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Ideas from resource "60+ Educational Uses for Livescribe smartpens"

  • Created by Kim Evans. The mostrecent printable version is here: blog post
  • Originally numbered 53 - 62 (at the end of the document).

  1. Talking Flash Cards or talking objects (see below)
  2. Word Study with Translation can be expanded to an infinite number of words and to any language. The various types of Spanish, such as Cuban-Spanish, Columbian-Spanish, Mexican-Spanish can be accommodated, as long as you have a community member who speaks the language.
  3. Auditory Practice and Verification – “Now let’s compare what you said to what I said.” The perfect model is always available for practice. Similar to how an SLP can use smartpens for articulation practice.
  4. Modify the Language of Test Questions: For the ELL students, for instance, avoid jargon on unnecessarily-complex sentences in your auditory recording.
  5. Create a Common Visual Language for students, which would help them transfer their patterns of thinking from their native languages to English.
  6. Note-Taking by the student can now be in both linguistic and non-linguistic forms, such as sketches, a combination of words and schematics, with the attached audio. This would not be possible with a computer alone.
  7. Notes Review and Revision Students can review and revise their notes taken in class by going back and listening to the teacher again and again. When students review and revise their own notes, the notes become more meaningful and useful.
  8. Focused Practice leads to mastery over days or weeks. With the pen, practice can occur over a span of days, weeks or months, if necessary, and specific words/terms can be searched for in the notes.
  9. Memorization Practice: Recording of basic rules, algorithms, or laws in both auditory, visual forms allows the skill to be practiced until it becomes rote.
  10. New Enrollments. Office staffers who enroll new arrivals from foreign countries have pens in their hands. They write out the standard questions that they ask and have those sentences translated into the various languages they need and include the probable answers. The parents can then indicate their response. For example: Has your child been enrolled in a school here in the US before coming to our district? Yes or No. If yes, what was the name of the school? What grade level was your child enrolled in? 1,2,3,4,5,6 etc. The pen will do the talking, recorded by community members who speak the language needed.
  11. Book Study. Choose any book in the library and the staff will either put strips under the words/letters or a dot of Livescribe paper at the end of sentences so that it can be read by the pen. (Levels the playing field for group discussions.)

Videos with step-by-step instructions

Talking Flash cards (English/Spanish)

  1. Videos
    On YouTube (below - or click this link: YouTube video - opens in a new window/tab)

    Same video on Screencast.com (use if YouTube is blocked)
  2. Steps
    1. Use audio dots created by cutting up Livescribe dot paper (use 1/2" x 1/2" or larger shapes) or print your own audio dot labels (using Livescribe Desktop software, sheets of labels, and the right color or black and white laser printer).
    2. Affix audio dots to 3" x 5" cards to easily create talking/audio flash cards.
    3. Modify this idea and add audio dots to make any object or image speak in one or more languages.
    4. For more about audio dot shapes labels see "How to Create Talking Dot Shapes & Labels".
    5. A great place to purchase removable labels seems to be: www.labelsbythesheet.com. I've (Tim Fahlberg) have found their small rectangular labels (1 3/4" x 1/2") and smallish round labels (1") to be particularly useful. You can even cut the 1/2" x 1 1/2" labels in half and thus get 160 labels from a single sheet that costs 25 - 40 cents.


  1. EFL and ESL: Using the Smartpen to Enhance the Productivity and Effectiveness of ESL Instruction: Article/essay by Emily Wartinbee
  2. Smartpen Technology and Revitalization of the Myaamia Language: Blog post with link to 82 page Master's Thesis with lots of details.