Back to School with the Echo Smartpen

Who doesn’t want to the neatest gadgets the market has to offer in this age of technology. While this gadget isn’t necessarily marketed towards being an assistive device for persons with disabilities, we feel this nifty contraption would not only make the college kid’s heart swell with techno-savvy glee, but would also help in earning that all important grade.

Meet echo, the smartpen by livescribe. The echo’s many functions lend itself perfectly as an assistive device to individuals with learning disabilities as it combines the use of visual and audio aids (either separately or used in conjunction with one another). Students with physical limitations who find it difficult to thumb through sheafs of paper, textbooks, and notes will love the audio and computer syncing capabilities.

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Echo smartpen by Livescribe, posted with vodpod

Pretty neat, huh?! This bit of technological gadgetry is a pen and a computer all rolled into one. Now, the pen doesn’t just work on any ole paper, there is also “smartpaper” that comes in a variety of styles from looseleaf to spiral notebook and journal forms. Called “Dot paper” the smartpen and the paper work together to document, record, store, and recall your notes, lectures, comments, even your doodles.

You can visit the official page for the livescribe echo smartpen for a full breakdown and demonstration of the pen in action. But just to give you a basic understanding of the smartpen, while you’re writing, the echo smartpen is remembering and linking everything you hear to everything you write. The pen records the lecture or spoken note that goes with the corresponding written note on the dot paper. Later, you simply tap on the notes to replay the recording.

echo smartpen

Record everything, play it back with the echo smartpen from livescribe.

And finding long lost notes is as easy as typing the keyword in your search menu. Now, this does take some forethought, but with a little practice you’ll get the hang of it. Just like a digital recorder, the echo smartpen allows you to download your recordings (written notes included) through a USB cord to your computer. You can organize, manage and export your notes and audio, and easily recall specific notes later by using the program’s search menu.

echo smartpen

Save, organize, and search notes with the echo smartpen by livescribe

But why stop with exporting notes just for yourself. Share your notes and recordings with the world…or at the very least, with your classmates. You can export your notes as a PDF, an audio file, or as interactive Flash movies called pencasts. Then embed the pencasts on a blog, website, Facebook, or even the Livescribe Community.

echo smartpen

Send and share your notes with the echo smartpen by livescribe.

And just like today’s fancy smartphones, the echo smartpen is also customizable with apps. Customize the smartpen with games (not that we’re suggesting you do so with all those hours of hard studying we just know you’re dedicating yourselves to), reference guides (now that’s more like it), and productivity tools (to help you students who need a little guidance with time management).

Now, this isn’t the cheapest gadget on the market, but the echo smartpen is reasonably affordable as far as technology goes. With prices ranging from $129 for 2GB smartpen, $149 for 4GB, and $199 for 8GB, students have the option of choosing the amount of storage space that best suits their needs. The echo smartpen from livescribe is available at major retailers, such as Best Buy, as well as available for purchase online.

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