Which Stylus is Best?

Stylus Round-upAfter I tried using a stylus with my students when they worked on their journals on the iPad, I knew I needed to round up enough so that I could have several students writing at once. I wanted the best stylus for the best price. As I started looking for more stylus options, particularly paying attention to the list that our technology coordinator posted in the comments section of  my last post about stylus use, I found some amazing deals. The deals that I found looked just like some of the expensive options on the exhaustive list that our tech coordinator shared with me. A set of 10 styli (styluses? I have no idea how pluralize that word. Have you noticed how I’ve avoided writing sentences that call for the plural form?) for under $5 was too good of a deal to pass up. Even if they turned out to be trash (which some of them did) I was willing to lose the five bucks to find out!

The first batch that arrived in the mail from an Amazon vendor was a loss.  None of them worked with any sort of consistency.  When I was typing,  the ipad would recognize maybe every other letter. I tried pushing harder and I tried using a firmer grip, but neither strategy yielded any results.Useless stylus

The second batch (also from an Amazon vendor) had to travel from Hong Kong, so they took longer to arrive. They were very similar to the ones our technology coordinator picked up from a Hawaii swap meet  in both appearance and function.  They worked really well. The kids and I found them easy to us. And now they’re even less expensive! Only $2 for a pack of 10

.Hong Kong Stylus

I’ll be honest. The stylus pictured below makes me just plain nervous when I think of it in the hands of my preschoolers. I love gadgets, particularly multi-function gadgets like a stylus and a ball point pen all in one device!  However, handing preschoolers an iPad at the very same time you hand them a ball point pen is risky, even if the ball point pen has a very nice stylus point on the other end of it.  Chances are good that they’ll try to color the screen, or at the very least, color the cover. So while this pretty blue stylus worked well, and appealed to my gadget loving self, it’s not something I’ll be offering to my students any time soon, even if it is just $5.Ball Point Pen Stylus

Finally, I wanted to try some of the “fancy” options, to see if it really was worth it to pay extra. I visited the electronics section of our local big box store. I’ll admit, I stared at the $15 price tag for quite some time before I decided whether or not I  was willing to pay that much for a stylus that might not be any better than the others that I’d paid less than 50 cents for!  I’m relieved to report that the $15 stylus really was nicer than the 50 cent & $5 items I’d already worked with.  On this particular model, the stylus had small holes in the rubber tip.  I think this made the tip more flexible and sensitive.  It really did seem more responsive than the other, less expensive, devices.  I’m not sure I’m ready to say that it was fifteen dollars nicer than the stylus set that came from Hong Kong, but it was definitely nicer. I think the Hong Kong set wins this round!

The spendy stylus.

I’m really excited for the children to spend much more time writing and coloring on the iPad this next school year. Using a stylus makes it much easier for the children to create their journal illustrations.  I love that I can have a stylus for each child during our learning centers and not have to pay $15 for each stylus.

Having a few inexpensive options is great, but I’m still itching to try making my own stylus from scratch. I’ve googled it a bit and it doesn’t seem that hard! Watch for that post in the future!

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