Livescribe has The Echo smartpen

David Pogue (NYT) reviewed its predecessor Livescribe Pulse in 2008

His intern reviewed the Livescribe Echo in 2010

Here’s the Livescribe web site for educators.

Here’s an educator using a pen himself to record what he is writing in his lecture.  Benefits:

  • the sound is great, it is probably close to the speaker’s mouth
  • exactly what he writes is in the notes. 
  • everything is recorded, but that can also be a downside if there is a lot of extra editorializing/noise of what is going on in that particular classroom.

I am putting this on my blog because I have been frustrated by the “impedance loss” of

  1. educators reading pre-prepared notes (reading or preparation may have errors)
  2. educators writing (again) those pre-prepared notes on a surface (the transcribing to another surface may have errors)
  3. notetakers writing (again) notes to their own notebooks (the audiological interpretation of the notes may have errors, which affects their transcription)
  4. notetakers reviewing their notes again later (may find errors or non sequiturs that affect understanding)

Each step of this process introduces a loss in the fidelity of the original communication.

It seems like Livescribe might be able to address some of those points of loss in the fidelity of the communication, either if the educator uses them, or if the students use them.  Whereas having a recorded version/transcript of the classroom is good, I do think that just passive listening to a lecture over again without some action on the learner’s part is not ideal for long-term memory or cognition.

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