Replacing Overheads with Livescribe

By: Sue Glascoe, Math Instructor at Mesa Community College

I had the privilege of giving a workshop to several of my colleagues a few weeks ago on how to use the Livescribe Pulse smartpen to write and upload math examples for students to view outside of class.   Teri Graham, one of the adjunct instructors who attended the workshop, contacted me recently to help her do a pencast for the micro-teach portion of her interview (she is applying for a full-time position).

Teri had the most amazing idea; a way to use the pen that I had never thought of!  She was going to use the Livescribe pen to replace writing on an overhead during her lesson.  

She sat down with me and went through her teaching ideas for the 20 minute micro-teach.  As Teri spoke, the light went on for me.   Wow! To be able to write out definitions and examples ahead of time, but have them show up “live” (animated) during the lesson, as if she were writing it herself!    Her plan was to create one pencast over several pages, where her introductions, definitions, and graphs would already be “recorded” but would appear only when she was ready for them to (by hitting play, then pause again).   She would turn the sound on the computer off, so that she could speak through the lesson in person. 


This would free her up to read the definitions and explain the examples while they were being written magically on the board behind her!  She would save time by being able to talk through everything that was already written, without having to stop and write it all out.   I was very impressed with all of her ideas!  It was hard to believe she had only seen the Livescribe Pulse smartpen once, during her workshop with me. I can’t wait to see what ideas she comes up with after actually using the pen for a while.    


She only needed my input to see if her teaching concept would work with the pen.  We did a few sample lessons to make sure it would work as she pictured, and then Teri went home and wrote out each page the way she wanted it to look.   Several days later we got back together so she could use the Livescribe smartpen to write out her finalized lesson, and then upload it to the computer.   She then had 3 days to practice her lesson before her micro-teach.

 

I spoke to her after the micro-teach and she thought it was a hit!  The interview team was very interested in her use of the Livescribe Pulse smartpen and they wanted to know more about the pen itself!

I am positive that Teri Graham showed her interview team that she not only embraces 21st century technology, but can envision new ways to use it in very effective ways to benefit her students.

Categories: - Educator Pencasts, Math, Mathematics Tags:

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. 

 

 

“The Beginning of My Livescribe Pencast Journey” – by Educator Sue Glascoe

Back in April 2009, a colleague of mine told me about the Livescribe Pulse smartpen.   Although she teaches English, she had been keeping an eye out for me to find some sort of technology that would allow me to write out math problems for my students quickly and easily.

I went and looked at the smartpen online and was immediately excited about all the possibilities running through my head! I told my husband about the pen and how amazing it seemed, and he and my boys bought me one for Mother’s day!  (Can’t wait to see what I get this year!)  That was the best gift they could have given me!  I have used it almost every day since then.

It started off slowly, just using the pen to answer my student’s math questions when they would email me about something from the homework.  I would write out their answer and send them the link, all in just a matter of minutes.  It was MUCH more effective than trying to type out a response in an email to them!

            FactoringDifferenceofCubes
                 brought to you by Livescribe
            
 
Then I had an idea – wouldn’t it be great to use it to TEACH a lesson outside of class.   My college was starting up a Hybrid program and so I asked if I could jump on board.
 
This past fall I started teaching my Algebra classes as Hybrids.  In my case, this meant that instead of meeting face to face 5 days a week, we would meet 4 days a week and then one day a week my lesson would be online.    It also meant that all homework and quizzes would be online, which allowed students to email me screenshots of their homework questions – a great addition to being able to help them outside of class!
 
I created a website to house all of my online materials, including my syllabus and a class calendar.  I show the students what is expected of them each day in a weekly online calendar, which includes a link to the online module every Tuesday.

I then went about starting to create online lessons, or “modules” for my students to view on the one online day each week.   Each module, or lesson, would contain anywhere from 5 – 10 examples that I would have normally done that day in a face-to-face classroom.

 

 

Here is a link to an entire weekly module to see how the problems all fit in one lesson.  
 

I am now in my second semester of teaching my Algebra classes as Hybrids.  The students seem to really love having one day a week to learn from home, as I ease them into the online learning environment.  I really enjoy having an entire day each week where I don’t have a set schedule.  I spend that day creating my online lesson for the following week.   

This has been just the beginning of my teaching adventure with my Livescribe Pulse smartpen.   Come join me on this incredible journey of finding ways to use technology to enhance teaching and learning!  The Livescribe Pulse smartpen has certainly been a wonderful asset for me to be able to help my students in more ways than I ever could have imagined!
 

 

Categories: - Educator Pencasts, Mathematics Tags:

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)

Pencasting to Prepare for the LSAT

If you are preparing for the LSAT—the Law School Admission Test—then you know that understanding the reasoning underlying the test questions is key to doing well on the exam.  If you are looking for that type of insight, then you’ll want to check out this site: The Zen of 180 – Outfox the LSAT.  The title is a reference to the highest possible scaled score on the LSAT, a 180.  What brought me to the site is its extraordinary use of Livescribe pencasts. 

It turns out that the site creator, Mr. Bennett, is a Teach For America corps member and an admitted student to Harvard Law School’s class of 2013.  His specialty is breaking down the LSAT into it’s smallest chunks, called task standards like in traditional K-12 education, and allowing readers to actually watch him answer the notoriously tricky analytical reasoning section, also known as logic games.

Mr. Bennett’s shares his thinking and reasoning out loud as he solves Analytical Reasoning problems from publicly released LSAT questions.  Here’s an example of a pencast designed to improve your strategy in attacking an analytical reasoning game (it goes along with a released problem from the sample October 1996 LSAT):

 

In Mr. Bennett’s own words, "If you take one thing away from this blog, I want you to understand that what the LSAT measures—the ability to decode and comprehend text and then apply logical and analytical reasoning—can be learned. In statistics language, there is a positive correlation between the quality of test preparation and LSAT score." 

Whether or not you are studying for the LSAT, Mr. Bennett’s use of pencasting showcases how any educator can utilize the Pulse smartpen to create study guides or teach step-by-step problems more effectively. Students are able to revisit the educator’s lecture at any time to hear the verbal explanation and see the problem worked out step by step as if the educator was sitting there right beside them. 

Do you have a great story of how you are using pencasts in your school or district? Shoot us an email a sjohnson@livescribe.com.

Categories: LSAT Review Tags:

The Real ROI of Instructional Technology

Today’s classroom is filled with students who have unique learning styles and needs. Districts across the county are implementing educational technology to attempt to address this diversity and transform the educational experience, but what is the real ROI of all of this technology? How do you implement a single technology that addresses the differentiated instructional needs for your students? What is the impact of this technology on your own effectiveness and efficiency in the classroom or district office?

Along with instructional technology expert and Livescribe Senior Science Advisor, Dr. Andy Van Schaack, we hosted two informational webinars in March that focused on addressing these very issues. Participants were lead through a review of the plethora of tools being used in today’s classrooms and the factors that influence their impact on student and educator achievement. Joining Dr. Van Schaack were several districts from across the U.S. that are currently using the Livescribe Pulse smartpen to drive differentiated instruction and improve student engagement and achievement. Each district discussed why and how they are using Pulse in their classrooms and district offices and the results they’ve seen.  

To view the archived webinars, check out the links below:

  • Scholastic Webinar featuring Johnson City Central District, NY: View now
  • eSchool News Webinar featuring St. Johns School, NY and Fairfax County School District, VA: View now
Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Pencast Success Story from Louisiana

You may have noticed a spike in pencast sharing in recent months – so have we! (If you’re unfamiliar with pencasts, see below for an explanation.) We’ve also seen an uptick in the number of teachers using the Pulse smartpen and pencasts to promote on-demand learning and wanted to share a recent success story. Maybe it will inspire you!

Angie Treadway from Breaux Bridge High School in Louisiana records her daily math lessons using the Pulse smartpen and uploads them as pencasts. She encourages her students to access the pencasts when they need guidance doing their homework or if they are out sick and miss a lesson. Students can instantly hear Angie’s exact explanation from earlier in the day or week, reinforcing retention – it’s like having your teacher sitting right beside you!

Angie tells us, “Students love the fact that if they missed a moment or two of the in-class lesson they can quickly recap. They also love the fact that they can access the lesson from home if they are ill, and they come back to class ready to continue with the class rather than trailing behind. Parents LOVE the pencast because it helps them to help their students.”

Angie’s teaching methods have been so well received that the school board in Saint Martin Parish asked her to present her use of the Pulse smartpen and pencasts at the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators (LACUE) Technology Conference.

To view Angie’s pencasts, check out her site: http://www.oncoursesystems.com/school/view_calendar.aspx?id=98094

What Is a Pencast?
Pencasting enables users to share notes, drawings or other content online as interactive Flash movies. It’s easy to create a pencast – just dock your pen and upload select pages to the Livescribe Community from within Livescribe Desktop. From the Livescribe Community, pencasts can be embedded onto a blog or Web page, or shared via Pencasting enables users to share notes, drawings or other content online as interactive Flash movies. It’s easy to create a pencast – just dock your pen and upload select pages to the Livescribe Community from within Livescribe Desktop. From the Livescribe Community, pencasts can be embedded onto a blog or Web page, or shared via Facebook. Click here to see a tutorial that we posted a while back.

Digital access, collaboration a must for students

Reposted from eSchoolNews.com

In a national survey that reveals K-12 students’ use of technology at home and at school, students overwhelmingly agreed that access to digital media tools and the ability to collaborate with peers both inside and outside of school can greatly enhance education.

via Digital access, collaboration a must for students.

Categories: Education News, Research Tags:

12 Ways Educators & Students Are Using the Pen Today

Check out 12 ways educators and students are using the Livescribe Pulse smartpen in the classroom. Most of these examples come straight from our users.

This article is now a page:  12 Ways Educators & Students Are Using the Pen Today

Categories: - Special Tags: