Monday, November 11, 2013

Livescribe 3 Review

I was sent a Livescribe 3 Smartpen for the purpose of this review.

Here is a video introducing the new Livescribe 3 Smartpen.

I was really excited to get my hands on the new smartpen after I saw the video. I loved the idea of seeing my writing appear on my iPad to be instantly moved over to my Evernote notebook when I was done. I was also interested to see how well the software could ready my writing and transfer it into text.

First, the connection to my iPad was quick and seamless and the writing popped up on the screen with only a slight delay. I was able to connect my iPad to AirPlay and project my tablet. This allowed me to move the iPad and the notebook to anywhere in the classroom. Instead of having the traditional document camera where the teacher sits and writes for the class to see, the Livescribe notebook can be passed around and students can do the work on their own, record their voice as they walkthrough the work and then have it all saved for playback later.

All of the pencasts can be saved directly into Evernote into shared notebooks so students can access them from their own accounts wherever they are. Here is an example of a pencast I shared to Evernote. The sound is great and it captured everything I wanted without a problem.

For me, the goal of technology in my classroom or professional life is to sometimes make everyday tasks a little bit easier. Those few minutes saved here and there can add up and allow me to focus on  other things that need to get done. 

By having the pen connect directly to my iPad or my iPhone, it allows me to directly send the notes to my Evernote account and share them with my students or save them for review later. If I want to convert my notes into text, I can simply swipe the the portions I want changed and save the notes that way as well. My hand-writing is pretty rough, but the software did a very good job reading my writing. I was very happy with that aspect of the software. It did not disappoint. 

I really see this smartpen being very helpful in Math and Science classes as teachers are working through problems for the class to see and recording the work for students who need to go over it again at home or were absent for the day. Combining the iPad, Livescribe 3 and an AppleTV makes the most sense for a classroom looking to project to the class, record the work and share with others. That can all be done at once without the hassle of uploading and downloading. 

I had the $149.95 Livescribe 3 Smartpen and it was just perfect for me. I look forward to using it in my classes, sharing it with my journalism students for interviews and taking notes at conferences. The extra $50 for the portfolio, extra pages and ink cartridges is worth it if you will be using the pen regularly. 

If you have been thinking about getting a Smartpen, but were not sure when to do it, now is the time. It is a great pen and I can't wait to see it in action over the course of the school year. 

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