I had originally planned to write about assignments this week, but recent events have derailed that plan. On Sunday, my daughter and I had to run an errand at the mall, and since I didn’t really want to head back home and work on grading papers and planning lessons, I decided to procrastinate a bit with a little shopping. I’ve wanted a tablet for quite some time. I bought a Surface tablet last fall, but I wasn’t happy with it, so I sent it back. I’ve wanted an iPad since I have an iPhone and a Mac, but I couldn’t really justify the purchase as a work necessity (there’s no USB ports, it doesn’t come with Office, etc.). However, as I was procrastinating by wandering around BestBuy, I decided to look at tablets. I didn’t like any that they had on display and eventually made my way over to the iPads. I discovered a Notability app that I thought might be useful which sent me to the aisle with the stylus pens. And that is where I got hooked.
I am a huge fan of the written text. I am constantly buying pens and notebooks, journals, post-it notes, and anything else that I can write on. So when I discovered the Livescribe 3 Smartpen, I saw a perfect solution to my dilemma of how to keep track of which information is in which notebook in which location and on which page. The Smartpen connects via BlueTooth to iOS and Android devices through the free Livescribe app. Whatever you write on the special notebook appears in handwritten text in the app. This appeared to be the solution that I was looking for, but I wasn’t quite ready to jump in without doing a little more research.
I went home and continued my procrastination by watching a YouTube video review of the Livescribe 3 Smartpen. What I saw was enough to convince me to make the purchase, and it just arrived yesterday evening. I haven’t had a chance to examine its full potential yet, but I have “played” with it to see how it works. So far, my initial impression is quite positive. The pen reproduces my handwriting in the app with remarkable clarity and accuracy, and I have been able to convert my handwriting to typed text with a single swipe. And, except for one minor capitalization error, the converted text has been accurate as well. The only complaint that I have at this point is with the pen itself. Since it has BlueTooth, a battery, the pen (which is refillable), and the technology to record audio, it is bulkier and heavier than the pens that I normally like to use.
At this point, I haven’t had a chance to explore all of the features and available options, but I am looking forward to discovering all of them this weekend. Do any of you use a Smartpen or similar device?