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Auditory learners and research

July 27, 2015
Karen Willy

I began an adventure this week, looking for supports for my son who is on the autism spectrum.  He is considered moderate. However, having said that he is very intelligent and is beginning a new college program in the fall.  Through some support, we discovered Livescribe pens.  These pens allow learners to create pen casts through tapeing either their voice and thoughts or a lecture and taking key word notes.  We received the two pens, one for me, and one for my son because I need to be able to use the technology to support him. I started to experiment with the pen in my Introduction to Research, class work. I am currently critically analyzing six research papers.

As an auditory learner, I find it somewhat difficult to live in the online world.  I spend a lot of time in my home office talking to myself about information and knowledge that I have read either on discussion boards, blogs or class readings.  If anyone heard me, I am sure I would be committed.  What I discovered while experimenting with the Livescribe pen is that this will also enhance my learning in my Masters program.  I can read, say thoughts out loud while writing notes. I can then sync it to my computer or handheld device, and I have a pen cast of my thoughts and my notes together, which I can listen to and read over and over.  Quite often when I read information, I take notes and I speak out loud to myself, but because my brain is trying to do too many things at once, I lose my verbal thoughts before I can get them down.  This technology enables me to capture both at the same time and write down key words, speak the thoughts around the key words and capture it all at once.  Brilliant!

I have done a pen cast that I am attaching here.  I am still new to the technology, so it is not polished yet, but it will get better and better.  I have also attached YouTube videos about the Livescribe pen in hopes that you may be able to use this technology with your learners who may be struggling or yourself in your own endeavors.

Karen is currently a student on the MA in Learning and Technology program at Royal Roads. To read more of her blog posts please visit her personal blog.