Archive for November, 2009

How to Add Pencasts to a Moodle

It’s very easy to embed or link to pencasts in Moodle.
I’ll make a screencast to show the process but in the meantime here are step by step instructions, courtesy of Stephen Howell, who’s answer appeared here.

1. Upload pencast to Livescribe Community site (you will need to create a free account). [See the video/post: How to Create and Share a Pencast for more details].
2. Make the pencast public (log into site and go to myAccount to make pencasts public/private).
3. Go to
4. On James Socol’s page (above) paste in a link to your file, here is an example of one of mine….
5. Select size you want the embedded pencast to be and click the ‘Push Me’ button.
6. Select All and Copy the code generated (it can be a little slow to
appear, but also sometimes does nothing!).
7. Log in to your Moodle.
8. Go to your subject page, Turn Editing On.
9. Click Add a resource… drop down menu and Select Compose a web page.
10. Give a name to the new resource.
11. In the composing window (Full Text window), click on the second last button on the bottom row of the toolbar, which is ‘Toggle HTML Source’ and looks like < > on my Moodle.
12. Underneath <br/> paste in your pencast code from step 6 above.
13. Click Save and Display and if you have Flash installed it should
appear in a new window and auto load.
14. Click Full Screen or just Play depending on students to present.

Livescribe Smartpen – How to Amplify Sound

Note by Tim Fahlberg added 10/17/2010:  The information below only applies to Livescribe’s older Pulse smartpens.  Livescribe Echo smartpens have a standard 3.5mm jack that fits your own earphones, the Echo 3–D Recording Premium Headset, or even iPhone earbuds with microphone.

Earlier today [11/16/2009] I received this question from an AAC conference leader/participant: "My BIG QUESTION is what speakers are compatible with the Pulse Pen, so it would have sufficient volume for AAC use?  The stand alone pen would not work in terms of the volume, although the potential AAC possibilities (as in your YouTube offerings)  would be remarkable if the volume could be increased." My answer, shown in the YouTube video below is that it’s not so much what speakers are compatible with the Smartpen but rather what specific adapter is needed to connect to speakers to amplify sound. The short answer is that all that’s needed is either a $7.99 adapter (a 2.5mm male to 3.5mm male cable)  from Crutchfield (see comment with link below by Dr. Van Schaack) or a $5.99 adapter from Radio-Shack (part 274-373) (it’s a 3/32" – 2.5 mm Stereo Male to 1/8" – 3.5 mm Stereo Female adapter plus some speakers with a 1/8" standard male connector. The advantages of the adapter from Crutchfield are a) it avoids the cumbersome male-female adapter sticking out of the top and b) it’s 3 feet long. [Thanks Dr. Van Schaack!] Once you have either the Crutchfield or Radio-Shack adapter you can either connect to regular speakers or to a sound amplification system like one by FrontRow, LightSpeed, etc. So my question to you is:  What applications does this enable you to now accomplish?  Sharing a talking Word Wall, AAC?  What else?  We’d all value your comments.  — Thanks!  — Tim Fahlberg By the way – I used JingPro from TechSmith along with an AVerMedia CP300 to record the unedited video above which I uploaded directly from JingPro.  But if you don’t have a document camera yet then I highly recommend the new AVerMedia 355AF which is a 5 Megapixel doc cam with 1 button video recording to USB stick or SD memory card.

Categories: Amplify sound, How to amplify sound Tags:

Business – Economics (Supply and Demand Chart Pencast)

Josh Fassl, an exemplary business education teacher and leader in the Monona Grove School District in Wisconsin, USA, created the “Supply and Demand Chart” pencast below.

More notes + YouTube video versions of pencast are below it.

Original: Supply and Demand Chart (Enlarged version – See note * below)

brought to you by Livescribe

I, Tim Fahlberg, gave Josh very little training on the smartpen (something like 5 minutes)**.   I think this is one of the hugely appealing qualities of the smartpen is that to record & share a pencast it takes maybe 20 minutes total of training:  Turn on the Smartpen, write your problem, tap record, explain your problem with writing, tap stop. Sync pen to Livescribe desktop. Upload session to online account.  Share privately or publicly as link to or as embedded video.

*Above I’ve embeded an enlarged (medium sized) version of the original pencast.  The embed code for this was created using James Socol and Jim Dornberg’s  brilliant Pencast Embed tool which was a really great collaborative effort (see Jim’s post “The Power of Collective Intelligence“).

** Okay well I should mention that Josh probably got another 5 minute follow up lesson from his wife Angie who likely showed him how to transfer pencasts up to the Livescribe Desktop and share them online from there.    Angie and another exemplary 4th grade teacher, Amanda Boerboom, both used smartpens last summer to create pencasts/mathcasts that were then converted into highly polished mathcasts by a team for the DLC/OSPI (WA) which were funded by OSPI and the Gates Foundation .  See the Mathcasts Library: 4th Grade – 2.

YouTube video of the same pencast are shown below Read more… Business – Economics (Supply and Demand Chart Pencast)

Livescribe-Enabled Tactile Talking Test

Last Friday our 8 year old daughter Sarah and I spent an extraordinary hour and a half with Lisa Tomberlin – the Vision Specialist for the Monona Grove School District where we live.  During this time Lisa showed us some of the tools used by and with students with vision loss and we explored together how the Livescribe smartpen might be used to complement these.

At one point I showed Lisa a Livescribe-enabled Talking Test and she came up with a brilliant idea.  She wondered if it might be possible to add a bump to each of the “talking dots” on the Livescribe paper using a tool from the APH Tactile Graphics Kit (which I knew nothing about).  With just a little experimentation both Lisa and I were very excited to learn that “YES!” you could easily use the Tong Tool E-point Symbol to do this.  Further experimentation showed that the “bumps” could be created either before or after adding audio.

The following 5 minute video demonstrates how the Tactile Talking Test works and then shows how to use the APH E-point Symbol to add “Talking bumps” to Livescribe paper

One thing I didn’t mention in the video is that students with vision loss can listen to test questions privately if desired using Livescribe earbuds and that they can also control the playback speed and volume if these controls are also made tactile/bumpy.

Earlier today I asked our daughter Sarah to close her eyes (since she doesn’t have vision loss) to try out the “bumpy” paper test and to see if she could locate particular talking bumps.  What was neat was how she showed me how she could use her left hand to feel the bump and then just tap, tap, tap close to it with the Livescribe smartpen, that she was holding in her right hand, until she heard the audio begin playing.  This made me realize that it might be wise to replace the inking Livescribe tip with the non-inking tip so that students with vision loss won’t add extra ink to audio bumps.   If a Tactile Talking Test is used frequently the bumps might need refreshing or new bumps can be added with fresh audio.

We also explored how the Sewell raised line drawing kit could be used with the Livescribe smartpen which was something I had read about in Dr. Andy Van Schaack’s research paper and read about online.  Look for more posts about this and related ideas as we co-develop them.