Livescribe Pencast Book Reviews & More!

Or...Craft Time with the Daring Librarian!
Addmitedly, the Daring Librarian is a geeky gadget grrl! I've been talking about the Livescribe pen on my Gadget-A-Go-Go wiki & in presos for years now! Finally, I got one! Woohoo! to do with it? Hmmmm SO many ideas!

Background information: the Livescribe pen will record audio and writing/drawing and can play back with just a tap of the pen. You can also send out the "Pencasts" as both audio and video recreation as you can see & hear in the example below.

How to Create a Pencast Book Review!
Now, I gotta say...this is a really cool idea but... it ain't that pretty! Any suggestions on how to neaten up the process would be appreciated.
How it works - you'll need:
1. Livescribe pen - I have a 4g (buying information)
2. Livescribe paper
3. Scissors & Tape
4. Created bookmarks or shelf-talkers (you can make your own or download mine from my wiki)

Think up a quick book review or read the blurb as you click the Record button on the Livescribe paper and write the word "HERE!" on the same special paper - Read out your review then click Stop when you're done. I had to try this a few times before I got it right. Cut out that piece of paper and write the other words around "Tap the pen (HERE!) to hear the Pencast Book Review" around it. As you can see my handwriting sucks...isn't all that pretty. I cut out the playback buttons on the Livescribe paper except for the RECORD button (I was born at night, but not last night!) and tape the direction sheet to the inside front of the book. I also tape a Pencast Book Review bookmark to the inside back cover (so I can see which books have the reviews and which don't!) The pictures to the left are of the really cool graphic novel by Barry Deutsch called Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword - about yet another Troll fighting 11 year old Orthodox Jewish girl! A present from dear new Geek Tribe buddy & fellow Teacher Librarian Mr. John Schumacher of Brook Forest Elementary School in Naperville, Illinois!
I also taped a shelf talker to the book rack so when a book comes back that has the Pencast Book Review I can plop it there... the Bookmark says:

So the kid signs out the pen then wanders around the Library Media Center and when they see the bookmark they can tap & listen to a book review! The cool part is that the computer built into the pen remembers each diff piece of that special Livescribe paper and goes directly to the right review! But the not so cool part is that it's a lot of paper taped to a book with my funky handwriting! So far, the coolness part has won over my kids and I joke off my handwriting saying "I'm still practicing" or that because of keyboarding for the last 19 years I've slacked off with the legible penmanship.

I'm gonna have kids start recording these soon but I had to do a few as a practice...the fourth one is a blooper! No laughing! LOL Oh...ok....snickering is fine.

Listen to the Pencast Book Review:

Other Livescribe Library Ideas:
  • TV Studio Equipment! Record directions on the Livescribe paper and tape to different equipment pieces in the TV Studio!
  • Livescribe Library Treasure hunt! Research, follow the clues, tap and learn!
  • Walking Tour of the School! Tape these around on index cards with the student ambassadors describing that area or room - visitors or new kids can get a map of the school with the Livescribe Walking & Talking Points Tour© and listen as they explore the building!
  • Science & History Day fair exhibits... Can't give up the Trifold? I blogged about it a few weeks ago but how cool would it be if the student doing the research could explain each part of the display in their own words with a tap of the pen?
So for an investment of as little as $99.00 for the 2G to $159.00 you can get an interactive tool that literally speaks volumes for transliteracy!

What would YOU use a Livescribe pen for in your classroom or library?

(Two of my awesome MHTV girls wearing our new MHTV hoodies!)


  1. You know I love this idea! I've been sharing the idea with people since we talked about... cause we know they can end up sitting in desks not being used if owners aren't prompted. :)

  2. Hi Jenny!
    Thank you so much for your comment! I had such a great time brainstorming over the phone with you about this learning tool! If you think of other ways the Livescribe pen can be utilized in the classroom or library - please let me know!

  3. You really prompted me to look at the pen differently! You are so creative!

  4. What an AWESOME idea! Bought my husband a Livescribe pen last year for his work. Didn't think outside of the box on how I could use it in the library. Thanks so much for sharing this. Can't wait to snag one of these pens and get started!

  5. Gwyneth you so incredibly rock! I love working with talented educators like yourself.

  6. cool idea---I have 8 (yes ...really) in my room through a grant my districts offers..can't wait to try it.

  7. I stumbled over your blog via Google, and thought I'd add something you might find helpful. Livescribe now sells a product they call Sound Stickers that sound ideal for your purpose. They actually suggest, "Make interactive flash cards, study guides, and talking books." on their site. You could print a bookplate (my handwriting is barely legible, so I sympathize with you on that score) and affix a sticker to it rather than chopping up your dot paper.


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