Review: Livescribe proves that the pen isn’t dead yet

I’ll admit, I was skeptical when Livescribe asked me to review its new smartpen, says Christopher Dawson for ZDNet Education. Although I’d given high marks to their Echo smartpen in previous reviews (“Livescribe: Fixing note taking once and for all” and “Livescribe use models in special education“), that was back in 2010. Just a few months earlier, Apple had released its first-generation iPad to lots of hope for educational use cases but had hardly reached critical mass in schools. Now it’s almost 2013, tablets are everywhere, and most of us believe that a tablet or hybrid is the device of choice for most 1:1 applications. Tablets, in fact, are changing the ways in which we both consume and create content and the sophistication of apps for education is increasing at a blistering pace. So why would I possibly want a smartpen that writes on dead trees? No matter how smart the pen, that seems pretty old school, right? Not quite. There are some pretty great handwriting and notetaking apps available on both iOS and Android. Penultimate is my favorite, by far, and, along with ArtRage (both of which are iOS-only), gets more use than any other app or feature on my iPad…

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