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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.