Today is Day 16 of the 31 Day Slice of Life Writing Challenge by Two Writing Teachers.
I was reminded on Saturday night of why handwritten notes are so special. My family and I were celebrating my father’s birthday. My mother made a homemade dinner and cake then my dad opened his presents from us including a new plaid shirt with a pocket which he loves, a nightlight/flashlight and a special book that my children made for him. This book which I bought from a Hallmark retailer gave my children open ended writing prompts to discuss the impact that their Grandpa has had on them. I have included a few pictures below of the pages in this book. My children read aloud their responses to my dad. At the end, he was crying. He is my strong dad, but their words had touched his core. I love how their favorite memories of him and them when they were younger involve reading old favorites where my dad would change his voice to talk like the wolf in “The Three Little Pigs”. My dad tells jokes sometimes so one of my children thanked him for teaching her to be a comedian (spelled differently in her actual writing below). One of my children mentioned that she was glad he had taught her to be sophisticated and spelled sophisticated using her invented spelling. His easy going, caring and generous nature has caused them to write amazing things about him using a Sharpie pen!
Sometimes we need to write handwritten notes to encourage and inspire those whom we love while we have them. I saw first hand the power of the hand written word and am so glad that my dad heard my children read those words to him. The book that my kids gave to my dad will be a reminder to him and them that he is building a legacy.
I wanted to share my hand written note story above then share a resource that would change handwritten notes to typed text. Recently I learned that at www.livescribe.com you can buy a pen that uses Bluetooth to automatically send notes you write to your iOS device. It can keep your notes as handwritten or turn them in to typed text. It costs $150 for version 3. Teachers can airdrop on students’ devices and send them their handwritten notes. Or, students can take notes with the pen while recording the teacher’s voice then playback his voice at a later time when touching the note while reviewing notes. I think the new pen would be an amazing addition to tools for use in all education settings. K-12 schools and colleges are using them to help students as they take notes. Here is a description of how this pen could be used in education from http://www.livescribe.com/blog/education/2013/01/30/livescribe-at-fetc-and-discounted-education-pricing-bundles-announcement/:
“The Sky wifi smartpen (is) the latest member of the smartpen family that integrates WiFi technology and cloud services to send notes and audio wirelessly to your Evernote account. Have a closed WiFi network at your school? Not to worry. We’ve just launched our new Livescribe Helper application in order to give teachers and students the option of syncing their notes and audio from the smartpen to their Evernote account over a USB cable. To use, simply download the Helper app and use your smartpen’s micro-USB cable as an alternate way to sync to Evernote.”
There is a nice visual description of this Sky Pen here: http://www.livescribe.com/en-us/smartpen/wifi-smartpen/
I like that the notes can sync to Evernote, but the notes can also be synced to other apps. Until I get one though, I will have to be content with my Sharpies.