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Livescribe Training Resources

This page contains instructions to supplement the training that a student receives in person at the Disability Resource Center. If you would like to view this guide with graphics included, you can access it here: Livescribe Training Resources (pdf)

For more detailed information about the Livescribe Echo smartpen and software, check out the following two user guides:

Quick Links:




Important Contact Information:

  • Livescribe website: www.livescribe.com
  • Livescribe Customer Support: Go to www.livescribe.com and click on the Support link at the top. Select Customer Support. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will be able to choose whether you want to email your question, or start a live chat.
  • If you are interested in other gadgets for learning, check out this website: bit.ly/gggwg  (Getting good grades with gadgets)

Pen Loaner Procedure:

Key points:

  • Each student will be required to sign the Recorded Lecture Policy before checking out a smartpen from the DRC
  • It is the student's responsibility to contact each professor before using a recording device to inform him/her that a device will be used in class. If they have any questions or concerns, please direct them to the DRC for further explanation.
  • Please do not share your Livescribe notes with other students. This is considered an accommodation for you.
  • The pen is available for loan to DRC students for as long as they are needing it.
  • You must be trained on it either via one-on-one or small-group training session.
  • The DRC provides pen, ink refill, charging cable in a pouch along with a 3-subject notebook for the first quarter of the loaner period (subsequently students will have to purchase their own notebooks - available at University Bookstore, Amazon.com, etc.)
  • The DRC will collect all pens at the end of the spring quarter each year and hold onto them until the student returns again in the fall. During this time, the DRC will perform a Master Reset on each pen, which will clear its memory, and update its firmware.

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Pen Basics:

  1. The back of the pen indicates the amount of memory (2 GB or 4 GB). 1 GB = about 100 hours of recording time.
  2. Each pen has a built-in rechargeable battery that has 9 – 10 hours of battery life. It takes about 2.5 hours to charge the pen. You can charge your pen with the cable provided, or you can plug it into your laptop or computer.
  3. It is highly recommended you connect the pen to your laptop often so your notes are backed up.
  4. There is one button on the pen to turn it on and off. If you forget your notebook, you can hold down this power button for a few seconds until REC displays. This allows you to record the class session.
  5. The display shows the battery level and current time
  6. The closer you sit to the presenter, the better the sound quality will be when you play the recording back. NOTE: The pen is designed to pick up sound even if you are sitting further away, but it will pick up background noise (example – the scratching sound when you are writing).
  7. The pen also has an earbud connector
  8. The ballpoint tip can be pulled out and popped back in. Check to make sure your pouch has an extra ink cartridge – the pen goes through ink quickly. If you notice the ink is starting to get faint, replace the cartridge. Otherwise the playback quality will be affected. You can pick up replacement cartridges for free at the DRC front desk during business hours.
  9. You get a free 3-subject notebook when you get your pen, but you will need to buy any additional notebooks in the future
  10. There is an infrared camera below the ink cartridge. This camera interacts with the dot paper in the notebook. The pen records what you write, along with audio.

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Getting started with a new notebook:

  1. All notebooks are numbered from 1 – 8. You can’t use the same number at the same time (the dot paper is the same and will cause double-recordings). You will need to archive the current notebook before you can use another one with the same number.
  2. Turn pen on and tap the sticker on the outside of the notebook
  3. Inside cover of notebook:
    • Time & Date section: Set the date & time by tapping on the correct buttons. 
    • Status section: Software version – It’s good to know this if you ever need to contact tech support (Livescribe has great support). You can also check the battery level and storage space.
    • Display section: You can change the setting from right to left hand. You can also adjust the display brightness and the scroll speed.
    • Advanced Audio section: The audio quality by default is set to medium. If you change this to high, it will use more storage space on the pen. Playback latency – the default is off.
    • Playback speed: You can slow down or speed up the playback speed.
    • Playback volume: You can raise or lower the playback volume, and can also mute the pen sounds while in class.
    • Nav Plus section: You can delete recordings from here and play the piano! Double-tap the middle point of the four arrows to reach the menu options. To delete recordings, scroll through the menu options until you find Paper Replay. Within this menu, find the option called Delete Session. Locate the session you’d like to delete, and use the arrows to delete it.

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When you are ready to record, use the controls on the bottom of each page. Here are the steps for recording:

  1. Turn the pen on
  2. Write a title for your notes
  3. Hit the record button at the bottom of the dot paper (you should hear a beep)
  4. When you are done recording, hit the stop button
  5. The pause button allows you to pause the recording if there is a part in the lecture you do not want recorded. But, you will have to remember to hit pause again when you are ready to record. Otherwise, just keep recording, you have plenty of space.
  6. If the ink is faded, you will notice a degradation in playback accuracy
  7. Other buttons:
    • Jump – allows you to jump backward or forward in the audio approximately 10 seconds
    • Bookmark (Some notebooks don’t have this option). This button allows you to bookmark important info (example – midterm date)
    • Jump to position – Allows you to jump to whatever part of the audio you need

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  1. When you are ready to listen to audio that was recorded, tap on the words you wrote on the dot paper that are associated with the audio. The pen will begin playing back the audio.
  2. If you did not write notes on dot paper during a recorded session, you can still listen to the audio notes by using the Nav Plus icon. Go to the Main Menu and continue scrolling until you locate the Paper Replay menu. Scroll inside of this menu until you locate Play Session. Find the session you would like to listen to (it will be date and time stamped). 

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Pen Maintenance & Cleaning

  1. Use your smartpen regularly. Your smartpen contains a lithium-ion battery which is not replaceable. If left in an uncharged state for an extended period of time, the battery will lose its capacity. You can prevent this by going through a complete cycle each month by draining the smartpen all the way down, then giving it a complete charge for 2.5 hours. If you need to store your smartpen for a while, please make sure it's fully charged before storing your smartpen.
  2. Do not attempt to charge your smartpen via any means other than the included Micro USB cable or a standard Micro USB cable (Pulse smartpens use the USB charging cradle).
  3. Keep your smartpen firmware current by installing any updates so you'll have the best experience.
  4. If your smartpen has been in an extremely cold environment, allow it to warm up for a few hours before powering it on.
  5. Low humidity environments can lead to static electricity; high humidity environments can lead to condensation - both of which are harmful to your smartpen.
  6. If your smartpen acts sluggish or non-responsive when you interact with the printed paper controls, there may be dirt in the infrared camera lens area.  Gently clean the lens with an alcohol wipe or cotton swab.
  7. Regularly clean the exterior of your smartpen with a clean, soft cloth dampened lightly with water.  While cleaning, do not pour water on your smartpen or submerge the smartpen in water.  Your smartpen is not waterproof.  Exposure to water inside the smartpen will damage the electronic components and nullify your warranty.  Do not leave the smartpen exposed in damp environments.

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Tips and Tricks

  1. PowerPoint – You can print out a professor’s PowerPoint slides on the Livescribe paper. During class, put a mark on the slide the professor is talking about so you can go back and listen to the audio later.
  2. When drawing, make an asterisk with the LS pen. You can then do the rest of the drawing in pencil and trace it with the LS pen later when you play back the audio for that section.
  3. Leave some space when you write notes so when you go back and listen to the recording, you can add notes you missed (you don’t need to write everything down in class).
  4. If you forget your notebook, you can hold down the power button for a few seconds until REC displays. This allows you to record the class session. When you’re done recording, turn off the pen. To play back the audio, use the Nav Plus icon to go to the smartpen’s Main Menu and select Paper Replay. Then select Play Session. While you’re playing back the audio, you can write down notes on dot paper and the audio will automatically link to your notes. 

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Software Download

  1. Visit Echo Smartpen and scroll down until you see Echo Desktop.
  2. Click the download button for Windows or Mac, depending on the computer you're using.
    • Mac download - Once the software downloads, it will be in Applications. Select Echo Desktop and then drag the icon to the dock. NOTE: If you get an error message when you try to download, go to the Apple menu and select System Preferences, Security & Privacy. Select Anywhere. You should be able to complete the installation now. 
  3. Connect your pen to the PC or Mac with the included USB cable and turn it on.
  4. New Smartpen will appear. You can name it “Smartpen XX” (use the DRC # on the pouch).
  5. Now, go to the Tools menu, select Smartpen, and then Register (It is important to register the pen as this helps Livescribe locate warranty information).

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Using the Livescribe software

Once you take notes in your notebook and have recordings on the pen, they will automatically be transferred to the Livescribe program whenever you connect the pen to your PC or Mac and launch the program. Any notes that have audio associated with them are green. Any notes in black indicate the pen was on, but no recording was done.

Main features in the Livescribe software

  1. You can backup and view your notes
  2. You can create custom notebooks to organize your notes. Go to the File menu and select Custom Notebooks, Create.
  3. You can archive a notebook: Click on the notebook name in the software while the pen is connected. Go to File menu and select Archive Notebook.     
  4. You can also search for particular notes. Go to the search bar and type in the word you need to locate. All the pages in your notebook containing that word will pop up.
    • In order to do this, type the word you would like to search for in the Search All box.
    • Any pages containing the word you searched for will appear on the left side of the Livescribe window. You can double-click on a page to make it larger.

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Location: Bldg 124 (Student Services, across from Spanos Stadium)
Phone: 805-756-1395
Fax: 805-756-5451
Email: drc@calpoly.edu

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