Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Livescribe Pen - My Initial Thoughts

LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 10:  The LiveScribe Smart ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
I like low budget, low tech, simple tools that have a powerful impact on learning. This is why I've become a fan of the Livescribe Pen. I used it to post the handwritten and abbreviated version of this post below.

For some people the Livescribe has the capability to be a wonderful tool for taking notes, recording notes, and recording audio to go along with those notes. I emphasize some, because while I'm excited about how this tool can empower learners, it isn't for everyone. Some people will prefer to record notes on a computer/wireless device of some sort, some people will prefer to use the collaborative notes created in a wiki/shared document, and some people will prefer to write their notes with a pencil/pen and paper. Some will even be interested in all of the above. The fact that the Livescribe syncs up the audio with the animated notes makes it super useful for people who need both visual and auditory reinforcement for some learning situations/contexts.

The Livescribe Pen has many potential applications for use as a supportive learning device. Below are a few examples of how it is currently being used at my school and how it might be used in the future as well:

-One high school student that I'm aware of right now is using it primarily for note taking. A few of her teachers allow her to record audio so that she can review the class with animated notes supported by audio.

-We'll soon be using it as a mathcasting tool for students. I see it being used by students to create scripted mathcasts, but I also see it being used spontaneously in class. Say a student comes up with a new way to think about a problem...the teacher can just say, "Livescribe your thinking," and it can immediately be posted to the community learning space as an object for others to interact with and build upon. Alternately, if a student is really struggling she may "Livescribe her thinking" for others members of the classroom community to weigh in on.

-One of our junior students will be using it to conduct an ethnographic observation and interview of a community member as part of an english class project (click here to see some of these from last year). Last year we had the students use portable microphones for this purpose along with written notes...this may turn out to be a helpful little tool for the project.

I certainly wish the Livescribe pen allowed the line thickness to be modified so that the animated notes were easier to track, but all-in-all, this is a powerful little tool.

Visit the livescribe community at to see the other innovative and creative uses of this supportive/assistive learning tool.


Livescribe note samples (I only included the animation or audio is sure to visit the livescribe community to see examples with audio and animation).

I have to say that the process of handwriting this post with a pen was LABORIOUS to say the least...I forgot how much more efficient it is for me to keyboard in comparison to handwriting. But again, I know this is a personal preference and others will prefer different note taking mediums.

Part I:

Livescribe Post
brought to you by Livescribe

Part II:

Livescribe 2
brought to you by Livescribe

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