Gadgets for EdGeeks: Introducing the Livescribe!

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Tech Tool: Livescribe

Description: At a recent educational conference I was able to test drive the Livescribe. In a nutshell, this device is a computer inside of a pen. You can use this tool to record audio and to transfer your written notes straight to your computer. The pen has a USB cable, which makes connecting to your computer simple! The Livescribe is available in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB models, which ranges from 200-800 hours of recorded audio. This tech toy makes it easier than ever to save notes in an organized fashion and share notes with friends, teachers, students, etc.

How it Works: The Livescribe is used in conjunction with a special notebook. The notebook is filled with “Dot Paper,” which has three icons at the bottom of each sheet: “Play, Record, Stop.” You just tap each icon when appropriate and take notes with your pen as if it were a regular old ballpoint. Later when you are near your beloved computer, you can connect your Livescribe to playback audio and to view your notes using the Livescribe Desktop Software. This software has functions that allow you to organize your notes in a variety of different ways.

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As if That’s Not Enough… You can download apps for your Livescribe! For example:

  • Language Translation (ie: Spanish Dictionary)
  • Stopwatch
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Study and Organization
  • Games

Application in the classroom: There are countless ways to apply the Livescribe to learning in the classroom. Below, check out just a small list of ways I could imagine using this tool with some of my past students:

  • To model while teaching lessons that explicitly teach note-taking skills
  • During a writing unit that teaches the skill of “Interviewing” (often, children struggle to write quickly enough to capture all of their subject’s words)
  • To teach and study new vocabulary, especially in the content areas
  • While taking notes on math strategies (particularly so a student may play back the teacher’s voice to maximize independence)

Application at home: Depending on the age of your child you can use the Livescribe in a variety of ways. The greatest strength of this tool is that it allows you to hear the teacher’s instruction. If your child constantly comes home saying “I don’t understand my homework” or “My teacher didn’t really explain it,” you can check in with the Livescribe and support your child by helping them recall what the teacher said in school.

  • Have your child use the Livescribe to copy homework each day so your child can have an audio reminder of what the teacher said
  • If your child uses the Livescribe in school, he/she can listen to the audio at a later time to recall a strategy, instruction or sample problem.
  • Use the notes your child took using the Livescribe to create flashcards for vocabulary or a specific unit of study

Appropriate Grade Levels: Grade 2-Forever

Support or Enrichment? This tech tool can be used for both support and enrichment. I would promote it almost as an organizational assistance tool. This tool may also be useful in supporting students with learning disabilities depending on the child’s areas of strength and room for growth. Finally, I see great use for this tool in High School and College. Get your children ready for their future by supporting them in their note-taking, organizational and technological skills all at once!

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  • Top 5 Tech Gadgets to Support Learning at Home and in School- article | TeacherTime123 November 30, 2011 - 6:58pm

    […] This gadget is revolutionary and what I love most about it is that adults use it too! Today you can find the LiveScribe in universities and even office environments today. That means it can grow with the child and follow them all the way through their career as a student and into the working world! In a nutshell, this device is a computer inside of a pen. You can use this tool to record audio and to transfer your written notes straight to your computer. It has a USB port and is easy to connect to your home computer. To learn more about how the LiveScribe can be used to boost learning at home and in school, click here. […]


    • Marisa Kaplan January 19, 2012 - 11:11am

      Haha, me too! You should definitely watch some of the videos – like this You should see if you can do a Donor’s Choose grant for your classroom, if you work with students who you think might benefit. Thanks for reading, and posting.


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