Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Annotating with Livescribe Pens

I had the time over break to try out a new way to use my Livescribe pen for annotations. Here is a post I put together on my other site. 

I'm helping a student with their new book club they started at South. I really wanted to make sure I did a good job reading and annotating this story so I could share with the group. I feel I have a high bar to meet since I'm an English teacher. I didn't want to just download a book and annotate that way and I didn't want to just buy a book and highlight it. I wanted to do a little bit more with the notes, but wasn't sure what to do.

Well, Livescribe was the perfect solution to my problem. I have the Livescribe Sky pen and I recently purchased Livescribe Sticky Notes. By using these two items, I can take notes on the Sticky Notes and not only save them in the book, but they are saved in Evernote.

Here is my note on the book. 

Here is what the note looks like in Evernote. 

I can take the Sticky Notes with me and leave them in the book as I read. With my pen by my side, I can just add the notes as they come up and annotate the book as well. This book club idea has me thinking though.

What if I took the books we read in class and did my own annotations using the Sticky Notes? After the notes were saved, I could then post a public link on my website or drop those notes in another shared notebook with my students and they could have my notes while they read. Maybe note specific notes, but perhaps I add guiding questions. The Livescribe pen and the Sticky Notes can change the way I teach annotation with my students and can add a layer of class discussion that I haven't been able to have.

If I allow the students to edit the notes I share with them, the students could actually add their thoughts and ideas to the annotated notes I left. This could create a crowdsourced collection of annotations for the entire class to see. This could have a serious impact on how my students study and share. It can also really help some of my struggling readers to see what others are thinking why they read and can also add their thoughts.

I think I am going to try this for Gatsby or Catcher this semester. I know that it will be some work on my end upfront, but once I do it the first time, I will have the annotated notes in Evernote and in my book for years to come.

For those of you looking at different ways to use their Livescribe pen, I think this is a fun and exciting way to use annotations in the classroom. Stay tuned as I explore Livescribe Pens in my classroom.

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