Using the Logitech Digital Pen for Portfolio Assessments


If you do not know what a digital pen is, you can simply scroll down to the bullet points below (or click HERE to read about the Logitech Digital Pen). It writes just like a real pen, but it stores what you wrote so you can plug the pen into your computer  and upload it to a document.


I have recently considered investing in a new piece of technology that would help with digital portfolios.  If you wanted to keep a catalog of a students’ mistakes, but did not want to double your workload, you could purchase one of these pens.  Once you finish writing in the margins you could save that data to add it to your digital portfolio (a word document for that student).


As you grade assessments that require a progression of improvement (i.e. spelling tests, etc.), you can make corrections in the margins that will later be uploaded to your computer from the pen.


You could also have students who have IEPs get notes from other students.  I guess this would be an expensive version of the carbon copy paper.

TIP (though I haven’t used one yet): I guess you would have to keep a pad  next to your stack of papers to write to jot down the name of each student as you begin grading their papers.  The reason is because when you upload the list of notations made by your digital pen, you wouldn’t know where one students paper began and another ended.  By reaching over and jotting down the name of the student each time (and drawing a line across the page, perhaps, you would be telling the pen to do the same on the document when you upload the data.


For more information about this pen (there are many different versions out there), read the information below:

  • What is it? You write with the pen in the notebook.  The pen has ink.  The notebook is real paper.  What’s new?  The pen uses an optical sensor to store everything you write.  Even once the pen is separated from the paper, it stores the pages you have written.  When you are ready to upload, you place the pen in it’s USB-linked cradle and it uploads in one click of the mouse.  Now everything that was written down is on your computer.
  • Cost?  Retail is $149.95 for a pen and notebook.  Of course, you can find it for a little cheaper if you look around on the Internet.  You can get several sizes of notebooks.  I was able to purchase six standard-paper sized notebooks for under $25 after some digging.
  • Technical Requirements?  Pen, cradle, notebook, io software.  This all comes packaged together.  To my knowledge, this product does not work on Macs.  The pen “package” does come with many ink cartridge refills.  I used the pen for four months in six hours per week of class before it needed a refill.
  • How could we use this technology in the hybrid or traditional classroom?  Every day that we meet for my hybrid (part Internet, part classroom) Intermediate Algebra class, a different student takes notes using the digital pen and notebook.  They take the notes with them, I take the pen with me and upload that day’s notes to the web site.  Very quickly, we established the rule that those students that have been absent are the ones that should step forward to be note-takers, since they get the greatest benefit.
  • How could we use this technology in the online classroom?  If the technology gets cheaper, or the student could get many semesters of use out of the pen, we could use this technology to have students “show their work” for problems requiring sophisticated use of notation or graphs.
  • How could we use this technology in our professional lives?  The obvious use of this setup is for those folks who are not trained to create graphs or equations using a computer, but need to be able to communicate such figures using a computer.  You can attach the jpg file to an email and send your response to a question quite quickly.
  • Wish list for this technology?   I would like an easier way to convert from the proprietary .pen files to pdf files.  Right now the conversion is .pen to .jpg (using the pen software) to .pdf using Adobe Acrobat Standard.  A cheaper setup cost would also be great to get mass use for students in online math classes.  Also pen software that works with Macs would be a plus.

(The bottom half of this article was taken from THIS site.  To read more click HERE, which is where the picture above was found.)

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