“The pen is mightier than the sword…”
The person who first coined this quote must definitely have known about the Smart pen‘s existence! Apart from being the modern-day-classroom-magic-wand-spectacular (oh yes, this tool is just so amazing a new word had to be created for it!), what is the Smart Pen exactly?
The Smart Pen is a tool shaped like a pen. It had an ink cartridge, so you can write with it like you would with any conventional pen. However, it does way more than that. It comes with its own notebook. This notebook is made with special paper. Whenever you write on this paper, the pen will also record everything that is being said as you are writing. All you need to do is click where it is written “record” at the bottom of the pages! Later, you can tap on the section of writing you are interested in your notebook and as you tap on the notebook you will hear the recording of what was said previously at the same exact moment when that note was taken. To accomplish this incredible feat, the pen is equipped with a camera where the tip is. This allows its sensors to see where on the paper you are tapping on. The pen also comes equipped with a built-in microphone. It gets even better! You can actually hook up your pen to your computer through a USB portal. This allows you to upload everything you have recorded. You can then listen to them over and over or send/share these recordings with other people! The possibilities are truly limitless!
As a future teacher, I was truly impressed by the unlimited possibilities of this tool. The Smart Pen is worthy of mention considering how great its potential is to bring the classroom to a whole new level! Here is a video that explains quite clearly how it functions.
The Smart Pen is a tool that has as much potential for the students than for the teacher. Once you integrate its use in your classroom, you will not be able to go back! Think about it for a second, this pen opens up the world to a huge number of possibilities.
How would I use the Smart Pen in the classroom?
- Record oral presentations: This way students can listen to their presentation. This allows them to hear what and how they said it. You can use this recording to ask them to create an auto-evaluation. The students could also fill-in a correction grid with all the mistakes they hear themselves make. By correcting themselves, they will be less inclined to make these mistakes again.
- Justify your evaluation: As you are taking notes on the speaker, the Smart Pen will automatically match the notes you are taking with what the speaker was saying at that exact moment. Therefore, if a student does not agree with what you have pointed out, you can justify your point with the exact audio moment in question. This helps to develop a sentiment of trust between the teacher and the students. When you can justify why you gave them such a grade, students feel that your evaluations are honest and just. They will not have the feeling that they were graded depending on the relationship you have with them, but rather on the quality of what they produced!
- The power of sharing: Using the Smart Pen in the classroom allows you to share everything that was recorded with your students. You can send them an e-mail with today’s class content. This way, it will help them study for their exam tomorrow. You can send the recording of the today’s class to a student who was absent. This allows the absent student to “retake the class” without compromising your lunch hour! (We all know teachers do not have so much free time to prepare their various activities during the day.
Since a picture is worth a 1000 words, here are a couple of concrete examples of what you can do with this Smart Pen.
As you can see, its possibilities are limitless.
Livescribe also offers various applications and additions for their Smart Pen. Here is a list of additions with an educational purpose. If the Smart Pen interests you, they are definitely worth looking at.
Here are ideas for the use of the Smart Pen especially in ESL classes.
If you want more information about this product and its accessories, click here.