Differentiating with livescribe smartpens from December 10, 2011
Speaker: Peggy George
Special Guest: Aviva Dunsiger and Sue Glascoe
The topic covered in this Webinar was the Livescribe Smartpens. These pens are used in the classroom as a tool to help students in all subject areas but mostly Language Arts. The pens look and act like other smartboard pens. They differ in the fact that you can write on “paper” and then the pen will read back what was written. This is the pens audio option; this is an excellent part of the pens but it also seen as a fear by many people. The pen is also different because it is a portable computer. The pen has the software of that of a Smartphone or computer. The user can download apps for the pen. In the Webinar she talks about how she downloaded a Spanish dictionary app. This app models how to say the written English word in Spanish by saying it. It also will look up and give the definition of the word in Spanish. They also talk about the mathematics apps that are available for the pens.
These pens will impact teaching by allowing students to use the pens when they are stuck on how to say a word. Say the teacher wrote down the directions for that student and they can’t read them, the pen will read the directions for the student allowing for the student to figure out what to do on their own. The pen can also be used for telling stories that students have written down, keeping students work anonymous to the other students in the class. The pen can also be used in a literacy center, this will allow for the teacher to plan two centers that allow for more comprehensive task, that a teacher might have to explain. The applications allow for endless possibilities on when and where the pen can be used. You can download an app to help students in science making the boring subject more fun and hands on. Another aspect of the pen is the ability to connect it to your computer and download things for safe keeping. One thing I liked was pencast, this is where the recording of directions or stories are uploaded onto the class website and made available for students who were sick that day or they can be used for their homework.
I can use this tool in my future because I want to be a teacher. This pen would be a great asset to any classroom. The use of this tool are endless, it is hard to think of just a few examples of how I would use it in my classroom, because there are so many ideas going through my head. I would use it for capturing the directions or stories and posting them on the website for students who were sick or who are struggling. I would also use it for more hands on opportunities for the “boring” subjects such as mathematics and social studies. I like the idea of having the pen read some of the students work out loud, this would be good for the students who want to share but are too afraid to, after a while they can see that their peers enjoy their work and then they might be a little more comfortable to read it out loud in front of them.