A pen even mightier than a computer?
Upload every pen stroke and download a multitude of apps
It listens to your class lectures, it remembers what you write, it plays games with you and it helps you study for tests.
What is it? It’s the Echo Smartpen, which has a microphone that records everything your teachers say during classes, as well as speakers to play them back.
“Every student should have one,” said Damon Flowers, vice president of facilities development and operations, and the proud owner of an Echo pen.
It is about as thick as a marker, and it isn’t very heavy. The grip is rubberized, which makes it a little bit easier to write with. Given how thick it is, writing with it is a little bit awkward. It has a button that turns it on and off on the top and a screen that runs down the side of the pen. It is sleek and very attractive.
The 2GB model typically costs $99.95, but also comes in 4GB and 8GB for a higher cost. The models differ in the amount of audio they can hold. One can hold 400 hours of audio and the other can hold 800 hours.
When using the special notebooks that are designed for this pen, a student can write and record a lecture. The notebooks and more ink for the pen can be purchased in the bookstore as well, as well as headphones that can be plugged into the pen. Then, when studying later, a student can tap a point in the notes and start the recording from that point.
This Smartpen connects to a computer and recorded lectures can be uploaded and things that are written can be easily transferred to the computer and printed. There are even applications to try out.
It does a lot of cool things and it’s pretty easy to use. It can help students in language classes to translate words on a page and it can even define words that have been written down. If a student draws a diagram, then the pen can be plugged into a computer and that drawing can be saved. The pen also helps students keep track of their notes and keep them organized.
Need one now? It’s available in the WCC’s bookstore or you can find them cheaper online. Amazon has the 2GB model for $79.99.