Tag Archive for smartpen

New Tech to Try!

I apologize for not writing more posts this semester, but I have been swamped with work and play :)

I just received the new wi-fi Livescribe smartpen called SKY today and I promise to write a blog post soon about the features and how I plan on using it.  Wi-fi opens the potential of the smartpen to be even smarter!! I can’t wait!

I have been using Doceri 2.0 along with the Mobi 360 w/ clickers in my math classes and plan on updating all of you on how well that is going (it is going REALLY well, by the way)  and how I have used them with my students.

Stay tuned….

 

Distance Education with the Livescribe Smartpen

USING EMBEDDED PDF PENCASTS FOR DISTANCE EDUCATION

I had a college professor contact me recently to show me his embedded pencast PDF (text embedded in the background).   It was so fantastic, I asked him if I could write about what he is doing with his smartpen in his distance education classes for English.

Here is a link to open the pencast PDF he sent me. He used it to give a student feedback (he asked the student for permission for me to post this):

http://core.ecu.edu/engl/hackettt/miller.pdf

Now that you are as impressed as I am, here is a little bit about the gentleman who created the pencast.

Timm Hackett is in the English department at East Carolina University.  Rather then me telling you about how he uses the Livescribe smartpen, he has given me permission to share his story with you (he obtained permission from his students to quote them as well).

Timm Hackett

The Livescribe pen has been a part of my English Distance Education courses at East Carolina University since October 2009. The pen has not only given me the ability to communicate with my students on a more personal level, but it has also allowed me to be more efficient in my teaching. What started out as a way to capture my own notes for writing turned into the most requested method of teaching from my DE students.
DE classes have always tried to emulate face-to-face classes; however, even the most advanced uses of technology fall short of their intended effect. Podcasts are wonderful for audible learners, but disregards students who may be visual learners. Videotaping classes requires a great amount of preparation, sufficient bandwidth and storage space on both the professor’s and student’s side, and cumbersome equipment. Even when faculty use such technologies, the outcome is less than adequate. This often leads to more work for the professor and continued frustration for the students. More often than not, a professor will fall back on what one graduate student described as a “document dump” into Blackboard or Moodle.
This is where the Livescribe can alleviate many of these issues. 
Larissa Putnam, a student in the ECU Wells Fargo Partnership East Program (http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/partner_east/), stated, “What Distance Education students often feel is lacking in their overall experience is a sense of community and connection; however, putting a voice, and handwriting to a name really personalizes the lecture format in a way that a typed document cannot.”
Even when the pencast is not a lecture, but comments on the student’s own writing, it succeeds in providing feedback to the student. Frank Campione, a junior studying for his BSBA in Information Technology struggled with one aspect of composition. Even after seeing comments in the Word document, Campione still was unclear on the concept being taught. However, after combining his document and a PDF pencast, he wrote “[The Pencast] has an added bonus of giving distance education students more personal input from their professor, something that is lacking in some distance education classes.” One of Campione’s classmates, Paula Daughtry, a student studying Special Education, went a step further in her praise for what the Livescribe pen provided her: “”I really liked how you were able to write and speak concerning my paper. Yes, this is perfect for DE students like myself! I felt that I had a face-to-face meeting.”
Using the technique of the embedded PDF pencast has increased the value of the Livescribe Pen. Now, a professor can print pages of a digital text and embed audio comments directly into the pages, make annotations and audio comments directly onto a student’s paper, and share these PDFs with an entire class. This allows the DE students to listen to or watch a pencast, and even print the document when they are finished.
Perhaps the best comment received was from Vickie Willis, another student from the ECU Wells Fargo Partnership East Program. She wrote, “I liked the Livescribe pen and pencasts so much that I went out and bought one and hope to incorporate its use into my own classroom one day. I believe it will be a great tool to help students struggling, especially with math, by viewing a pencast explaining mathematical computations.”
—————-
I am so inspired by Timm’s latest email to me:
“After finding your site and the instructions on using embedded PDFs, I have been asked to present on the Livescribe four times this year. Two have been to my University as a whole, one has been to my own department, and in two weeks, I will present to the Atlantic Coast Business, Marketing, and Information Technology Education Conference in Raleigh. “
What an amazing difference the Livescribe smartpen has made for Timm, and now he is making a huge difference by sharing his experiences as well.  If you would like to find out more about him, Timm’s website is:   http://core.ecu.edu/engl/hackettt/.
 

Creating a Text Embedded Interactive Worksheet with a Livescribe Smartpen

EMBEDDING TEXT BEHIND A LIVESCRIBE PENCAST PDF

Recently I learned how to embed text behind a Livescribe pencast and it has changed everything!

I created a short interactive worksheet to show what can be created with this process.   The following is a screenshot of the text embedded pencast because I cannot embed a PDF file (yet) into a website.   A link to the actual pencast PDF is below the screenshot.

Pencast PDF with text in the background
(you must have Adobe Reader 10.0 or higher to view this interactive PDF)

If that does not work, I put a link on my website for you to click on OUTSIDE of WordPress
(I have some issues with opening PDFs inside WordPress – if anyone can help me to embed
a PDF in WordPress or a website I would really appreciate it!)

As listed in the pencast, the steps to embed the text in the pencast PDF are as follows:

1.  Print off the text file onto Livescribe dot paper (I used college-ruled dot paper in my printer)

2.  Record a pencast on top of dot paper that has the text printed on it (the text shows you where to write!)

(sorry about the poor photo quality)

3.  Connect your smartpen and upload your pencast as a PDF (use the “Computer” connector)

As you can see in this screen shot, the pencast looks pretty strange without the text behind it!

4.  Save the original text document as a .jpg (image file) – to do this you must first save it as a PDF and then you can use Adobe Acrobat Pro or the free online utility Zamzar (www.zamzar.com) to save your PDF as a .jpg file

5.  Open the pencast PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro or PDF Pro (http://epapyrus.com/en/)  so that you can add a watermark to the PDF file

6.  Add your .jpg text file as a watermark to your pencast PDF and re-save the PDF

7.  The new pencast PDF can be viewed by anyone with Adobe Reader 10.0 or higher

 

Please add comments on this blog if you know of other free ways to save a text document as an image file and also if you know of other (especially FREE) programs that allow the user to edit a PDF.

Please send me the projects you make – I would love to see them!

 

 

Update1 on “Help For My Autistic Great Nephew”

Help For My Autistic Great Nephew – update 1

A couple months ago I purchased a Livescribe smartpen (click for links within my blog) for my niece to use with her autistic son (I think that makes him my great-nephew?)    I showed her how to use it during a family reunion in the Outer Banks over the summer. (Here is a link to the previous article)

Ethan’s mom sent me the following “first impression” of using the Livescribe smartpen with her son, and gave me permission to post it.  Her autistic son Ethan is 9 years old:

Every child learns differently. Part of Ethan’s struggle has been that he does not learn by the same standardized methods that most children are able to use for learning.  He is great with technology, likes repetitiveness and although he does enjoy social interaction he does not like to “perform” when someone is trying to teach him something.  The smart pen allows us to combine and functionally utilize these traits.

Ethan does well with his iPad but unlike the pre-programmed educational apps, with the smart pen we can create our own learning material specific to his needs. For instance if he is struggling with the letter “A” he can sit down with his iPad on his own (in his own space) and replay (over and over) the note session that shows how to write “A” as well as hearing the sound.  It also allows me to focus on topics of interest for him. He loves baseball so we can practice spelling and writing sentences all tailored around “Ethan playing baseball.”

The sound stickers are also really cool.  We are able to record each page of a book on them so that Ethan is then able to “read” books to himself.  He enjoys reading books but at his age most kids are able to read to themselves. This allows Ethan to read/listen to his books independently when I am not available.  It also is great in that he is able to repeatedly hear the words in connection with seeing them over and over. ..because let’s face it, as a parent you can only read the same book over and over in one day before you lose your mind.

Ethan’s mom is using the Livescribe smarpen (click to go to the main Livescribe website) to write out the lessons she wants her son to learn, then uploading them to his iPad for him to interact with by hearing and watching the lesson.    She is using the sound (dot) stickers to record herself reading each page of his favorite books.  She then places a sticker on each page for  him to “read” the book by himself.  By tapping the sticker with his smartpen, he can hear the words on the page being read to him by his mother! 

I will continue keeping updates in this blog on how his first IEP meeting goes this year at school, and how his learning progresses with the use of the Livescribe smartpen.

Livescribe now has a website for solutions for teaching students with learning disabilities:
http://www.livescribe.com/en-us/solutions/learningdisabilities/

 

Story Boards for Kids…and Adults!

A recent trip to San Francisco connected me to some really fantastic teachers with amazing energy and enthusiasm!  Zoe is one such person.    To get to know her better, here is her website:

https://sites.google.com/site/zoebraniganpipe/

She also writes a  blog about smartpen uses:  http://livewithlivescribe.edublogs.org/*
*This site was developed as part of a joint Ministry of education and Ontario Teacher Federation funded project with a focus on teacher learning and professional development. In this project, teachers collaborate and discuss the uses of the Livescribe pen in the classroom.

Her family was lucky enough to make the trip to San Francisco with her, and her 8 year old son created this wonderful storyboard about his adventures in San Francisco using a Livescribe smartpen.  (Thank you Zoe for letting me share your son’s wonderful pencast!)

I think this is a fantastic idea for teachers to use with students who feel like they are not good writers, or don’t know how to get started!   If you have your students make pencasts, please share them with me at tech4mathed.sg@gmail.com

 

1-Subject A5 Notebook 4 p. 50 (click on this link if you cannot see the pencast below)
brought to you by Livescribe
 

Time to Connect!

Livescribe’s newest application CONNECT came out today: Monday May 23, 2011.   A few weeks ago I was part of a media event where Livescribe, Evernote and Google were present to help talk about the new application.

connect (click here to see the pencast on the Livescribe website)
brought to you by Livescribe

 

*click on the arrow in the upper right hand corner to make the pencast full-screen.  The pencast is best viewed with the preview turned OFF:

If the pencast above does not show up on your browser (Firefox seems to work the best) , then click on the link below to open up the actual pencast PDF:

IntroToConnectpencast

You have to click on the link and then it opens another window with only the link in it.  Click on the link again to open the actual PDF pencast.

You must have Adobe PDF Reader X (10 or higher) to see the actual pencast above completely contained in a PDF!

 

THE BIG DEAL ABOUT CONNECT:

  • I believe the most important aspect about Connect is the fact that a pencast can now be completely self-contained in a PDF.  This means that we can finally “own” our pencasts!   This will allow us to house them inside closed systems online or on DVD’s, rather than having to use a link to the actual pencast or embedding what looks like the pencast, while it is still housed on Livescribe’s servers.  This is HUGE!

 

  • I think it is amazing that I can now directly email a student from the dot paper, as soon as I connect my pen to the computer!  No more “uploading” the file and then finding it and sending it.   This will save a lot of time when answering student questions.  When the student opens the email, they will get an attached PDF, rather than a link to the Livescribe website.  The attached PDF will contain the entire pencast, sound and animation, with a play/pause/stop bar!

 

  • I also love the fact that I can directly upload a pencast PDF to GoogleDocs.   I can share a file easily with students or colleagues using GoogleDocs!   At my college, students have access to GoogleApps, so this will be a great new feature to use.

  • Sending to Evernote will be fantastic as well.  I host my ideas and notes from conferences on Evernote to keep them all in one place.   Although Livescribe was “connected” to Evernote before, the file was split into a static PDF and the sound file.   Now, with Connect, you can send the entire pencast PDF directly to Evernote when you dock your smartpen.

 

  • Connect will also send a pencast PDF directly to Facebook, which will be a great way to post your status – with sound and animation!

 

To download the FREE version of connect, go to:  http://www.livescribe.com/en-us/starthere/

To purchase Connect Premium for $14.99 go to the Livescribe store:
http://www.livescribe.com/store/20070723002/p-541.htm

 

*To quickly get the pencast from the paper to all of these new applications you will need to learn about LAUNCH LINES.     My next blog post will teach you how to use this feature of the Livescribe smartpen.

 

Students Helping Students!

I recently wrote an article for Livescribe’s Education blog about a how a colleague of mine in the English department uses her Livescribe Pulse and Echo smartpens for her Fundamentals of Writing  and Women in Films classes.

Read the article Here

I can’t wait to try out having my students take notes when I get back to teaching!

Clip to Evernote

 

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