Archive for the ‘Administrative Uses of Smartpens’ Category

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. 



John Woodring’s “Echo Pen” – Smartpen as Tool for Creating Low-Key Observations

In his highly engaging Teacherbytes blog John Woodring wrote on 12/9/09 in “Grandson of the Echo Pen”  that he initially saw the Livescribe Smartpen as a solution waiting for a problem but changed his mind after using his new Smartpen to “document technology use and give recommendations.” John writes “At the end of the day I sync my pen with my computer and transfer my notes to the Livescribe Desktop. Then I copy and paste these notes into the technology integration portfolios I have created for each teacher.”  Sounds pretty efficient eh?

I’d like to encourage you to read more of what John shares in his post about other ways he’s used a Smartpen and how & why students can benefit from using them for note-taking and more.

Transcribing John’s “Chicken Scratch” (A challenge)
About 1/2 way through his post John wrote “With handwriting recognition software it can convert handwritten notes to editable text. Good luck with my chicken scratch.” I took this as a challenge and since John was kind enough to provide a sample of his writing (in the form of a pencast) I was able to respond to his challenge with a comment/video showing how well MyScript for Livescribe could transcribe less than pristine handwriting. Later John was kind enough to blog about this response and link to my video in his response “Your Challenge is Accepted.”

Our interaction through John’s blog and now this post reminds me of why I’m so glad I read and responded to Will Richardson’s phenomenal book “Blogs, Wiks, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms” (see Will’s Weblogg-ed blog for details) years ago.