SmartPen

Welcome back,

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This week I’ve decided to share with you about an amazing and recent technology that I had the chance to find out about via Annie Krespil during the last presentation of SPEAQ conferences here in University Laval. She presented the tool as something that we could see from a fictional movie like the well-known Harry Potter movies. It definitely could.

 

                The tool is called the “Smartpen” but you might as well call it “life-saver” if you’re a student who has trouble keeping up with the teacher during a regular class. The Smartpen basically consists of a pen acting as a voice recording device once activated by writing something in the special notebook provided when purchasing the item. The notebook looks like a regular notebook at first, but it is made of a special material that, once in contact with the pen, starts to record. As for the pen, it incorporates some sort of USB key that provide a digital version of all your recordings done with the Smartpen.

 

                I’m sure you’ve already figured out yourself many instances where this tool can come in handy, but I will state benefits that you can gain from it anyway.  Obviously, note-taking with the Smartpen gets at least 10 times easier. In fact, as a university student, I still experience some situations when I have difficulty taking notes as the teacher is talking because what he or she says is very interesting and I don’t want to miss it. But then, if I don’t take notes, and even if I tell myself that never in the world I would forget what has been mentioned, I inevitably end up having only fuzzy details about it. But now, thanks to the Smartpen, students have a portable and permanent source of information coming directly from their own teacher. So from now on, you’re done stressing with the idea of taking notes while the teacher is talking and you can focus entirely on the material being taught.

 

                This tool can bring some interesting advantages for parents too. For instance, if a parent has is child home doing his homework using the Smartpen, it allows him or her to explain in other words what the teacher explained in class. Thus, it gives a better chance for parents to feel included in their children success in school because sometimes, parents don’t necessarily remember the material taught to their children when they get to a certain level. However,with the Smartpen, they might remember what they previously learned in their school years and therefore, be able to actually help their children progressing in school.

 

Also, note-taking has never been more ecological than it is now with the Smartpen. Along with many other technologies that concentrate the information more often in digital version than in paper version, the Smartpen contributes to reduce the paper consummation done for school matters.

                To conclude, I can see only one shortcoming for this technology and like many others, it’s the price. For a Smartpen kit, the prices start at 99$. However, a class really only needs one Smartpen since the information recorded can eventually be uploaded to the school portal so that everyone has access to it.

 

Well, thank you for the time you spent reading my blog.

Stay classy Quebec City.

 

 

Tutorial= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFCeqSggo2Y

Sources : http://www.engaging-technologies.com/smartpens.html#sthash.aSYBMoLq.dpbs (just click on «Livescribe Smartpens » for some reasons it doesn’t want to work otherwise.

http://assistivetechnology.about.com/od/ATCAT3/f/What-Is-A-Smart-Pen.htm

http://www.livescribe.com/blog/education/youtube-livescribe-videos/ways-educators-and-students-are-using-the-pen-today/

 

iPads in classrooms

Ipads in classrooms       Image

             In a world where technology overwhelms children`s lives, it is getting harder and harder for teachers to keep up with students` interest. Nowadays, to be able to get the best of students` attention and to avoid dropouts as much as possible, teachers have to remain technologically updated and to adapt their teaching profession to the new technologies. That being said, if I would ask you to tell me the dominant technology that you witnessed during the last few years, some or even maybe most of you will probably mention iPads. It is well-deserved considering that the Apple device is now known and used practically worldwide.

            Now, if you are wondering how an ESL teacher can incorporate this new technology to his teaching, this article might provide you with information. For instance, iPads can help students read in their second language by providing an app that pronounces words that students might have difficulty with. Thus, it prevents students to associate certain words with wrong pronunciation.

            Moreover, the IPads mobility allows students to learn whenever and wherever they want to. When assigned to teams to work, students with an iPad don’t need to rush to get a computer because they have one right in their hands. The same thing happens with dictionary, teachers can download an app to permanently have an elaborate dictionary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EV8M6P9st9Q

            The device itself does not only provide useful tools that anyone would like to have, it is made to give people the opportunity to go online and to download any application that might interest them. This is why we can find a multitude of applications that consists of innovative material and appealing to the eyes of a teenager or a child of today’s generation.

            For a school with limited funds, the implementation of iPads, especially if we consider a 1-1 ratio being the most proficient, can be a real economic challenge. However Marc Miller brought up in class last week a clever way, in my opinion, to overcome the problem. If I am not mistaken the idea consisted in including the price of the iPads provided by the school into the students’ admission fee.

This blog provides supplementary information and many links to tutorials: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/igeneration/50-resources-for-ipad-use-in-the-classroom/16126

For a cute overview of the multiple possible uses of iPads in classrooms, consult the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nttRufi5i7w

Have a great week! J