New software turns paper into an inexpensive digital tablet

Livescribe's Echo smartpen aims to help students take complete and accurate notes.
Livescribe's Echo smart pen aims to help students take complete and accurate notes.

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.…Read More