-consuming as it would have to be done for each student

When you say the Max 2 is not good, do you mean in terms of display, slowness/lag?
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Old 11-17-2018, 09:39 AM   #6
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Hello, I'm interested to explore the idea of academic work for potential opportunity.

What do you mean by "online grading"? How does the whole system work? Do the students use pen and paper, then their work is somehow digitized? I see that you would like the pen and paper experience when grading in a digital form. How do you do it normally, I mean by design of the system, do you use a PC with a wacom tablet to write freehand on top of the digital content or do you use keyboard? How the students receive their feedback?

Can you share who designed the software, usually there is an About menu to find such info, maybe some web links or youtube demonstrations?
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Old 11-18-2018, 04:00 AM   #7
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I am not a teacher, but while I was studying we sent every work as a word or pdf file to an email. The teacher would just need to load it, read and grade later. I mean, they read a lot of shit from students.
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Old 11-19-2018, 12:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by whopper View Post
I am not a teacher, but while I was studying we sent every work as a word or pdf file to an email. The teacher would just need to load it, read and grade later. I mean, they read a lot of shit from students.
Thanks for you input but I guess it does not apply to all type of students. Perhaps university students do utilize computers to write their assignments but I guess lower education level still have to use pen & paper. What about exams? Do the university students write the exams using laptops these days?

I guess the situation may differ much depending on the location (USA, Europe, etc.) and type of school (private, public).
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plusz View Post
Thanks for you input but I guess it does not apply to all type of students. Perhaps university students do utilize computers to write their assignments but I guess lower education level still have to use pen & paper. What about exams? Do the university students write the exams using laptops these days?

I guess the situation may differ much depending on the location (USA, Europe, etc.) and type of school (private, public).
I am a professor of Computer Science in my university (Bordeaux, France). We use old-style paper for all written exams, but there are plenty of situations where students have to produce some kind of written report, and they almost always do this with some form of word processor (or, better, Latex) - so it's a rather common thing for me to have to grade, or somehow evaluate, PDF documents.

I don't systematically use my Max 2 for this, but with the proper interface, it would easily become my tool of choice for this. I bought the device more for the ability to read scientific PDF documents, and sometimes annotate them.

To make it really comfortable to read students' reports on the Max 2, I would typically need some easy way to transfer files to/from the device, typically through email. I could set up an email account for this, I suppose...
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Old 11-22-2018, 05:46 AM   #10
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To make it really comfortable to read students' reports on the Max 2, I would typically need some easy way to transfer files to/from the device, typically through email. I could set up an email account for this, I suppose...
E-Mail, SMB sharing (and similar), HTTP portal, full-blown CMS...
Streamlining would be a nice project
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Old 11-23-2018, 01:47 PM   #11
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To make it really comfortable to read students' reports on the Max 2, I would typically need some easy way to transfer files to/from the device, typically through email. I could set up an email account for this, I suppose...
I don't use the Max 2 to mark student work - student work is still submitted on paper in my field - but I do use it to read and comment on the work of young colleagues who I mentor (draft papers, usually). I find that Dropbox combined with Dropsync works well for getting files on and off the device. The built-in email client also works tolerably well for email. The contrast is less than perfect, but it's definitely usable, and it supports sending attachments.
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Old 11-24-2018, 05:39 PM   #12
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Thank you, it's a very interesting feedback. Indeed, I thought that university students are more likely to use the electronic form. Nowadays everyone can afford a laptop, nonetheless paper is just much cheaper and perhaps let the adults (and children) stay more focused at their subjects. Proficiency of use is another factor. I type around 80 words per minute where with pen I can write maybe 30 words per minute and cannot figure out what was written later.

To aid the teachers with grading perhaps we would need also a fast automatic scanning machines as traditional scanners are too slow and process one document at a time.
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