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Monthly Archives: June 2012

New software turns paper into an inexpensive digital tablet

Livescribe’s digital ‘smart’ pens stream written text to a computer in real time
From staff reports (eSchool News)

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 Over the last year, Livescribe has promoted its digital “smart” pen as an educational tool not just for capturing and recording class notes, but also sharing these notes online in a technique known as “pencasting.” Now, the latest version of the company’s smart pen, called the Echo, adds more digital storage capability, and new software enables the pen to stream all notes taken live, in real time, to a computer—turning special dotted paper into an inexpensive digital tablet.

In a recent demonstration for an eSchool News reporter, company founder and CEO Jim Marggraff showed how the technology could be useful for instruction. As a user jots down notes on the special paper, these notes are recorded in the pen’s memory and also streamed live to a computer, where they can be displayed for an entire class to see in real time. (For now, the pen must be connected to the computer via a USB cable.)

“Livescribe’s mission is to enhance the capture, access, and sharing of written and spoken information to improve communication, collaboration, productivity, and learning,” Marggraff said in a statement.

A number of companies have created digital “smart” pens in recent years: tools that can digitize handwriting and even convert writing into word-processing text. Developers say students who use the pens to capture and upload their notes to computers for review could perform better in school. The pens also are a more convenient option for students who typically carry their laptops to class to take notes.

“The student becomes more efficient,” said Keith Renty, business development manager for IOGEAR.

With IOGEAR’s Mobile Digital Scribe, the pen emits an electronic signal to a receiver that is attached to the student’s paper. The receiver has enough memory to store the notes on 50 standard-size sheets of paper. Unlike Livescribe’s solution, the receiver can be attached to any standard notebook the user writes on, Renty said—meaning it doesn’t require special paper.

But Livescribe’s Pulse smart pen was the first to capture audio as well as handwritten text.

By recording the audio from a lesson while a student is writing, Livescribe’s pen lets the student focus more on the lecture itself, as opposed to making sure he or she is writing everything down. Simply by tapping the paper with the pen, students can hear what the instructor was saying at that very moment in their notes.

The ability to record sound as well as writing has led to the creation of what Livescribe calls “pencasts,” or recordings of class lectures or demonstrations that can be uploaded to a school web site in Flash format, making them available for any student to access.

Watch a sample pencast here:

Veritas Tutors: Organic Chemistry of Carboxylic Acids brought to you by Livescribe

Livescribe’s Pulse has 2 gigabytes of memory and costs $129.99. The new Echo is available in an introductory bundle to educators for $199.95, which includes  Echo 8GB smartpen – recording about 800 hours, small starter notebook, micro USB cable, Livescribe Desktop software, and 2 ink cartridges. The $199.95 price is for up to 9 “intro education bundles,” with the price dropping to $179.96 when 10 to 99 pens are purchased, to $175.96 when 100 to 499 pens are purchased, and $169.96 when 500 or more pens are purchased.

The 8GB Echo smart pen features storage for up to 800 hours of audio or a combination of audio, digital ink, and applications. Applications range from reference tools such as a complete 70,000-word American Heritage Desk Dictionary to simple games and study aides, available from Livescribe’s Beta Application Store, which now includes more than 60 applications.

With its introduction of the Echo, Livescribe has added several new features as well.

These include Launch Line, a new way to access and launch applications in seconds; password protection to ensure that recorded audio on the smart pen remains private and secure; custom notebooks that can group and organize notes as easily as creating a playlist in iTunes; and a pencast import/export feature that lets users share pencast files locally to a desktop or server. The Echo also can display its owner’s name or other contact information on the OLED screen, making identification of the owner easy.

With the launch of Echo, Livescribe also announced the Pencast Player for iPad, iPhone, and iTouch, which lets customers access their pencasts anywhere they go.

Livescribe’s new software, coming this fall, not only will enable users to stream recorded text from the smart pen to a computer in real time; it also will let users instantly create a PDF file of the recording and save or share it via eMail with the click of a button.

All Livescribe smart pens and the Livescribe Desktop software for Macs and PCs are available in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish. In addition, Korean and Chinese languages are supported in the Windows version of the Livescribe Desktop software and all smart pens.

 

 

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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

From CHE – Massive Open Online Courses – The Experience of 4 Professors…

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4 Professors Discuss Teaching Free Online Courses for Thousands of Students

By Jeffrey R. Young

 What is it like to teach a free online course to tens of thousands of students? Dozens of professors are doing just that, experimenting with a format known as Massive Open Online Courses. And there are more providers than ever, some working with elite universities, and others that allow any professor to join in

The Chronicle asked four professors, teaching on different platforms, to share their thoughts on the experience so far. The responses are based on e-mail interviews, which have been condensed and edited for publication.

 

Pstruck

Peter Struck: Associate professor of classical studies, University of Pennsylvania, teaching via Coursera   

Reworking a Course Into an Online Format: ‘Sort of Like Moving’

“You find things in the version of the course you know well and wonder, Now why did I hang onto that? And then you run into other things and are reminded of why they’re so important.”


Devans

David Evans: Associate professor of computer science, University of Virginia, teaching via Udacity

Turning ‘Muddled Recordings’ Into a ‘Seamless Video’

“This is different from classroom lecturing since the students are not there when you are doing it (most of the recording is done alone), and the recording will be edited to top produce the class.”

 

Msoltan

Margaret Soltan: Associate professor of English, George Washington University, teaching via Udemy

Sharing a Passion for Poetry With Students Around the World 

“I hope that the willingness of American university professors to do free MOOC’s will enhance the image of universities among Americans, many of whom think of tenured university professors as people always looking to get out of teaching, always obsessed with their own research.”

 

 

 

Cbonk

Curtis Bonk: Professor of education, Indiana University at Bloomington, teaching via Blackboard

  Building Different MOOC’s for Different Pedagogical Needs

   “Some people seem to treat MOOC’s as a type of religious experience.”

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

New software turns paper into an inexpensive digital tablet Livescribe?s digital ?smart? pens stream written text to a computer in real time

Frms staff reports (eSchool News)
e Schoo News 

Over the last year, Livescribe has promoted its digital “smart” pen as an educational tool not just for capturing and recording class notes, but also sharing these notes online in a technique known as “pencasting.” Now, the latest version of the company’s smart pen, called the Echo, adds more digital storage capability, and new software enables the pen to stream all notes taken live, in real time, to a computer—turning special dotted paper into an inexpensive digital tablet.

In a recent demonstration for an eSchool News reporter, company founder and CEO Jim Marggraff showed how the technology could be useful for instruction. As a user jots down notes on the special paper, these notes are recorded in the pen’s memory and also streamed live to a computer, where they can be displayed for an entire class to see in real time. (For now, the pen must be connected to the computer via a USB cable.)

“Livescribe’s mission is to enhance the capture, access, and sharing of written and spoken information to improve communication, collaboration, productivity, and learning,” Marggraff said in a statement.

A number of companies have created digital “smart” pens in recent years: tools that can digitize handwriting and even convert writing into word-processing text. Developers say students who use the pens to capture and upload their notes to computers for review could perform better in school. The pens also are a more convenient option for students who typically carry their laptops to class to take notes.

“The student becomes more efficient,” said Keith Renty, business development manager for IOGEAR.

With IOGEAR’s Mobile Digital Scribe, the pen emits an electronic signal to a receiver that is attached to the student’s paper. The receiver has enough memory to store the notes on 50 standard-size sheets of paper. Unlike Livescribe’s solution, the receiver can be attached to any standard notebook the user writes on, Renty said—meaning it doesn’t require special paper.

But Livescribe’s Pulse smart pen was the first to capture audio as well as handwritten text.

By recording the audio from a lesson while a student is writing, Livescribe’s pen lets the student focus more on the lecture itself, as opposed to making sure he or she is writing everything down. Simply by tapping the paper with the pen, students can hear what the instructor was saying at that very moment in their notes.

The ability to record sound as well as writing has led to the creation of what Livescribe calls “pencasts,” or recordings of class lectures or demonstrations that can be uploaded to a school web site in Flash format, making them available for any student to access.

Watch a sample pencast here:

Veritas Tutors: Organic Chemistry of Carboxylic Acids
brought to you by Livescribe

Livescribe’s Pulse has 2 gigabytes of memory and costs $129.99. The new Echo is available in an introductory bundle to educators for $199.95, which includes  Echo 8GB smartpen – recording about 800 hours, small starter notebook, micro USB cable, Livescribe Desktop software, and 2 ink cartridges. The $199.95 price is for up to 9 “intro education bundles,” with the price dropping to $179.96 when 10 to 99 pens are purchased, to $175.96 when 100 to 499 pens are purchased, and $169.96 when 500 or more pens are purchased.

The 8GB Echo smart pen features storage for up to 800 hours of audio or a combination of audio, digital ink, and applications. Applications range from reference tools such as a complete 70,000-word American Heritage Desk Dictionary to simple games and study aides, available from Livescribe’s Beta Application Store, which now includes more than 60 applications.

With its introduction of the Echo, Livescribe has added several new features as well.

These include Launch Line, a new way to access and launch applications in seconds; password protection to ensure that recorded audio on the smart pen remains private and secure; custom notebooks that can group and organize notes as easily as creating a playlist in iTunes; and a pencast import/export feature that lets users share pencast files locally to a desktop or server. The Echo also can display its owner’s name or other contact information on the OLED screen, making identification of the owner easy.

With the launch of Echo, Livescribe also announced the Pencast Player for iPad, iPhone, and iTouch, which lets customers access their pencasts anywhere they go.

Livescribe’s new software, coming this fall, not only will enable users to stream recorded text from the smart pen to a computer in real time; it also will let users instantly create a PDF file of the recording and save or share it via eMail with the click of a button.

All Livescribe smart pens and the Livescribe Desktop software for Macs and PCs are available in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish. In addition, Korean and Chinese languages are supported in the Windows version of the Livescribe Desktop software and all smart pens.

 

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

iPads in Education: Latest Craze or Valuable Tool?

by: Nicole Slagter, Harding University, The Cannon-Clary College of Education (Director, Distance Education Marketing and Promotion)

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A Digital World is Their World

Despite the hurdles that districts, schools and even individual teachers may face, the fact that digital technology is revolutionizing the world cannot be ignored.

The number of college students who say they own tablets has more than tripled since a survey taken last year… One-fourth of the college students surveyed said they owned a tablet, compared with just 7 percent last year…The new survey found that nearly six in 10 students preferred digital books when reading for class, compared with one third who said they preferred printed textbooks”. (DeSantis, 2012)

It’s not just college students who are tech savvy however. Students in today’s K-12 classrooms have grown up in a truly technological world and “the iPad’s light weight, tech prowess and versatile user interface make it a valuable learning tool for a generation of kids who grew up in a digital world” (May, 2012). While many teachers may initially struggle to learn the new technology, “the interactive nature of learning on an iPad comes naturally for many of today’s students, who’ve grown up with electronic devices as part of their everyday world” (Reitz, 2011, emphasis added). Not only are today’s students used to using technology in their everyday lives, but they have come to appreciate – even expect – a different type of learning environment. Principal Tim Brosnan at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose says the students “have embraced the idea that learning happens not just in the classroom but at home and anywhere else they can go online. The iPad’s not some magic pill, but seeing students collaborate on them seems to add more life to the learning process” (May, 2012).

Latest Craze or Valuable Tool?

 It is an understatement to say that technology is constantly changing. Mentioning the progression of technology over her 16 years of teaching, kindergarten teacher Laura Rainville says “We’ve come a long way…I think it’s fantastic. I do get nervous though that the kids will know more than me at some point. I’m trying to constantly keep up” (Melanson, 2012). Ed Garay, in an online comment to DeSantis’ article (2012, emphasis added) said “The key is to help faculty realize the endless opportunities to educate and innovate, by providing them with a support structure to identify, author, and adapt the necessary class materials, textbooks, interactive learning modules and student assignments and online activities to meet their learning outcomes”.

The iPad has extensive potential as a valuable tool in education – key word being “tool”. Many times technology becomes the focus when in fact it should be used as a tool to assist the learning process. “Even with the most modern device in hand, students still need the basics of a solid curriculum and skilled teachers. There’s a saying that the music is not in the piano and, in the same way, the learning is not in the device” (Reitz, 2011).

To read the remainder of the paper slect the link below.
http://www.harding.edu/hulearn/reports.html


 

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in Uncategorized