I’m very excited that my school is doing a pilot project using the Livescribe Pen. Teachers in different grades are using Livescribe Pens for descriptive feedback. We are all working and learning together. Thanks to being a part of Zoe Branigan-Pipe’s TLLP Project, I already knew how to work the pen, and I’ve already used it for a variety of different types of activities in the classroom. The focus on descriptive feedback now though has allowed me to explore new ways to work and use the pen.
This blog is all about good pedagogy. When discussing different tools, I strongly believe that the focus should be on pedagogy. That being said, as I meet and talk more to teachers, I realize that they first need to learn how to use the tool before figuring out how to use it in the classroom. One thing that I’ve always said about the Livescribe Pen — and that I strongly believe too – is that it is so easy to use. I’ve challenged some teachers to give the Livescribe Pen to their class with the starter notebook, explain to their students that there’s a way to make this pen record their voices as well as what they draw and write on the paper, and see if they can figure out how to do this. I’m convinced that they will — and quickly also!
That being said, I know that teachers and students like instructions. In the past, I’ve been the one to give these instructions to my students. I’ve stood at the front of the classroom, shown and explained what to do, and then had the students give the tool a try under my supervision. I’m trying to change though. I see value in students teaching each other and having control over their learning. That’s why I did what I did on Thursday. My Grade 2 students are working on procedural writing, so I had the students help me develop a list of different topics for procedures. Early on, a student suggested to me that you could write a procedure for how to use the Livescribe Pen. I got so excited about this! I told the class that the other teachers in the school are learning how to use the Livescribe Pen, and that their students are learning as well. I said that if the students were to write a procedure on this topic, I would share their procedure with the staff, and then maybe my students could teach others how to use this tool.
The Grade 2′s were so excited about this! Two groups of students worked on writing a procedure. One group used the Livescribe Pen to do the writing and recording, and one group wrote a blog post. Both procedures are shared below:
The plan worked too! I shared these procedures with the staff, and now I have three wonderful teachers, Miss Barton, Mrs. Howe, and Ms. Stretton, that are going to use these recordings with their students and on their own to see how they work. They’re also going to let my students support them and their students as they learn about this new tool for learning. Yeah!!
With a six-minute recording or a six-step procedure, I think that we all have a few minutes to learn how to work the tool before moving forward to use this tool for learning. What do you think? How do you support teachers as they learn how to use a tool so that they can use it confidently in the classroom? I would love to hear your thoughts on this!