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How to Record and Share a Pencast (Updated – Windows + Mac)

This updated version of a previous post includes new videos for both Windows and Mac.

Windows and Mac users:
Part 1 of 2: Creating pencast using Livescribe Echo smartpen and Flip Notepad
If YouTube is blocked then try this link: http://screencast.com/t/0Y2Hof4uyPeB (opens in new window/tab)

Part 2 of 2: For Windows users: Sharing Pencast Online & Viewing it
Video also shows how to hide the previewing of ink
If YouTube is blocked then try this link: http://screencast.com/t/jG4qAxhY08 (opens in new window/tab)

Step by Step Instructions (for Windows)

  1. Turn on smartpen
  2. Write problem with smartpen on dot paper
  3. Tap Record button on bottom of page
  4. Solve problem with writing and voice explanation
  5. Tap Stop button
  6. Dock smartpen to sync with Livescribe Desktop
  7. Find page with pencast (look for black – static ink and green – dynamic ink)
  8. In Pages View, click a page’s active ink to activate a session. This action will open the Session tab and will start the session playback in the Central Viewing Pane.
  9. Click the Share button, then Session …, then with Online Community (Upload) …
  10. Name your pencast, click Share button.
  11. You should receive a notice that your pencast has uploaded successfully
  12. Click Livescribe Online button
  13. Click the “Make this file public” link on the left
  14. Click “Get a link to this file” or “Embed this file”
  15. Copy link or embed code to clipboard (you’ll have to select it and then press Ctrl-C on keyboard for Windows)
  16. Paste link into blog, wiki, web page, or email

Part 2 of 2: For Mac users: Sharing Pencast Online

Link to video on Screencast.com: http://www.screencast.com/t/G9d4PXgr (opens in new window/tab)

Livescribe – Transcribing Ink to Text (English) – New

Over the past 15+ months that I’ve been demonstrating educational applications of Livescribe smartpens I’ve frequently been asked: Can handwriting written with a smartpen be converted to text?

I’m always delighted to be able to say yes it is - with the only qualifications being that the handwriting (printing or cursive)
a) be readable to the average person and
b) be in one of about 25 languages supported by the MyScript for Livescribe software.  

Then I either demonstrate just how well it works or encourage them to view my YouTube or Screencast.com video.  If they’re interested I tell them to download the full version of the software and try it for 30 days to make sure it works for them before purchasing it or using the activation code they’ve been given for it.

The updated HD YouTube 5 minute video below shows just how easy it is to transcribe ink (printing and/or cursive) to text using a Livescribe Echo smartpen and the  MyScript for Livescribe add-on ($29.95).  The video only shows transcription for US English but MyScript for Livescribe transcribes ink in 25+ languages. YouTube version: Direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gO5GwLFlN3s

Screencast.com version with download link (below video)

Link to view full screen, download, or comment on:   http://www.screencast.com/t/ESwPBDSiuXhm

Credits: This video was recorded & produced with Camtasia Studio 7 from TechSmith and an AVerMedia 355AF document camera.

How (and why) to Enlarge Audio Dots [+ How to Make them Findable for those with Vision Loss]

Whenever I demonstrate a talking test, audio study guide, or AAC images someone always asks me if it might be possible to enlarge the visible tappable ink (check mark, dot, etc) or add tappable “invisible ink” to an image  so that students or adults with poor fine motor skills and/or vision loss can successfully tap on the visible or invisible ink to start audio replaying.

I’m always happy to tell them “YES!” and then I often quickly show them one or both ways that I know of to do this since they’re so quick & easy to do.

In the video below I show how to use a inking cartridge (I prefer medium blue as it stands out from black) to enlarge an existing audio dot (or check mark, etc) to make it a large enough target so that if someone taps anywhere on it the associated audio will play.  Below the video I list the simple steps for doing what the video shows.

It’s also possible to make an area on dot paper (or on a dot paper label) tappable using “invisible ink.  This requires a non-inking stylus) which are only available from K-12 Livescribe representatives.   Step by step instructions for how to do this are on page 5 of this sample teaching strategy guide on AAC: http://www.livescribe.com/en-us/media/pdf/education/Teacher_Guide_4_Augmentative_Assistive_Communication.pdf

Step by step instructions for enlarging audio/talking dots (or check marks):

  1. Tap on the existing ink to start paper replay.
  2. Immediately tap the Pause button.*
  3. Put your pen tip down on the ink you tapped.
  4. Without lifting the smartpen draw a bunch of ink** – perhaps drawing a larger and larger solid circle or some other shape.
  5. Lift up your smartpen when you’re all done adding new tappable ink.

Voila! – You should now be able to tap anywhere on the enlarged inked area.

* You can cut out the Play/Pause/Stop buttons and float them around as needed to get them close to where the ink/audio “action” is.
** I like to use Medium Blue Point Ink Cartridges because blue stands out and because I can add a lot of ink much faster using a medium point cartridge. These are available for about $6 for 5 cartridges.

To make the tappable area findable by someone with vision loss

  1. Add a little bling to the center of the tappable area.
  2. By adding this to the center of the tappable area they can feel for the bling and then tap left or right of it depending on their handedness.
Categories: Enlarge a Talking Dot Tags:

How to Embed Pencasts in PBWorks Wiki Pages

PBWorks is an extremely popular and powerful wiki (and more!) tool for educators, businesses, and individuals.  If you’re not familiar with wikis I suggest you view this YouTube video: Wikis in Plain English.

How to embed Livescribe pencasts in PBWorks wiki pages

Method 1: How to embed a pencast with its normal (small) dimensions.  Example

  1. Find the pencast you want on Livescribe.
  2. Click the "Embed this file" button.
  3. Select and copy the embed code to your clipboard.  Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-C on Windows or Command-C on a Mac.
  4. In PBWorks – Click the PBWorks Insert Plugin – PBWorks Magic – HTML/JavaScript tool.
    • Paste the resulting embed code into the HTML/JavaScript plugin, click Preview, and press OK.
  5. Voila! When you click Save in PBWorks you should now see the pencast and right above it have a link to the pencast on Livescribe’s site.

Method 2:  How to embed a pencast with small, medium, or large dimensions.   Example

  1. Find the pencast you want on LiveScribe.
  2. Click the "Get a link to this file" button.
  3. Select and copy the link to your clipboard.  Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-C on Windows or Command-C on a Mac.
  4. Refer to the post "How to Embed Larger Pencasts" and use James Socol’s Pencast Embed tool to generate the needed embed code.
  5. In PBWorks – Click the PBWorks Insert Plugin – PBWorks Magic – HTML/JavaScript tool.
  6. Voila! When you click Save in PBWorks you should now see the pencast and right above it have a link to the pencast on Livescribe’s site.

 

How to Embed Pencasts in Wikispaces Wiki Pages

Wikispaces is a very popular and powerful wiki for K-12 educators, higher ed, businesses, and non-profits.  If you’re not familiar with wikis I suggest you view this YouTube video: Wikis in Plain English.

How to embed Livescribe pencasts in Wikispaces wiki pages

Method 1: How to embed a pencast with its normal (small) dimensions.  Example

  1. Find the pencast you want on Livescribe.
  2. Click the "Embed this file" button.
  3. Select and copy the embed code to your clipboard.  Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-C on Windows or Command-C on a Mac.
  4. Navigate to the desired Wikispaces page.
  5. Click Edit this Page, click the Widget button, and then click the Other HTML button.
  6. Paste the embed code on the clipboard into the HTML box and then click Preview (and then Close Preview) and/or Save.  
  7. Optional: Click on the widget and change its alignment.
  8. Click Save. 
  9. You should now see the pencast and right above it also see a clickable link to the pencast on Livescribe’s site.

Method 2:  How to embed a pencast with small, medium, or large dimensions.   Example

  1. Find the pencast you want on Livescribe.
  2. Click the "Get a link to this file" button.
  3. Select and copy the link to your clipboard.  Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-C on Windows or Command-C on a Mac.
  4. Refer to the post "How to Embed Larger Pencasts" and use James Socol’s Pencast Embed tool to generate the needed embed code.
  5. Navigate to the desired Wikispaces page.
  6. Click Edit this Page, click the Widget button, and then click the Other HTML button.
  7. Paste the embed code on the clipboard into the HTML box, then click Preview (and then Close Preview) and/or click the Save button.  
  8. Optional: Click on the widget and change its alignment.
  9. Click Save. 
  10. You should now see the pencast and right above it also see a clickable link to the pencast on Livescribe’s site.

Please leave a comment if this helps you or if you have any suggestions about how to improve on these directions.  Thanks!  — Tim F

 

How to Use Smartpens with Interactive Whiteboards

Here are some best practices for using Livescribe smartpens in classrooms with interactive whiteboards:

  1. Student note taking with audio recording and work product creation (From Holly De Leon, Livescribe: VP Sales, K-12)

    The basic way we describe integration with interactive whiteboards is that students still have to process the information, no matter if they are receiving instruction from a teacher or through a lesson presented on a whiteboard – the student has to take it in visually and auditorally, integrate the information, and try to get something written to help the retention process.  They can do that with a smartpen and can capture notes and audio from their teacher’s instruction, videos projected onto whiteboard, and internet content being shown on the whiteboard.  

    Then when the child is asked to produce a work product (written essay, math problem, art creation) they can again use a smartpen and notebook to create their work product.  Then their teacher can dock the smartpen and then share & project a pencast of work on whiteboard as an example of the lesson just presented.  The student could give a verbal explanation of a battle in the Civil War that was just explored using whiteboard tools; they could show a different way of charting a series of numbers in a math equation.  The point is the interactive whiteboard is a great way to provide instruction and interest, but the actual processing of information and integrating it for retention can be greatly enhanced with the smartpen.

  2. Note taking with audio recording shared as a pencast (From Tim Fahlberg, Livescribe – Wisconsin)

    Ask a student who already takes excellent notes to record even better notes with audio using a smartpen.  Make sure they write a heading with the class name, lesson name, date, and start time at the top of the page (or these can also be added after class).

    After class the teacher (or a student/parent aide) docks the smartpen, quickly creates a pencast from the notes, and then shares it using a wiki, blog, or website.  Pencasts can also be shared via email.  

    This way students and their parents or tutors can access notes quickly and get much more out of them since they can listen to the teacher’s instruction or classroom discussions while watching the ink written by the note taker appear like magic.  And then if students who were absent also had their own smartpens they could use these to do and share some of their homework digitally back with their teacher.

    Imagine being a student who is absent from school (or their parent) and being able to watch & listen to the notes on the same day that class(es) were missed!?

  3. Recording audio and sharing as a podcast

    Ink notes with audio can be recorded (above) or audio only can be recorded (using the method shared in this blog post/video: How to Quickly Record …).  

    Audio only can then be shared by locating the audio file in the Livescribe Desktop (using the Audio tab) and then clicking the Upload button.

    Audio can be exported in various formats and shared through iTunes or other sites.  

     

  4. Note taking with audio using handouts

    This idea is similar to adding notes and audio to PowerPoint slides printed on Livescribe dot paper (see How to Add Ink and Audio to PowerPoint Notes)..  Basically the idea is that if a teacher has a lesson already prepared using their IWB software then the teacher (or student) could print out the slides/pages from it onto Livescribe dot paper and then add their notes and record audio along with it.  And then students, parents, or a tutor could later touch their smartpen to their ink and be able to replay everything that was recorded while the writing originally took place. 

    Students who really struggle with taking legible notes (students with dysgraphia, etc) can either write whatever notes they can or simple make marks (dots, asterisks, exclamation points) when they here something really critical that they’d like to easily find and listen to later again.
          

 

 

How to Add Ink & Audio to PowerPoint Handouts

Here are 3 different ways to add ink & audio recording to PowerPoint Handouts

  1. Print or copy PowerPoint handouts onto large (8 1/2" x 11") Livescribe dot paper carefully torn from a notebook.  Then take notes with audio recording turned on with your smartpen and the dot paper.
     
  2. Take existing PowerPoint handouts printed on regular paper and add Livescribe "talking dot labels or shapes" to them (see "How to Create Talking Dot Shapes & Labels). Start recording and then make a mark on them using the Record control from any Livescribe notebook page (you can even cut these out and paste them onto a 3" x 5" card or something similar).  The talking dot shape or label you use won’t have enough space for taking written notes but by tapping on the dot or mark you made later you’ll be able to hear the audio and add additional written notes to your PowerPoint handout.
     
  3. Cut up PowerPoint handouts that were already printed on plain paper and use a stapler or glue stick to affix them to Livescribe dot paper from a large notebook.  Then take notes to the right of the slides while recording audio. 

New Feature for Livescribe Desktop for Windows: Creating a Custom Notebook

Organizing your Livescribe notes just got easier. Now you can arrange and organize your notes by creating custom notebooks on Livescribe Desktop. Custom notebooks allow you to combine pages of notes from different notebooks into a single custom notebook. The notes that you include in a custom notebook will still remain in their original notebook on Livescribe Desktop. This means if you want to create customer notebooks that focus on specific student work or assessments, you no longer need to dedicate a specific printed notebook to each student or subject matter.

To create a custom notebook, follow these instructions or watch the video below:

  1. Go to the left side navigation (where your notebooks are listed with Livescribe Desktop) and click on the Create a new Custom Notebook.
  2. Name your custom notebook.
  3. Select the pages you wish to include in your custom notebook.
  4. Drag and drop the pages to your custom notebook.
    Or, right-click and select Add to Custom Notebook. From there you can select what custom notebook to add the pages to.

     

    Once you create a custom notebook, you can create a printable PDF file of your notes or upload the pages online to your Livescribe account. Click here for more information about custom notebooks.  

Categories: How to Tags:

How to Create Talking Dot Shapes & Labels

Talking Dot Shapes               Talking Dot Labels

Talking Dot Shapes

Did you know that you can add your voice (or sounds) to any document or object by adding your voice (or sound) to small Livescribe dot paper shapes (rectangles, etc) and then taping/gluing them to document or other object?  

This idea is used in multiple ways in our series 12 Ways Educators & Students are Using the Pen Today.

The YouTube video below shows how this method can be used to create a reusable talking test from a plain paper test thus allowing a student with an IEP accommodation to listen independently to the test at their own pace and allowing an adult to read the test once while recording it and use their valuable time to do something more productive.

                        Click on image below to open YouTube video in a new tab/window.
                     

Tips:

  1. Make talking dots in the center of a piece of Livescribe dot paper that has minimum dimensions of at least 1/2" x 1/2" (about 1.3 cm x 1.3 cm).
  2. After adding the talking dot shapes to the test protect it by sliding it into a protective plastic sheet protector. The smartpen will be be able to see the talking dots through the plastic.
  3. If you need to create a test that can be listened to by more than one student at a time then consider creating a pencast of it and sharing it online or export the recordings of the questions from the Livescribe Desktop to an mp3 player, iPod, etc.


Talking Dot Labels

Since you can print your own Livescribe dot paper then you can print these same "talking dots" to sheets of labels and then add these labels to any object … say a test that you want to add your voice to.

The YouTube video below shows how this can be done to make a plain paper test talk thus allowing a student with an IEP accommodation to listen independently to the test at their own pace. 

               Click on image below to open YouTube video in a new tab/window.

Tips:

  1. You can buy sheets of rectangular labels at any office supply store or many other stores.  Round labels are typically a special order item.  I bought the ones shown in this video at www.labelsbythesheet.com
  2. Make talking dots in the center of labels that have minimum dimensions of at least 1/2" x 1/2" (about 1.3 cm x 1.3 cm).
  3. After adding talking dot labels to a document protect it by sliding it into a protective plastic sheet protector.  The smartpen will be be able to see the talking dots through the plastic.
  4. If you need to create a test that can be listened to by more than one student at a time then consider creating a pencast of it and sharing it online or export the recordings of the questions from the Livescribe Desktop to an mp3 player, iPod, etc. (Video showing this coming soon)

SmartMap Application for the Livescribe Smartpen – An interactive zoo map

Wow! I just received an extraordinary email with a link to this YouTube video
(Video will open in a new window/tab):

Note: If you cannot view YouTube educational videos like this at your school then please leave a comment below and I’ll ask if I can share the video on Screencast.com.

I think you’ll agree that SmartMap is exceptional. But it gets even better. SmartMap’s creator, Jacky Nguyen, wrote me to say that he “would love to share the whole source-code as open-source software to other developers, many of which might find it useful.” Isn’t that fantastic news?! I know that it’s going to inspire me to finally try my hand at creating an application and that it will help encourage and inspire many others to do the same.

I couldn’t agree more with Jacky’s comments:

I have developed a small application named SmartMap that can be useful to:
- Show others how capable this pen can be
- Give a working proof of concept how we can actually use the SmartPen with maps

On YouTube Jacky also shares:

The app utilizes all available features of the pen including:
- Hand-writing recognition
- Local storage
- Voice
- LCD Display
- PenTip events handling

I’ll share more later as Jacky and I have a thread about all of this.

Well done Jacky! — Tim

Categories: Create an Interactive Map, Maps Tags: