We urgently need answers to the below questions in order to make some decisions and prepare for Summer quarter and beyond.
We need an instructor-friendly, practical capability to use DocViewer to access and Annotate student assignments within Speedgrader. (The workaround (download, annotate, and upload) is not an option as it is too clumsy and time-consuming.) From reading Canvas community posts, it appears the “gold standard” for this capability is the iPad Pro with 2nd generation Apple Pencil. Due to the high cost of these devices, it is not practical for us to outfit our instructors with them. Therefore we are considering alternatives, and need answers to the following questions.
As far as I am aware, as long as the iOS is up to date and so is the Canvas Teacher app, the interface and user experience is the same across iOS devices using the Apple Pencil. The 2nd Gen Apple Pencil may have more precision, but nothing too notable with the app interface. Otherwise, it would be the differences of the devices (speed and size)
The iOS and Android versions are similar. While the features are very close, they look a little different. You can compare the two versions of the Canvas Teacher App here:
The annotations should work with a Windows touchscreen, though the individual results vary depending on the screen and stylus.
Dear Kristin and Ryan:
Thank you so much for your quick replies.
Based on your input and additional research, we have decided to request our Division to purchase the iPad with 1st generation Apple Pencil. However, I would like to add two lingering thoughts.
1. I am still a little concerned about the Apple Pencil’s drawing functionality (responsiveness, precision and consistency) because we teach Japanese language and our annotation involves drawing complex characters. I am currently using Surface Pro 4, and am quite frustrated with its drawing functionality when annotating students assignments in Speedgrader. All assignments are uploaded in PDF, but I have noticed some inconsistency in DocViewer accessibility and Annotation functionality. For example:
My hope is that iPAD and 1st generation Apple Pencil will not bring these problems.
2. I recently purchased a touch monitor, which I use with my non-touch Windows 10 PC. With my PASSIVE stylus, Canvas Annotation is not accessible. This issue was explained well by Matt Hanes on May14 2019 in his response to Thoughts on Stylus Support in SpeedGrader
I've had similar problems and one more in the web DocViewer interface, when trying to use it with a Huion 1060Plus graphics drawing tablet and active stylus connected to my Windows laptop:
- the same problem with the accept/delete popup box getting in the way of writing with the pencil annotation tool;
- low quality / illegibility of writing with the pencil annotation tool (which does not occur when using the same graphics tablet with other apps);
- visual misalignment of the pencil annotation tool icon with the markings it makes (which appear quite a ways above the tip of the pencil icon -- though when using the mouse, they're properly aligned, I can't control the mouse well enough for writing -- again something that doesn't happen when using the graphics tablet with other apps).
In my case I need pencil annotation for mathematical economics assignment grading. I've worked around this for now by using the Canvas Teacher app on an Android Samsung tablet successfully with PDF documents, but that has its own problems. (That interface can't be used to mark up JPEG files, which students were submitting work that way until I realized I had to have them combine the JPEG photos of their work into PDFs.)
I've submitted a tech support ticket for the misalignment problem.