Homeschool.com’s Product Reviews

Live Scribe Echo SmartPen $169.95+ Ages: Teen – Adult

One of the favorites this holiday season, LiveScribe Echo smartpen is a fantastic gift for teens and adults alike. When applied to special paper, it digitally captures a precise image of your handwritten notes, sketches, and doodles. It also has a sound recorder for meetings and lectures. For a teenager who might be starting dual enrollment at a junior college or taking some sort of lecture outside of the home, this product is highly recommended. Not only does it allow the student to focus on the lecture by not placing a laptop in front of him/her (no access to Facebook and email with this smartpen), it allows students to record the lecture and then play it back when they get home. They can even point the smartpen to a specific spot in their notes (after class), and the lecture will replay from that point!

Setup is a breeze. Connect the pen to your computer using a USB cord–accompanying software supports both Windows and Mac OS X–and your uploaded handwritten notes will appear exactly as they did on the page. They’ll be arranged in an iTunes-like application called Livescribe Desktop that lets you read, organize, share, and print them. If you recorded sound simultaneously, the page is presented as a “pencast” on your screen with your words highlighted in synchronization with the sound. If your teen is a technology lover, they will have so much fun with this tool. Not only is it used for educational purposes, but you can have fun with this pen too! We especially enjoyed the piano feature. Draw a piano on the livescribe paper, and use the pen to touch the different chords. You’ll be playing piano on a piece of paper in no time. Also available are many different apps to download, including U.S. State facts, scientific calculators, foreign language dictionaries, travel, religious and music apps, to name a few. ew.