Author Archive

Pennsylvania Educator Creates Winning Combo: Livescribe + Moodle + Pencast Player App

Last Christmas, Michelle Eichelberger, a high school physics, chemistry and physical science teacher at McConnellsburg High School in Pennsylvania, received a 4GB Pulse smartpen as a gift from her husband. As Michelle explains on her glog (an online poster that supports video and audio – see image), she now uses her smartpen to add interactive pencasts to Moodle courses for students. Additionally, she uses it to post meaningful assignments/examples for substitute teachers when she’s out of the classroom.

 Michelle is also using iPods in her curriculum. In her “iPod Project,” Michelle records video lessons that students watch as part of regular homework assignments. These recordings often introduce a new concept, allowing Michelle to spend valuable class time answering questions or leading roundtable discussions and labs. With the launch of Livescribe’s Pencast Player app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (announced earlier this week – click here for more information), Michelle plans to take this a step further by adding iPod pencast lessons that explain how to complete or solve a new type of formula or problem step-by-step. She believes this will be especially powerful time-saver because she can record a lesson’s video and audio simultaneously – something she’s been unable to do with other tech tools.  
This past summer, Michelle discussed her new approaches to teaching with smartpens during the 2010 Keystone Summit. All 100 Pennsylvanian educators who attended the multi-day summit received a 4GB Pulse smartpen to use in their own classroom. We hope to hear how these teachers put their new smartpens to use with their students – and when we do, we’ll be sure to post their stories here.

Categories: Chemistry, Moodle, Physics Tags:

Livescribe User Brian Licata Wins 2010 Digital Education Achievement Awards

Great news! One of our smartpen users, Brian Licata a teacher at St. John’s Lutheran School in Staten Island, New York, was just named the winner of the 2010 Digital Education Achievement Awards (DEAA). The DEAA honors exceptional websites, digital technology projects and programs that have enriched education for students and teachers. Brian submitted a detailed entry that outlines his use of smartpen technology in his seventh grade math classroom, which ultimately earned him top honors in the K-12 Education Digital Application/Project category. 

Below are a few excerpts from the submission that highlight how Brian’s use of Pulse smartpens allows him to offer specific and timely feedback that meets each individual student’s needs. We hope you think this use of smartpen technology is as powerful as the Center for Digital Education’s judges did.  
Congrats to Brian on this well-earned achievement! 
“This project started from an instruction standpoint where I as the teacher was recording my lessons for my students to review at home. […] This turned my 45 minute periods into 24/7 teaching.  I soon saw the potential of these pens when I made a mathematical error and a few students pointed it out to me. I thought to myself that I wish I could hear them explain their math, the way that I had been explaining mine.” I now  “watch and listen to every student work out their math problems as if I taught only one student at a time, I can then go back to the individual student and develop a corrective plan of action based on their work.”
“This new technology has helped to change the way students are being assessed. In math classes around the world, students work out problems in their notebook. Sometimes a few students get to go to the board and show how they solved a problem. This means that the majority of the class checks their own work but do not learn from their mistakes. Even on collected work, the teacher often has a hard time following the pattern of thought from the student to determine where or why they made an error. The Smartpen has corrected this problem, allowing the teacher to watch their class work our problems in [real time]. This form of assessment has never been attempted with a class of 25.”
“The use of the Smartpens has greatly increased my classes understanding of and implementation of mathematical concepts. The ease of use of the Smartpen and the fact that it can be accessed anywhere is why this project has succeeded. All you need is one Livescribe pen and a notebook for this technology to work. Sixty pens can be synced to one laptop for uploading and one free online account can house all your students work.
See below for one of Brian’s recent pencasts.



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Livescribe Launches Echo™ Smartpen

Livescribe just announced Echo, the newest addition to its award winning lineup of smartpens! Available in 4GB  and 8GB  models, Echo captures everything users hear and write and provides quick and accurate access to important information by simply tapping pen to paper.

Not only does Echo feature a sleek, ergonomic design, rubberized grip and standard headphone and USB jacks, several software enhancements were also launched with Echo. Software updates are available for both Pulse and Echo customers and include:

  • Launch Line: a new way to access and launch applications in seconds
  • Password protection: ensures recorded audio on your smartpen remains private and safe
  • Custom smartpen name: name your smartpen (or include contact information) so that when turned on identifying the owner of a smartpen is easy
  • Custom notebooks: group and organize notes quickly and easily (similar to creating a playlist in iTunes)
  • Pencast import/export: save and share pencast files locally to your desktop or a server. Notes can be sent to others as an integrated audio/notes as an attachment. Anyone with the Livescribe Desktop software (free download online) can now open, view and interact with a native Livescribe file
  • Pencast Player from Livescribe on Apple iPad, iPhone and iTouch: enables users to access pencasts anywhere they go with a simple touch (free from the iTunes store later this summer)

With the launch of Echo, we are also previewing new communication and collaboration applications that will be available this fall. Connect software allows users to send notes, audio and Pencast PDFs directly from paper to email addresses, online sites and other popular third-party consumer, education and business applications. Livescribe is also introducing collaboration software, Paper Tablet, that lets consumers communicate in real-time, directly from a Livescribe notebook to a Mac or PC using an Echo smartpen and a standard micro-USB cable.

Interested in using Echo in your classroom or district? Education pricing and special components (not available at retail) are available through the dedicated education sales team– to learn more, please contact us at or 510-553-4948 for more information.

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Back from ISTE – Did We Meet YOU?

The team is back from a very successful ISTE in Denver, Colo. We had the chance to meet many enthusiastic customers on the show floor and were busy showing educators and administrators what smartpen technology can do for their districts. Eight lucky attendees were given Pulse smartpens and we even had some time to record a few customer testimonials (see below).

Also, a big thank you to everyone who attended our breakfast at The Curtis Hotel. In case you missed it, Livescribe CEO and founder Jim Marggraff started off the presentation with a brief demo of the Pulse smartpen. He welcomed Sue Glascoe (community college math instructor, Livescribe customer and avid pencaster) on stage to show how she is using the Pulse smartpen in her classroom. (Click here to see an example and here to read her blog post about ISTE.) Holly De Leon and Andy Van Shaack were also on stage, outlining Pulse’s national adoption in education – 12,000 units in schools so far – and some of the efficacy study work we’re doing. A thought provoking Q&A with Jim concluded the session thanks to some great questions from current and future customers. It seems everyone wants to know what’s coming next!
We LOVE hearing how you’re using the Pulse smartpen in your classrooms. Post your Pulse smartpen stories here (as a comment) or on our Facebook page. For now, we’ll leave you with a video of James Gates telling us how the Pulse smartpen is making a difference in math and how it differs from other educational solutions. Notably, he talks about how Pulse allows you to record a lesson once but teach it again and again.

There also are two more videos featuring Jessica Aubry from St. Martinville Junior High in Louisiana, which has used Pulse for the past six months. In the second video, Jessica explains how students who are absent, or just would like to review an example from class, can instantly access pencasts of their teacher’s lessons. Jessica also describes how special ed students who need audio reinforcement are using Pulse.

Livescribe Pulse Smartpen Customer Testimonial – James Gates @ ISTE 2010

Livescribe Pulse Smartpen Customer Testimonial – Jessica Aubry @ ISTE 2010 (Part 1)

Livescribe Pulse Smartpen Customer Testimonial – Jessica Aubry @ ISTE 2010 (Part 2)



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Livescribe at ISTE 2010 in Denver

Heading to ISTE? We’d love to see you there! 

ISTE stands for the International Society for Technology in Education AND one of the largest education conferences in the U.S. The 2010 show kicks off this Sunday, June 27 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
In addition to our booth (#1084), Livescribe is hosting a breakfast event and participating in the conference’s poster sessions. We’ve included more details about these events below.
Stop by the booth or attend one of the events to catch a demonstration, meet the team or share your smartpen story with us. You can also connect with a customer or two (click here to read customer Sue Glascoe’s recent blog post about the conference). And, we’ll raffle off two-to-three Pulse smartpens a day – can’t beat that!
Livescribe Breakfast Event
  • What: Learn how to bring smartpen technology to your classroom or district.
  • Who: Jim Marggraff (Livescribe founder and CEO) will speak along with Holly De Leon (VP of Sales, K-12) and Andy Van Shaack (Senior Science Advisor). Livescribe customers will also discuss how they are using Pulse in their districts today.
  • Where: Curtis Hotel – 1405 Curtis Street, Denver; hotel is right next door to the conference center and the event is being held in the “Patty Cake Room.”
  • When: 7 a.m. on Tuesday, June 29. 
Interested in attending? Please e-mail for more information.
Livescribe Poster Session
  • What: Informal session covering the Pulse smartpen and how schools and districts are using Pulse today. Click here for more information.
  • Who: Andy Van Shaack (Senior Science Advisor) and Sue Glascoe (community college math instructor, Livescribe customer and avid pencaster) will co-present.
  • Where: Show floor –CCC Lobby A, TableP23.
  • When: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 30 (10 minute presentation repeats over 2 hour period).
Hope to see you there!
The Livescribe team




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Corsicana ISD Orders 600 smartpens for Credit Recovery Program

Livescribe recently received a 600 Pulse smartpen order from the Corsicana Independent School District in Texas and since they have an interesting plan for their smartpens, we wanted to share their story with you.
The Corsicana Independent School District is planning to use Pulse smartpens to combat the district’s high dropout rates, especially in minority groups. With the national high school dropout rate at roughly 9 percent – and 21 percent for Hispanics – it’s no wonder this eight-school district considers credit recovery a top priority.   
In case you’re unfamiliar, credit recovery options allow students to retake courses they haven’t passed, though they’ve met the minimum class time requirement. It’s a pretty common practice to prevent dropouts among high school students since credit recovery lets students finish coursework on a flexible schedule (generally speaking) to earn graduation credits. Corsicana is revamping its entire credit recovery program using the Pulse smartpen.
Marti Shaner, Corsicana’s assistant superintendent, had the idea to assign smartpens to the district’s best teachers in various subject areas. Shaner notes, “Pulse is the best piece technology for the money I’ve seen … it offers more uses than I can think of.” Teachers assigned smartpens are asked to record their lessons and upload the resulting pencasts to the district website, which is being completely redesigned for this program. All lessons with be indexed by subject, grade and state standard, so credit recovery students can easily access teacher instruction. Sometimes just having something explained differently can make all the difference, which is why having multiple teachers record lessons is so helpful! Students can watch the pencast lessons at their own pace, as many times as they need to.
We think this is a very innovative way to address an important issue that is facing school districts across the country and we’ll be keeping a close eye on Corsicana’s program as it develops. Stay tuned for future updates and congratulations to the Corsicana Independent School District for such a great program idea!
SOURCE: National Center for Education Statistics  <>  

Categories: - Special, Education News Tags:

Oregon Educator Using Pulse for Student Teacher Observation

Isn’t concrete, timely feedback really helpful? We think so and that’s why we were excited to hear from Sharon Porter, a Pulse smartpen user and Assistant Professor of Education at Eastern Oregon University.

Sharon uses her Pulse smartpen to record and share constructive feedback from student teacher observations. During a student teacher’s lesson, Sharon writes notes about what’s happening in the classroom, while at the same time recording audio. Sharon later shares her notes with the student teacher as a private pencast so they can hear how they sound during class. Before switching to Pulse, Sharon took notes on a laptop, which was distracting to students. Pulse lets Sharon take traditional notes (with pen and paper) so she’s not a distraction to students, but even more importantly, Pulse allows Sharon to replay the student teacher’s audio, which has made a big impact. Don’t take it from us, take it from Sharon!

Sharon writes, “We’ve ‘caught’ grammar mistakes, flat tone of voice, spacer words (uh, like, etc.), as well as time that is wasted with repeated instructions or inefficient procedures. Having the audio there serves as an objective witness to the student teachers’ skills. I would not have been able to describe a teacher needing more energy, more pitch to the voice or the need to eliminate double negatives in their speech without the clarity brought through the [Pulse smartpen]. It has changed the way I supervise and the student teachers love having this tool to hear themselves in the classroom.”

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Sharon! We think this is a great way to capture and share feedback, and are sure your student teachers agree. 



Pencast Success Story from Louisiana

You may have noticed a spike in pencast sharing in recent months – so have we! (If you’re unfamiliar with pencasts, see below for an explanation.) We’ve also seen an uptick in the number of teachers using the Pulse smartpen and pencasts to promote on-demand learning and wanted to share a recent success story. Maybe it will inspire you!

Angie Treadway from Breaux Bridge High School in Louisiana records her daily math lessons using the Pulse smartpen and uploads them as pencasts. She encourages her students to access the pencasts when they need guidance doing their homework or if they are out sick and miss a lesson. Students can instantly hear Angie’s exact explanation from earlier in the day or week, reinforcing retention – it’s like having your teacher sitting right beside you!

Angie tells us, “Students love the fact that if they missed a moment or two of the in-class lesson they can quickly recap. They also love the fact that they can access the lesson from home if they are ill, and they come back to class ready to continue with the class rather than trailing behind. Parents LOVE the pencast because it helps them to help their students.”

Angie’s teaching methods have been so well received that the school board in Saint Martin Parish asked her to present her use of the Pulse smartpen and pencasts at the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators (LACUE) Technology Conference.

To view Angie’s pencasts, check out her site:

What Is a Pencast?
Pencasting enables users to share notes, drawings or other content online as interactive Flash movies. It’s easy to create a pencast – just dock your pen and upload select pages to the Livescribe Community from within Livescribe Desktop. From the Livescribe Community, pencasts can be embedded onto a blog or Web page, or shared via Pencasting enables users to share notes, drawings or other content online as interactive Flash movies. It’s easy to create a pencast – just dock your pen and upload select pages to the Livescribe Community from within Livescribe Desktop. From the Livescribe Community, pencasts can be embedded onto a blog or Web page, or shared via Facebook. Click here to see a tutorial that we posted a while back.

Pulse Smartpen Named CODiE Award Finalist!

News flash, Livescribe fans!

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industry, announced the finalists for its 2010 CODiE awards – a top industry honor for innovation in software, education technology and digital content. And we’re proud to say that the Pulse smartpen claimed a spot among five “Education Solution for Mobile or Hand-held Device” finalists! We’re going up against ClassLink Inquiry, Studywiz, Spark Mobile, SPARKvue and RefMobile.

Just so you know, the CODiEs are one of, if not THE, only peer-reviewed awards in the industry, which makes this even more exciting!

We’re anxiously waiting for the official winner announcement on May 25. Wish us luck!

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U.S. Representative James McGovern Introduced to Pulse

According to this article, U.S. Representative James McGovern visited Dean College in Franklin, Mass. on Monday to see how the college was using $150,000 in federal funds he helped secure to pay for upgrades in curriculum, technology, faculty and instruction. During a tour of the campus’ Library Learning Commons, a student named Karl McGrotty demoed Pulse to McGovern, who was impressed and said he could see Pulse helping students learn “coursework and real-life skills.” The college’s president, Paula Rooney, also chimed in – saying that Pulse “contributes to skills that set students apart when they hit the job market.”

We couldn’t agree more with these comments! Many thanks to James for his work to get new technologies onto college campuses, and to Karl and Paula for spreading the word about Pulse!