Bamboo Spark

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Wacom Bamboo Spark EduSketch


Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
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How can teachers capture classroom ideas better?

I’ve got my hands on a Bamboo Spark, a smart folio device from Wacom that allows people to take handwritten notes and immediately transfer them, at the push of a button, to an iPad, iPhone or Android device. 

Using Bluetooth technology, Wacom’s new product synchronises what has been written or sketched on the paper to the Wacom Cloud, storing it for later editing, shaping and sharing. The latest update to the Bamboo Spark means you can also convert handwriting to text.

In this post I reflect how any teacher could potentially use the device in their working lives to save time and be more efficient, but also how it could potentially be used in a classroom environment to spark creativity, mind mapping and handwriting or drawing skills.”

The product:

By adding handwriting-to-text conversion, to move notes and ideas forward faster, I’m confident Bamboo Spark can deliver in the classroom. The smart notebook saves notes digitally as they are written on paper, converting notes or images which brings several exciting new opportunities for teachers, including the ability to archive text notes and share them with colleagues over email or other office applications.

“Take notes and ideas from paper, to cloud, to life.”

Below is a gallery of the product being unpacked from its box.

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Think about the possibilities! From students who want to share their class notes later with a study group or those who have missed class, to a [teacher] who wants to store notes for use in a future presentation, ink to text conversion has dozens of powerful uses,” says Mike Gay, Senior Vice President for Wacom.

Example Sketches:

Here are my attempts at sketching my blogs: Switch Off this Summer, 20 Years of Educational Fads and this blog from Buffer.

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Brilliant quality and perfect composition!

As a design technology teacher, I’m very excited about converting drawings into digital incarnations of themselves. All the EduSketch notes I’ve done in the past, can now simply be converted through bluetooth to all my devices in and out of the classroom.”

This device would work well for moving around the classroom, recording notes or feedback from students all on the notepad; student work can be captured digitally within seconds and stored online and shared widely!

How it works?

Bamboo Spark marries the tactile joy of a traditional inking pen with the a digital pen in a smart folio. Take a look at this short video which shows how to ‘set your ideas free with the press of a button’.

The process is user-friendly and it’s easy to get started.

Set up your Bamboo Spark Wacom

The product works on most A5 (148 x 210 mm or 5.83 x 8.27 inches) paper and its EMR (Electro-Magnetic Resonance) board communicates with the pen. Simply download the app and pair your devices!


Now that I have used Bamboo Spark, the possibilities are endless for me as a teacher. I could use the device to capture notes at a meeting or at a conference. I also tend to sketch-up my thoughts before I deliver keynote presentations. Either way, this is perfect for teachers.

Using Bamboo Spark, I would be free to share my thoughts (sketches and notes) with the audience live during lessons, conferences and meetings! I know I have done a lot in the short time I have been using it, but it can do so much more. I am looking forward to trialling the software on other devices and using some of the other applications it can work with.

This video (below) shows me synchronising a sketch to my device.


If I could offer some feedback, it would be to provide Bamboo Paper for the iPhone – this would allow users to add colour – and provide a varied set of pen nibs for those who love to sketch without using a ballpoint pen.


You can contact Wacom here and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

This is a product review by Teacher Toolkit.

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