Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Livescribe SmartPen - 5 years of smartpen use and my review

LiveScribe :: Never Miss A Word

I love my Livescribe SmartPen. It is a great resource for me to take hand written notes and then have them digitized and saved. It also includes a voice recorder that syncs with your written notes. I've been using it at conferences, meetings, and to do science work and calculations. It is much faster than typing and works great for math, science, symbols, and diagrams. I love that I can then view my notes on any device and even send my notes via email, to Evernote, Docs, or a variety of apps.

This is Livescribe's 5th anniversary. Happy Anniversary!

The ability to record your hand written notes is very useful in Math and Science, since it’s very hard to take notes in these areas with a keyboard or even a tablet/pad. It can also make an audio record of what you say or hear as you are writing and it timestamps and syncs the written notes with the audio notes.

Your notes get synced to your computer using a mini-usb cable and the Livescribe desktop application. There is also an application that you can get that will transcribe your handwritten notes into digital typeset notes. You can even search for words in your notes. The desktop application allows you to organize your notes and shows a thumbnail of each notebook. You can then view each notebook page and page forward and backward.

The pen is controlled by tapping on certain symbols in the notebook, which is pretty cool. You use this to select other applications in the pen, start, stop, and playback audio recordings and more. Inside the front cover of the Livescribe notebooks is a “calculator” that allows you to use the pen as a calculator. There are also controls on each page that allow you to change the volume on the pen, jump around your recordings, and even bookmark a spot in your notes. 

You can share your notes and recordings as a pencast, PDF, or audio file. The desktop application has one-click sharing with Evernote, Facebook, Google Docs and Email. This means you can always have your notes available to you. You can also sync your pen notes to multiple computers. During meetings, one person can be the official note-taker and then share the notes out with everyone else.

There are apps available also that you can download to add more functionality to your pen, including dictionaries, translators, games, productivity tools and more.

There is a vibrant user community and support team as well as resources for using the Livescribe Pens in Education. These pens are great for taking notes and then sharing and saving them. I can see a lot of great uses for these in education. The site has some great tips and uses for using the pens in school and even has reports of how the pens have helped increase student achievement. The Livescribe help website is easy to use and understand and makes using these pens very easy. Set up only takes a couple of minutes.

Below is a great infographic about Livescribe Smartpens and how they have been used around the world.


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