It is one thing to review an item and quite another to actually use it in the real world. As I wrote in my initial review earlier this week, I am thrilled by the Pulse pen from Livescribe and am finding it to be one of the most useful tech-tools I have ever used. My days of longing for my tabletpc are largely over and, like my iPhone, this device is now a constant companion.
My main focus had been the pen’s ability to capture my writing and recreate the page in electronic form on my Mac. Because I was “writing-focused”, once I decided the pen was a keeper I ordered and received a variety of pad types. (Livescribe offers a nice selection and an overview is in the works.) What I DID NOT expect was how impressive the voice recording feature of the pen would be, and how quickly I would begin using and relying on it.
Here’s one real-world experience that may just have turned me from a “true-believer” into a hard-core evangelist.
I was meeting with a group of my tenth grade students who were in the process of working together to write a class speech. One of them, Jake, was about to begin taking notes for the group. I told him to hold up. I turned on my Pulse pen, started the recording, handed it to him and said, “Jake, use this”.
The group talked for about 22 minutes before we had to move on to something else. 22 minutes of my bright, articulate, but at times mumbling, 10th graders sharing their ideas with one another in a large room. I didn’t expect much in the form of recording quality.
So tonight I went to send the group the page of notes and the recording. Before I did I took a listen to it.
Here’s the thing- it was crystal clear! Ten of us, spread out across a large room, with a variety of voice-types, and I could understand EVERY SINGLE WORD as if I were there. In fact… I was there and it was just as clear in the recording.
I read the notes Jake took. They told me the specific subject matter of the conversation. They got the ESSENCE of the conversation rather well.
I then LISTENED to the conversation. It gave me the tone, the nuance, and the humor. (It also reminded me that I get to work with some of the most amazing teens!)
The difference between listening to the discussion and reading the notes is night and day. The ability of the Pulse pen to record that conversation is nothing short of amazing.