12 May, 2011

Initial Thoughts on Livescribe Smartpens and 'Pencasts'

I finally got to play with a Livescribe pen last night, and the possibilities of using look interesting.

The company describe it as a ‘smartpen’, and it records both what you write and the audio in the room at the same time. I’ve mainly heard people talk about students using these tools to take audio enhanced lecture notes, but the Flash based file that you can export could be used in a very similar way to some screencasts.

The pen requires special paper for it to work but you can print that for free, and you also need to install the free software on your PC or Mac.

An important question regarding this tool would be related to the ethical aspects of recording lectures and meetings. Would students have to declare that they were using one of these in a lecture? Then again some students bring other recording devices to lectures already, so perhaps there is already an expectation that these events will be recorded.

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