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Students Helping Students

October 17th, 2010 Sue Glascoe, Educator No comments

By: Sue Glascoe, Math Instructor at Mesa Community College

I taught a Saturday workshop a few weeks ago with a colleague of mine on the Livescribe smartpens,  the eInstruction Mobi, and Bloom’s Taxonomy.  It was a fun combination of topics!  As we were co-teaching, I found out that she was using her two Livescribe smartpens in a way I had never even thought of. 

Shelley Rodrigo teaches in the English department at Mesa Community College and believes that Livescribe smartpens are such valuable tools for herself and her students that she has purchased both a Pulse and an Echo on her own.   She brings them to her Fundamentals of Writing courses and her Women in Films course every day, and hands them to two students before the class begins.


Two students take notes each class period with the pens as part of their participation grade.     Shelley then posts the two sets of notes from each class on her course google website, where all students in her classes can view them.  Here you can see a pair of notes from her 9am Writing Fundamentals class.


She also posts notes from her class at a different time, for both sets of students to view.   This way if she approached the material differently, or added something in one class, all students would have access to those class notes as well.  

This is an excellent idea for having the students be accountable for taking notes in class, along with allowing the rest of the students to see two different perspectives of the content discussed during class.  

When I asked Shelley how she thought it was going for her students, her response was "This is working well. Some students regularly review the notes/audio, and others who have missed class are usually prompting me to get stuff up ASAP. For future classes with face-to-face components, I’ll probably make a more polished prompt (with more guidelines for notetaking)."

Here is an example of one student’s notes taken during Shelley’s Fundamentals of Writing Class:

Shelley has the students sign an authorization form to share their notes and to record their voices during class.   Her google website can only be accessed by students currently in her classes, even though the Livescribe pencasts are made public so she can embed them.  Shelley even has her students post comments and assignments through their twitter accounts!   Here is an example of an assignment post from a student in her ENG091 class:
I am impressed with the great ideas coming from colleagues whose goal is to help their students be more successful through the inclusion of 21st century technology in their classes. I am very excited to start teaching my students to use a Livescribe smartpen to take notes, and open up the opportunity for them to gain more insight into the material taught through the ability to read and share class notes with their peers.


From Traditional to Innovative- Guest Post from Livescribe Educator Sue Glascoe

September 8th, 2010 Sue Glascoe, Educator No comments

 From Traditional to Innovative

Last spring I was asked by my Dean to write a grant for technology for a new project that was happening on my campus.   The Arithmetic course was being transformed from a traditional lecture class to a series of hands-on workshops with the hopes of including innovative technology designed to help motivate the students, keep them engaged and give the instructors immediate feedback to student comprehension during the workshops.  

Since the Dean knew I was already teaching with quite a bit of amazing technology, she asked me to write the grant and get the technology in the hands of those who would be teaching the new workshops.

The first thing I had the Dean order, even before I had a chance to write the grant, was a set of Livescribe smartpens Read more… From Traditional to Innovative- Guest Post from Livescribe Educator Sue Glascoe

Replacing Overheads with Livescribe

By: Sue Glascoe, Math Instructor at Mesa Community College

I had the privilege of giving a workshop to several of my colleagues a few weeks ago on how to use the Livescribe Pulse smartpen to write and upload math examples for students to view outside of class.   Teri Graham, one of the adjunct instructors who attended the workshop, contacted me recently to help her do a pencast for the micro-teach portion of her interview (she is applying for a full-time position).

Teri had the most amazing idea; a way to use the pen that I had never thought of!  She was going to use the Livescribe pen to replace writing on an overhead during her lesson.  

She sat down with me and went through her teaching ideas for the 20 minute micro-teach.  As Teri spoke, the light went on for me.   Wow! To be able to write out definitions and examples ahead of time, but have them show up “live” (animated) during the lesson, as if she were writing it herself!    Her plan was to create one pencast over several pages, where her introductions, definitions, and graphs would already be “recorded” but would appear only when she was ready for them to (by hitting play, then pause again).   She would turn the sound on the computer off, so that she could speak through the lesson in person. 

This would free her up to read the definitions and explain the examples while they were being written magically on the board behind her!  She would save time by being able to talk through everything that was already written, without having to stop and write it all out.   I was very impressed with all of her ideas!  It was hard to believe she had only seen the Livescribe Pulse smartpen once, during her workshop with me. I can’t wait to see what ideas she comes up with after actually using the pen for a while.    

She only needed my input to see if her teaching concept would work with the pen.  We did a few sample lessons to make sure it would work as she pictured, and then Teri went home and wrote out each page the way she wanted it to look.   Several days later we got back together so she could use the Livescribe smartpen to write out her finalized lesson, and then upload it to the computer.   She then had 3 days to practice her lesson before her micro-teach.


I spoke to her after the micro-teach and she thought it was a hit!  The interview team was very interested in her use of the Livescribe Pulse smartpen and they wanted to know more about the pen itself!

I am positive that Teri Graham showed her interview team that she not only embraces 21st century technology, but can envision new ways to use it in very effective ways to benefit her students.

Categories: - Educator Pencasts, Math, Mathematics Tags:

“The Beginning of My Livescribe Pencast Journey” – by Educator Sue Glascoe

Back in April 2009, a colleague of mine told me about the Livescribe Pulse smartpen.   Although she teaches English, she had been keeping an eye out for me to find some sort of technology that would allow me to write out math problems for my students quickly and easily.

I went and looked at the smartpen online and was immediately excited about all the possibilities running through my head! I told my husband about the pen and how amazing it seemed, and he and my boys bought me one for Mother’s day!  (Can’t wait to see what I get this year!)  That was the best gift they could have given me!  I have used it almost every day since then.

It started off slowly, just using the pen to answer my student’s math questions when they would email me about something from the homework.  I would write out their answer and send them the link, all in just a matter of minutes.  It was MUCH more effective than trying to type out a response in an email to them!

                 brought to you by Livescribe
Then I had an idea – wouldn’t it be great to use it to TEACH a lesson outside of class.   My college was starting up a Hybrid program and so I asked if I could jump on board.
This past fall I started teaching my Algebra classes as Hybrids.  In my case, this meant that instead of meeting face to face 5 days a week, we would meet 4 days a week and then one day a week my lesson would be online.    It also meant that all homework and quizzes would be online, which allowed students to email me screenshots of their homework questions – a great addition to being able to help them outside of class!
I created a website to house all of my online materials, including my syllabus and a class calendar.  I show the students what is expected of them each day in a weekly online calendar, which includes a link to the online module every Tuesday.

I then went about starting to create online lessons, or “modules” for my students to view on the one online day each week.   Each module, or lesson, would contain anywhere from 5 – 10 examples that I would have normally done that day in a face-to-face classroom.



Here is a link to an entire weekly module to see how the problems all fit in one lesson.  

I am now in my second semester of teaching my Algebra classes as Hybrids.  The students seem to really love having one day a week to learn from home, as I ease them into the online learning environment.  I really enjoy having an entire day each week where I don’t have a set schedule.  I spend that day creating my online lesson for the following week.   

This has been just the beginning of my teaching adventure with my Livescribe Pulse smartpen.   Come join me on this incredible journey of finding ways to use technology to enhance teaching and learning!  The Livescribe Pulse smartpen has certainly been a wonderful asset for me to be able to help my students in more ways than I ever could have imagined!


Categories: - Educator Pencasts, Mathematics Tags: