Saturday, February 04, 2006


The DocuPen RC800 winner announced

I’m ready to announce a winner to the DocuPen RC800 contest!

To start off with, I want to thank everyone who submitted an entry. I’ll be honest, I did not expect such high quality submissions. I also did not expect so many submissions (160 +). Many of the submissions were long essays. Some were quite funny. We even had a fantastic video submission from Mr. Warner Crocker himself. I received a high number of submissions from students, teachers, missionaries, seminary students, several from business professionals, several from medical professionals, etc. Lots of vertical markets represented. Several “higher ups” at Microsoft told me that they were really impressed with the mobile lifestyle case studies presented. Look for some more high quality contests like this in the future. I’ve got something really big up my sleeve, but it will be little while before I’m ready. If you are game for it, I am too. More details later.

I’d also like to thank everyone who linked to this contest and helped promote it. You made a significant contribution in making this contest a success. This contest was a success because of the community involvement.

Before I announce the winner, I want to also let you know that PlanOn, the makers of the DocuPen RC800, have stepped up to the plate in a huge way. They have been so impressed with the quality and number of submissions that they have offered to pay for the RC800 pen. I didn’t learn of this decision until Thursday, but I gladly accepted their offer! In addition, they are making an offer for any of my readers who want to buy an RC800 digital pen scanner: a free leather case ($35 value) and a free 128mb expanded memory card ($35 value). Send an email to with the promo code of CML02060 if you are interested. This offer is valid through Sunday, February 12. FYI: I have no vested interest in you buying a scanner from them. Until last week, PlanOn did not know I even existed.

Now for the winner:

I read every single submission. Several of the submissions were neck and neck. However, I kept going back to one that consistently stood out: Aaron’s post. The whole entry impacted me, but the last sentence summed it up greatly:

Honestly, the number of uses within our setting is almost countless, but like I said, it's not about just impacting a current digital lifestyle as trying to create one for some good kids.

His entire entry was focused on impacting a digital lifestyle for those he cares about: his learning challenged students. I honestly wanted to choose a winner who could best state his case, show the impact, and presented an honest need. Aaron, I hope you put this scanner to some good use. I’d love to hear back on how you are using it and would love to see a picture of you and your kids with the scanner. Congratulations!

His entire entry:

How would a pen based scanner like the RC800 impact your digital lifestyle?

This actually kind of a hard question for me to answer as my hope would be that for me, it's not about impacting my digital lifestyle as much as trying to create a digital lifestyle for my students.

I work as a science teacher with emotionally disturbed (ED) students -- kids with bipolar disorder, severe depression, anxiety disorders, severe ADD and ADHD, school avoidant kids (plus many of our students have learning disabilities on top of this) -- and we're a small school; only 36 kids in the entire school! My class size is between 3 and 7 kids! But, this also means we don't always have the tools that large public schools have the budget for. I'm the only science teacher for the entire school, and the youngest (25) so a lot of the integrating technology part of education falls on me since many of the other, older teachers simply aren't that knowledgable.

I try to integrate technology into my lessons, not just for learning's sake, but because our students have been left behind in tradional methods that aren't eye-catching because they are so internally distracted and because they are frequently more visual learners who do better with things like powerpoint, videos, and internet tools. At the same time, I try to teach them study skills that they can carry back to public schools if they make it there, and eventually college. This has meant talking to them about effective computer use (Google is great but doesn't write the report for you, just gives you resources :) )

So, I try and show them tools that are out there that they can take advantage of. Kids hate reading textbooks, but make a webpage out of it, and they're there. They'll lose their homework and misplace study guides, but know where all their documents are saved on the computer. We have a handful of computers in the classroom for them to use, but the tools to get their normal written work onto the computer so easily?!?! It would blow their mind. I think that if a lot of our kids knew they could go totally digital, they would. Their generation simply prefers it. I've even had in depth discussions with them about making their next computer a tablet pc (although we can't afford those for the school) just so they could do MORE digitally. They always love that idea.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'd use it too. Being able to scan their papers to show good examples to the class, keeping electronic copies of papers after I hand them back so that I can refer back to them, and scanning student documentation! You'd be amazed how much paperwork we copy, file, and write for every single student. Some of these students have their own file cabinet drawer (2 feet deep) of documentation on their disabilities, therapy notes, and case histories. Every teacher keeps a copy of the student's Individual Education Plan and other paperwork, but imagine if we could go digital! Not to mention scanning examples from old texts for future use in presentations and the like.

Honestly, the number of uses within our setting is almost countless, but like I said, it's not about just impacting a current digital lifestyle as trying to create one for some good kids.

Thanks for the chance at this.



First and foremost, thank you for stepping up and sponsoring such a cool contest! I was one of the first few to respond, and after seeing the incredibly high volume and quality of the entries, I didn't envy your task of selecting a winner. Also, congrats to Aaron!

Hopefully, Aaron will find many ways to integrate the RC800 into his classroom and make a difference in the lives of his students (it seems like he’s already got a ton of good ideas). Maybe he can take some pictures and/or post an update after he's had time to put the RC800 through its paces.

I really want one of these, but with baby #1 due anytime now, I doubt I could get the appropriations committee (AKA my wife) to approve the expenditure. She about killed me after I got my Gateway, which I use at home and at work. I guess I'll have to get my own RC800 the good old fashioned way: scrimp and save over the next few months. I guess the old adage is true: good things come to those who wait.


Keep up the good work here at and also with the TabletBible project.

Man it must have been so hard trying to go through all those entries and choosing one!
I'd like to congratulate Aaron as well, and hope it'll make a change in the students learning!
Rob, you made an excellent decision on this. Aaron's entry almost brought me to tears. It's so refreshing to hear there are teachers out there willing to go the distance for their students; especially those students who have otherwise been neglected by the system. I think the RC800 will make such a difference.
I'm so glad you chose Aaron's post as the winner! I didn't read many of the other entries before entering myself, but after I entered, I read Aaron's and wish I hadn't entered!

What Aaron and his school is doing is fantastic! I wish that type of school had been around when I was in high school, as I most certainly would have benefitted from it, having psychiatric disabilities myself.

Congrats to Aaron and his students!!! Keep up the great work!!

Oh - and I got to the contest from the link on the home page. I didn't know before entering that you're the guy who does the TabletBible stuff. So I wanna say awesome job with all of that!! When I first got my Tablet I downloaded all of your TabletBible stuff to use. Thanks so much for it! Keep up the good work with it all!! God bless.
ROB. Great work, marvellous decition. I didn´t read the Aaron post, but I belibe those people deserves all the help we can lend to them. Those like Aaron makes a living from the kind of sevices I don´t have the guts to do, even as a hobby.

Aaron, keep doing good things to good ppl. As Rob too.

I´m the guy from Patagonia, and my emglish didn´t improveed since my last post. jeje.
I salute all of you...
un gran abrazo para ustedes (a great hug to you two).
Standing with you Rob.
This is a commment from Ann at PlanOn:


I just want to say thank you on behalf of Planon System Solutions. We are very excited that you have chosen Aaron. I believe his story was one of the first stories that I read and I was very moved that our product can make a difference in the lives of his students. What a man, he is strong and has a passion for others. Way to go Aaron.

Thank you very much Rob for putting in all your hard work and attention to delivering a successful contest. Whatever, I can do to help you any time please call me.

Ann Bradfield, Sales Specialist and Supporter!!

Planon System Solution
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