With five percent of students in America being formally identified as having learning disabilities, moving away from paper and into digital products where text can be manipulated to serve specific needs is essential for students to learn. NBC News’ Rebecca Ungarino takes a look at tech tools that are transforming how students comprehend their lessons. ““The pen is small, and I don’t think people will notice,” says Ellie, a dyslexic student using a Livescribe smartpen to write essays.
Do you remember your favorite teacher? As we get back into the school year, Livescribe would like to recognize the many men and women who helped us discover what we know today. For example, Maya Angelou’s neighbor-turned-teacher Mrs. Flowers took her to the local library often and encouraged her to read every book there – thus igniting her love of prose. How about Microsoft? Bill Gates may have famously dropped out of Harvard to create the software giant, yet he credits his math and drama teachers growing up for inspiring him. Says Gates “There’s no way there would have been a Microsoft without what they did.” To prove his point, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donates millions of dollars each year to education.
In the next few days, Livescribe 3 smartpen customers will be able to automatically send all of their notes directly to Microsoft’s OneNote application, upon the release of Livescribe+ 1.3 in the App Store.
With the release of Livescribe+ v1.3, customers will be able to set up the Livescribe+ app to Auto-Send notes from any of their physical notebooks to OneNote, making it even easier to store, organize and search their notes written with pen and paper on the range of devices they rely upon.
In today’s world, it’s important to always be able to access important information wherever and whenever someone needs it, on whichever electronic device is closest. OneNote is a great tool for collecting, organizing and accessing information from a range of devices. From keyboards and mice to styli and voice recognition, options for getting information into OneNote have multiplied while the devices used to access OneNote have expanded to iPhone, Mac and Android.
But despite the growth in input choices, there is no ready replacement for the flexibility and intuitiveness of pen and paper. When a student or professional is trying to keep up with a rapid discussion in a meeting, brainstorming their next great idea, or even just jotting down an item to pick up at the grocery store, the speed and flexibility of pen and paper can help capture an idea before it flies away. If someone needs to sketch out an idea, think through a problem, or send someone a funny doodle, then pen and paper is the best medium to combine productivity with a personal touch. But only a smartpen will let someone write things down, while storing everything digitally.
Earlier this year, Livescribe announced the ability to send handwritten notes created with the Livescribe 3 smartpen into OneNote, introducing an important new link in the OneNote information chain. Now, we’ll be introducing the next level of integration that will further strengthen the link between OneNote and pen-and-paper notebooks in the next few days – keep an eye out for more details when the software update is available. In the meantime, please click here to learn more about the Livescribe 3, and click here to learn more about Microsoft’s latest news about OneNote.
Before heading back to school, we decided to host one final fun contest and hear your thoughts on your favorite movie, based on a book, and whether the book or the movie was better. Nearly 100 people shared their thoughtful replies and it was a tough decision. After much deliberation, we’d like to congratulate Craig Brockman of New York, New York:
Still a sucker for The NeverEnding Story! And I do think the movie was better (or at least more fun).
Here are a few of our other favorite Honorable Mentions, just in case you’re looking for something new and interesting to read, watch or both:
— Rick Yaeger (@RickYaeger) August 1, 2014
— Kathy Boyer (@KathymBoyer) August 4, 2014
Heather Speaks my favorite movie was Manhunter based on the book Red Dragon. I have to say I liked the movie better because it captured it better than my imagination.
David Spiel John Grisham’s “The Pelican Brief” was a great book and movie. The casting was great on the movie, but as usual…. never as good as the book.
Michelle Webb Mystic River by Dennis Lehane is the ONLY book I’ve ever read that the movie stayed so true to, and it was EPIC! Hands down, the best movie/book combo. I have to say, the superb acting of Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, and Kevin Bacon won out, but only because they nailed the characters from the novel so perfectly well.
Eboni Smyles Beaches by Iris Dart. I saw the movie as a teen and read the book as an adult. The movie was great and the book was even better.
Congratulations again Craig, and enjoy your new Echo smartpen! We have our Back To School sale going on for a few more days, so if you’d like a smartpen to write your own “Neverending Story,” please visit our store.
Expectations for success are high and the habits you form in the first few weeks of your freshman year can set the stage for the remainder of your high school or college years. This is a formative, make-or-break time – so get prepared for every challenge thrown your way.
To help you out, we’ve compiled five key tips to get settled in so you can survive and thrive in your freshman year.
1. Get Everything You Need Before You Get Started
Back to school sales exist for a reason. Retailers know that savvy students want to start off their school year equipped with everything needed to focus one hundred percent on studies. Whether you’re entering high school or headed off to college, you should have textbooks, binders, pens, paper and more (click the links for a comprehensive checklist) in your arsenal. Get the ultimate back to school checklist here.
2. Get Oriented So You’re Pointed at Success
You may be shy, or feel you’re “too cool for school” to attend your orientation. While it may seem like a chore, the student leaders are there to guide you through the questions about college life that you wouldn’t dare ask your teachers – or your parents for that matter. Besides getting inside information on school survival, you may also leave with a few new friends which can make the school experience even more fun.
3. Know Your Way Around
Grab your class schedule and take a moment to memorize your high school or college campus map. Bonus: take a trial walk from one classroom to the next, as you would during your school day, so you know how long it takes to get from one destination to the next. Things will be moving quickly enough that first week – you want to make sure you know where you’re going, so you don’t walk into class with everyone staring at you when you’re late.
4. Talk to Your Teachers
Believe it or not, learning doesn’t stop when the bell rings and class time concludes. Teachers hold office hours so they can answer questions and get feedback. In fact, they love it when students take the time to visit them off hours and show a genuine interest in the course material. They want to help you succeed and sometimes the difference between an ‘A’ or a ‘B’ (or a ‘C’ and a ‘D’) is the extra time and effort you put in to get to know your teachers, and to get additional information on a crucial subject.
5. Take Notes
Numerous studies show that students are able to retain more information from lectures after taking handwritten notes, instead of typing. Leave the distractions behind, or in your backpack, and write down the important details so you’ll remember them, simply by writing them down. Livescribe smartpens allow you to write with ink on paper, then sync your notes to a laptop, an Evernote account, or an iPhone/iPad (each smartpen works differently). In addition to having your handwritten notes available on your digital device, you’ll also have audio synced to your notes – so you can tap on your notes and hear exactly what was said. So not only will all your notes be with you all the time, all your lectures will as well.
If you want to take it one step further and get organized, consider the Bullet Journal system which helps you prioritize your daily, weekly and monthly tasks and projects.
If you follow these five tips, you’re much more likely to excel in the classroom, make lifelong friends, gain invaluable skills and have fun. If you want to reap the benefits of owning a Livescribe smartpen, make sure to take advantage of our own back to school sale.
What are your favorite tips for freshman year survival? Let us know in the comments!