[Athen] Digital pen for LD/HOH?

rmhaven at stanford.edu rmhaven at stanford.edu
Sun Aug 3 15:58:55 PDT 2008

Hi, Brian!

You're right -- MS OneNote also has an audio record feature that will
synchronize notes taken (via typing or handwriting if you have a
tablet PC). I've recommended this to students over the years. On the
Mac side, the best similar product I've used is Circus Ponies'
NoteBook. Their newest version (3.0) also permits note input via a
standard graphics tablet (Wacom, others). BTW, it's not publicized
much, but this same capability (audio plus synchronized typed
notetaking) is available on Microsoft Word for Mac (but not Word for
Windows) -- just select View > Notebook Layout to get the notebook
metaphor, then View > Toolbars > Audio Notes to show a toolbar with
standard audio functions (Record, Play, Pause, etc.). Think of it as
a bare bones version of OneNote. (One other tidbit: OneNote will also
synchronize notes with video if you connect a small videocam.)

For students who have difficulty simultaneously taking notes and
listening, I suggest they come up with a strategy and a set of words
which can help them find the appropriate audio when they need it
(whether to relisten to it or to expand notes). For example, they
could mark or annotate key points or "sections" in the audio by
writing or typing just one or two words like:
- Assignment (for where the instructor goes over the homework assignment)
- Major Point (to imply "be sure to listen to this later")
- Test (this will be on the test)
- ?? (don't understand - ask instructor later)
- Text pg. __ (reference to something in textbook)
- [Topic name] (marks where instructor began talking about a new topic)
- etc.

For really quick entry, create a set of keyboard macros for these
words and assign them to the F-keys. With practice, one can create an
on-the-fly text outline of the audio lecture with little writing or

Of course, it help to use a good external microphone rather than a
laptop's built-in mike, adjust the mike's sensitivity, and sit where
you can get a decent audio recording.

So for students who already use laptops, prefer to type, and/or have
poor or slow handwriting, OneNote and NoteBook might be better options
than pens like LiveScribe, Fly Fusion, and others.

- Shelley Haven

Quoting Brian Richwine <blrichwine at gmail.com>:

> I'm curious is anyone has tried Microsoft's OneNote for this? Especially for

> those who have poor handwriting or prefer to type. I've heard that OneNote

> does a similar thing as it records audio can sync it to the notes as they

> are typed.


> On Sat, Aug 2, 2008 at 2:31 PM, Kerri Hicks <kerri.hicks at gmail.com> wrote:


>> On Sat, Aug 2, 2008 at 1:23 PM, Gaeir Dietrich <gdietrich at htctu.net>

>> wrote:

>> > I will be very interested to hear your students' actual experiences. What

>> I

>> > have heard so far is that although these pens sound like a wonderful

>> idea,

>> > they don't seem to work so well in practice. It is quite possible,

>> however,

>> > that in those other cases there was a lack of understanding about how the

>> > technology actually works. Please keep us posted.


>> Hi Gaeir.


>> Here's a sample I did this afternoon. I listened to a recipe on

>> VideoJug, and took notes while the announcer was explaining the

>> procedure.



>> http://www.livescribe.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/LDApp.woa/wa/MLSOverviewPage?sid=wt9QphffhpJV


>> Click on the arrow at the top right to expand the page to full-page.

>> You can listen to the entire thing all the way through, or you can

>> click on any point on the page and hear what was being said as that

>> text was being written.


>> It's not perfect, of course, but this is a real-world example of what

>> it does and puts out. Also, if you see text being written in two

>> places at once, it's because I had to go back and listen to the list

>> of spices -- I couldn't write that fast. I copied them while I was

>> listening to the pen repeat what they should be.


>> I'm going to get in touch with them and plead for the ability to

>> create custom inputs -- it has stereo mics you can plug into it, but

>> imagine if you could plug in an FM receiver, so students who are

>> hard-of-hearing will get direct signal not only to their hearing aids,

>> but to their pen as well!


>> Take care,

>> --Kerri


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