For a while now, we’ve seen tablet/stylus combinations that are clumsy and difficult to use, and whose usefulness in an education setting is not always immediately clear. Apple, however, is attempting to change that with the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.

The Apple Pencil uses much more advanced technology than a traditional stylus, that allows apps to go beyond basic stylus circling and selecting, and actually do precise document editing and advanced inking, drawing, shading, and calligraphy. Developers who integrate their apps with Apple Pencil, such as Autodesk, Abode, and Microsoft, have the ability to implement a vast array of possibilities that have, until now, been inaccessible to many educators.

For example, integration with the Microsoft Office suite for iPad allows for easier and more precise highlighting of text, adding side notes, and drawing rough polygons that snap into sharp shapes. Explain Everything has recently incorporated use of the Apple Pencil, as well, and is useful in creating visual, animated and voice-narrated presentations for demonstrations and explanations.

One particularly interesting app that may be of interest to architecture, design, and art students is Color Splash: The app basically strips out all the color from any photographs that you import into the app, and then, using the Apple Pencil, you can restore the color to particular objects or people in the photos for dramatic effect. The app even allows for easy correction with the Apple Pencil if you accidentally color outside the lines.

Biology, anatomy, and nursing students might be interested 3D4Medical, an app that allows users the ability to produce digital anatomical markups and cut flesh virtually, using the Apple Pencil.

Users of the Apple Pencil say that it feels “extremely natural, whether sketching or shading as a pencil held at an angle, laying down wet ink with a brush, or using a digital ruler to sketch a precisely measured straight line or to mask the ink of a wide marker. Even when used as an eraser, it changes its destruction size depending on how hard you’re pressing.”

The iPad Pro with Apple Pencil is one of the technologies used by some of our Faculty Fellows! For more information about this program, including the application procedure and applicable deadlines, please visit our homepage.