Saturday, February 12, 2011

Record with your pen!

Sometimes newfangled technology products really do revolutionize how we learn.  One of the newer, niftier learning aids is the set of Smartpens offered by Livescribe.

Smartpens are pens that record both sound and what you write as you use it. 

For example, you can turn on the  Smartpen as your A&P class begins, then record the professor and student discussion as you write your notes.

After class, all you have to do is tap on a part of your notes to replay the audio that goes with it!  Or you can replay the whole class!  If you are using the earbuds that come with the pen, you could also replay a part of the class that you want to replay.

If you want to, you can then dock your  Smartpen in a small USB penholder that comes with your  Smartpens to upload the recording to your Livescribe library.

Once a recording is in your library, you can upload it to the Livescribe site as a pencast.  You can then review the pencast any time you like.  You can keep your pencasts private or you can share them publicly.

This is a great way to replay an entire class to review it . . . or to go back to a part of the class that puzzles you so you can replay your note taking while the voices of your professor and classmates are also replayed.  What a great way to review your newly learned A&P concepts!

If you use the  Smartpen to record others, make sure you have their permission first. Not all professors permit their classes to be recorded. And test out the volume settings and your location in the room to get the best recording.

Here is a simple example of a pencast that quickly summarizes one concept in A&P.

Bone Cell Actions
brought to you by Livescribe

A great study project for your A&P study group would be to produce pencasts like this example and post them to share with the whole class!

To use the Smartpen you have to use the special paper that comes with the pen. Livescribe also provides a file that allows you to print the special paper on your computer printer. However, I prefer to use the inexpensive notebooks available from Livescribe.

This video briefly summarizes the concept of the Smartpen and how you can use it to improve learning.

If you already have some pencasts for A&P that you've posted for public viewing, why not post the link here? Just "comment" on this blog article and include the link.