Pen Input Tablet - Selection and Setup for Whiteboard
TPS classes are interactive and often involve writing on the whiteboard in class. In math classes this requires either a pen tablet input or a touch-screen with a stylus. In other courses the pen or stylus is handy but not required. Assignments generally do not require use of a pen tablet or stylus because they can be done on paper and submitted as a PDF scan using a smart phone or tablet (or desktop scanner).

No iPad or Android

While an iPad or Android tablet often has a stylus, these devices cannot be used as input devices for class because classroom whiteboard conferencing software does not run directly on these devices. The classroom conferencing software runs on Windows, Mac and Chromebook. For more information on iPad or other handheld tablet use with GP6, please go here.

How about a touch-screen notebook (Windows or MacOS) or Chromebook with a stylus?

These work well, particularly for newer models because the screen writing has improved significantly. It helps if the physical screen size is not too small, the notebook folds to a flat tablet, and you have a stylus for precise writing. If you have a good notebook computer with a stylus, you should not need a separate pen tablet (and you can ignore the rest of this page).

Brand and Model?

A pen tablet input device costs well under $100 for a basic model. For ease of setup and use of the separate pen tablet, we currently recommend the Wacom brand of pen tablets. The Intuous line has a feature that is essential for Windows users, in that it allows you to turn off Windows Ink (in Win 8 and 10). This makes legible writing much easier. The Intuous Draw is currently the most affordable model in the line, but any of the Intuous models will work. Other companies make acceptable pen tablets as well, with Wacom being the safest choice.


When choosing a pen tablet, please consider that a larger tablet is easier to write legibly on, but takes up more desk space and costs more. A small (4x6 ish) model is sufficient (and is what many teachers use), but takes more practice than a mid-sized (5x8 ish) model, which costs more and takes more desk space. Either is suitable, and families should chose what best meets their needs and constraints.


Wireless pen input tablets are harder to keep working reliably, and do not write as legibly. Choose a USB wired tablet, unless you are just adventurous.


To use the tablet with the whiteboard:
  1. The Windows 10 Ink function can interfere with the pen in GP6, making it hard to write in small areas. The Wacom tablets have a setting to fix this issue. With a Wacom tablet, use the tablet settings Mapping tab to uncheck the Use Windows Ink setting.
  2. Make sure you are using the latest driver for your tablet. Check the vendor site for an update.
  3. Maximize your Whiteboard drawing area on your screen.
  4. (Optional) In your Tablet setup, map the tablet active area to the whiteboard active area in width. This way you can write most legibly across the entire width of the whiteboard. You can scroll the whiteboard as needed to change the vertical work area.
  5. When you are writing or drawing, keep your eyes on the Whiteboard rather than the tablet. You will find this improves your accuracy considerably.
This approach allows you to use a standard size pen tablet to write legibly on the whiteboard slide, to write freehand short notes or work math problems or do any other homework assignment or exam.

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