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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.