Livescribe Pencast App for the Echo and Pulse Pen

Do the students you work with have difficulty with note taking?

Note taking is a requirement of students beginning in upper elementary school and which more demanding as students transition to middle, high school and beyond. There are many barriers presented to students during note taking – spelling, understanding vocabulary presented,  writing at the pace of the lecturer, writing legibly, paraphrasing when note taking, using short term memory to hold the information you want to write,  writing and comprehending simultaneousely to get the information down on paper in a meaningful way for it to make sense at a later time. All needed for note taking.

Some students require accommodations for note taking, such as have a peer note taker, getting outlines from the teacher, recieving teachers notes or having notes taken by the paraprofessional or teacher who might accompany the student(s) in the classroom. Other tools for note taking include recording the lecture (given permission, or as written into the IEP) with a handheld device, via capture on an interactive whiteboard, video, or even recording it with a laptop computer (via cam or recorded using computer software).

In the past few years electronic recording pens such as the Livescribe Echo or Pulse Pen became available as a new method of note taking recording written and audio information simultaneously using specialized paper and an electronic pen.

The Livescribe Echo or Pulse Pen (Echo is their newest pen and Pulse the first generation of the Livescribe Pens) allow a person to write and record audio at the same time. Using the specialized Livescribe paper, the pen records or videos what you are writing while recording the audio/sound at the same time. Using menus printed on the paper, recording can be started, stopped and paused.

Other tools or controls on the paper menu include volume, bookmarks, jumping and increasing or decreasing the playback rate.  The Echo/Pulse Pen can be used primarily with the paper or synchronized to Livescribe Desktop software on your computer for archiving the pen’s files or review the recorded handwritten notes and listen to the audio in the Desktop software.

So what’s the deal with the Echo Pen and an iDevice apps?

The Pencast Player App, Livescribe’s mobile app,  creates Pencasts using the Echo/Pulse Pen files with the recorded audio and handwritten notes that can be uploaded via   Livescribe Desktop Connect and shared via Wi-Fi on the Pencast app on your mobile iOS device.

Pencasts are a digital version of the notes and audio allowing you to hear, see and relive your notes just as they were captured created in the Livescribe Desktop software and sent to the Pencast app.

Notes taken in class can be seen, reviewed, relived on your computer as well as on your iDevice using the Pencast Player App as a study tool. Many shared academic Pencasts  in a wide variety of  subjects and topics are posted on the Livescribe Pencast website tab or all to view.

Using the Echo or Pulse Pen, you can review your notes seeing and hearing the information recorded using your pen and Livescribe Notebook paper, on your computer or make it portable on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad using the Pencast Player App.

For more information on the Echo/Pulse Pen, additional apps, notebooks accessories and videos and tutorials visit and check out the Livescribe Education tab to see how the Echo/Pulse Pen is being used for academics. There are also examples of how it is used in business as well as other creative uses. A link to AT4Education provides a post on a new app for the Echo Pen software.


About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
This entry was posted in App Reviews, iPad, iPod, Note Taking, Occupational Therapy, Special education, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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