Monday, July 06, 2009

A Human Voiced Communication Tool or I Never Knew I Could Do That with the LiveScribe Pen

I've been suffering from "Blogger's Block" of late which is surprising considering I just got back from NECC 09 and have "written" many posts in my head. Unfortunately, getting them from my head to the fingers has been especially challenging. I'll ease back into writing with a quick post about a truly innovative way to use the Livescribe SmartPen. I learned about this at the Livescribe booth at NECC09.

If you are new to the SmartPen technology, it is a phenomenal computerized pen that links audio to whatever you write "so you never miss a word!" Great for students who struggle with notetaking or benefit from repetition and review when they need it.
But, here's the incredible part. The Livescribe SmartPen is also an affordable communication support tool! With a human voice no less! Read all about it here - "Augmentative Communication: A Low-Cost and Lightweight Communication Device with Natural Speech."

Here's one way to create image or text-based pages:
  1. With the smartpen turned on, but with Paper Replay Record off, write a word on the page.
  2. Tap the Paper Replay Record button.
  3. Write a check mark (or other small symbol) next to the word.
  4. Speak the word.
  5. Tap the Stop button.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 for the list of words.
  7. To use the page, the nonspeaking user simply taps on the mark next to each word to hear it spoken.
It is possible to create a communication book with laminated pages.

Additional points to consider:
  • The pen that created the pages is the only pen that will work to play back the audio. So, velcro may come in handy here.
  • The device user will need to be able to manipulate the pen to touch the keyword or symbol for playback.
Another portable, affordable and cool way (see also the Proloquo2Go which is more full featured) to provide communication support for people who have difficulty speaking.


momsolop said...

Way cool!!

Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D said...

Hi Karen

Yes- the Livescribe is an awesome tool and just wait as more applications come down the pike.


Great seeing you at NECC!

Adam B. said...

The educational application that I was thinking about for this same tech was the Leapfrog Tag.

I wish there were a Tag book editor, so that you could create your own books on computer, print them onto Fly Paper with an inkjet printer. A child could play interactively with their own books using the Tag pen.

This is similar to the interactive books that Dr. Janice Light at Penn State has been using on AAC devices, except they would be on paper instead of a touch screen!

(See more on AAC literacy instruction here: )