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While you're writing, your smart pen is remembering–linking everything you hear to everything you write. Later, simply tap on your notes to replay the recording.

Assistive Technology: Smart Pens FAQ

  • What is it?

    Smart pens are recording devices that let you sync lecture audio to your handwritten notes. As you take notes with the pen, the pen records everything the professor is saying. Now when you go back to your notes after class, you can use the pen to play back different parts of the lecture by pressing any part of your notes with your pen. You can repeat specific parts of the lecture or listen to the entire thing.

  • How will it help me?

    Smart Pens can accommodate several limitations in your note taking:

    1. Slow writer? Find out what you missed and fill in your notes!
    2. Messy handwriting? Listen again to see what that scribble actually means!
    3. Zoned out for a bit? Luckily the microphone didn’t!
    4. Had to step out of the class? Leave the pen on the desk!
    5. Difficulty understanding what is said? Replay the audio at slow speed!
    6. Auditory learner? Use your notes as bookmarks to listen to the lecture again!

  • How do I use it?

    The smart pen will only work with special microdot paper, so you will need a special LiveScribe notebook to accompany the pen. Everything is controlled through buttons that are printed directly on the page of the notebook. When you are in class and ready to record the lecture, you simply need to turn the pen on, open your notebook to the page that you want to take notes on, hit the record button on the bottom of the page, and start taking your notes as you normally would. When the class is over, press the stop button on the bottom of the page and turn off the pen.

    When you want to review your notes, turn on your pen and press any part of your notes and you will be able to hear the lecture from the point where you were writing that particular note.

  • My pen is running out of space. Can I save my recordings?

    You can download Echo Desktop to your Mac or PC to back up your lecture recordings. This software will save a digital copy of your handwritten notes as well as the audio. Once you archive them on the software, you can delete them from your pen to make room for new recordings.

    The software can be downloaded for free from the livescribe website.

  • Where can I purchase one?

    Smart pens can be purchased at the River Hawk Shop located on the ground floor of University Crossing. They are also available online directly through the LiveScribe website.

  • Who should I contact for more information and demonstrations?

    Please contact the SDS office:

    Disability Services (part of the Wellness Center)
    University Crossing
    220 Pawtucket Street, Suite #300
    Lowell MA 01854-5144
    Phone: 978-934-6800
    Fax: 978-934-2032
    E-mail: Disability@uml.edu