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Online Discovery App And E-Enabled Fountain Pen Writing Aids


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After buying a fountain pen/stylus combo from German manufacturer ONLINE, I received supplementary material that shows just how seriously they're into using onscreen writing, apps, and other ways to update the experience of writing with an ink pen, above all for schoolkids. I'm not sure of the German curriculum requirement that compels this, but it's obviously well catered for.


Key to this is the ONLINE Discovery writing app, available for iOS and Android tablets of 10" and above. According to its blurb, "ONLINE has developed a supportive app for learning to write on paper and in addition on tablets. In eight lessons teachers and pupils experience together faraway countries. They practice tracing and curvedrawing, letters and words."


Not everyone may want to try this approach, but you can appreciate the effort put in to keeping cursive writing skills current. ONLINE backs this up with the Switch range of fountain pen/stylus combinations, in a range of kid-friendly colour choices. The company may or may not be doing this the right way, but it's clear that there is plenty of design nous and money invested in making sure that penmanship, as well as pens, can be more than just a matter of treasured yet outdated heirlooms.



Paul StJohn Mackintosh

Twitter: pstjmack

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This is really interesting. Given that many schoolchildren in the USA are no longer taught cursive handwriting (and some cannot even read it as students in my college classes), I welcome any effort to "turn back the tide" of yet another, ill-conceived "improvement" in education.


Thanks for alerting us to this!


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It doesn't help that tablets and phones use such inaccurate input methods (I bought a stylus for my Samsung/Nook to reduce finger prints -- it's basically a quarter-inch balloon with severe lag when changing direction and sticks to the surface).


In contrast, my archaic PDA has a nylon, fine-point, stylus for pressure sensitive input in place of the conductive rubber (or finger) on the tablet. Besides the tap-keyboard, and two zonal "print" input styles (it has the iPAQ "lower case" and Palm Pilot style "upper case") it also has full screen hand-writing recognition done by mapping strokes to "template" letters. It is not OCR (OCR does not have stroke information, so is hampered when given sloppy input).

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