which livescribe is bestA very patient reader reminded me that I promised a review of the Livescribe e-pen in my Alternative Note Taking post a bit ago and failed to follow through.  I love that she called me on it! – I had every intention of posting this, yet it sat in my drafts folder for over a month.  Accountability is a good thing so please, keep me on my toes.

First, let me just state that this is not a sponsored post.  I am not being compensated in any way by Livescribe.  I want you to be aware, however, that the links posted below, like most product links on this site, are Amazon affiliate links.  Should you choose to click through, I receive a small Amazon credit, at no cost to you.  

The short version: We love our Livescribe!  It is fantastic and works exactly as magically as I hoped; making paper notes interactive, so that my daughter can touch any point on her paper and listen to exactly what her professor was saying at that moment.

Rather than prattle on sharing the features of the pen, I’ll leave that to the many other tech-gurus out there, and focus instead on why we chose to purchase an older model pen rather than the newest Livescribe for my dyslexic daughter.

Why we didn’t pick Livescribe 3

The newest Livescribe pen doesn’t have a built in microphone to record sound – instead you need to link it to an iPad or iPhone.  Sure most of us have these devices on us at all times, but juggling multiple devices on a desk-top can be rather cumbersome.  Also, in reviews there were a lot of complaints about loosing audio files via the wireless sync.  Most disappointingly, you can not replay information directly from the pen.  This is the one feature that my dyslexic was most excited about, so the 3 was quickly ruled out.

Why we didn’t pick the Livescribe Sky

For this version, Livescribe partnered with Evernote, a program I love.  I thought at first that it would be an amazing match, however there were many disadvantages to hosting all of your notes exclusively in the cloud, not the least of which was inaccessibility when working away from wifi.  The Sky offered no desktop programs at all, and paying for premium Evernote service isn’t something in the budget right now.  Again, there were multiple reports of problems with transferring files via wifi, and in general, reviewers claimed that this version was more “glitchy” than previous models.

So, what did we pick?

Livescribe box for dyslexics

Livescribe Echo.  Yes, it is technically older technology, but I’m happy with the decision, especially after seeing another student fumbling to fit a Livescribe, notebook, and iPad all on her desk.   We bought the Echo with largest amount of storage, 8gb, and I’m very happy with that choice.  My dyslexic can quickly and easily flip through her notes from months worth of classes in bed or while riding in the car with just the pen and paper.  No computer necessary.

We can store data directly on the pen, on the desktop, or export files to Evernote (again, I really do love Evernote) if we choose, and she can access that information with or without wifi service.

So, what do I wish was different with the Echo?  Not much.  Sure, it would be nice to have the ability to type notes alongside the handwritten ones, but in general, this pen’s primary function isn’t going to be document creation. It is for taking in data, recalling it, and reviewing it so that the information moves into long term memory.

Every student is different, and what works best for us may not be best for you, so do your homework before purchasing.  Make sure that the smart pen you pick has all of the features you need.  If you’d like to see all of the Livescribe smart pen features compared, check out this chart.  I found it to be extremely helpful when making my decision.


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Which Livescribe for Dyslexic Students?
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8 thoughts on “Which Livescribe for Dyslexic Students?

  • August 7, 2016 at 1:43 AM

    I have a question. Would this for work for a 10 yr. old child?

  • August 7, 2016 at 1:45 AM

    Would this work for a 10 yr. old child?

    • September 11, 2016 at 2:13 PM

      Absolutely. My daughter started using her’s around age 11.

  • September 8, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    my 9 yr old grandson is dyslexic and is really having problems in 4th grade….other kids are teasing him about not being able to complete tasks…writing homework from board, math and reading

  • September 17, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    My son is 22 and thinks he is no longer dyslexic. Doc took him off ADD meds the day he graduated. He wants to go to college, but can’s focus on any of the steps to get it done. Is there a recommended treatment for adults that can help him focus and learn?

    • October 3, 2016 at 12:52 PM

      I have two (out of four) adult children with ADHD; they have different forms and require (ed) different treatments. I am ADHD.
      I am concerned his doctor seems to have simply dismissed a life long problem. Research shows the majority of ADD, ADHD, etc. learning issues do not stop in puberty or adulthood as earlier concluded. Symptoms/difficulties usually change over time, but it is now known the majority of children with those problem will continue to struggle with them into adulthood. Maybe these suggestions will help you.

      For one of my children, medication became an important part of his ability to do well in COLLEGE. . Although he did well without meds using specific techniques during his elementary through high schoo education, he definitely needed to begin meds in college.
      I am also a typical child to adult ADHD. Without daily techniques and medication my ability to succeed well suffers greatly.

      I assume you and your son work with his issues. I suggest both of you be aware of changes as well as any previous learning and functioning issues. I also strongly suggest you seek a doctor for continued medical assistance. Often your PC physician will continue to prescribe medication you and your son feel works. And your son should be able to discuss his problems and concerns on his own with his physician as he is at an age to take responsibility for his care.

      The two of you have lived with this difficulty for so long you should appreciate the experience you have and never rely on a single doctor for his diagnosis when you know otherwise. Think of it this way, if your son had a wound that continued to need medical attention you would search for a doctor that would treat it.

    • October 15, 2016 at 3:09 PM

      What doctor can I see

      Because I have no problem with the same thing that will not take a test I can’t pass

      Feel like I’m dumb

      Can you please tell me what kind of medication for focus and learning

      Why do I have a better understanding
      I want to become a nurse assistant

    • October 26, 2016 at 10:57 AM

      I am both dyslexic and have ADHD however I never knew until after I graduated high school. I am 24 years old now. The medication works well for adults in my opinion. I went college after high school and was given recommendations by the educational psychologist that did the testing and diagnosed me for acccomadations. My college offered no resources for learning differences. I graduated last December in 2015. It took me 5 1/2 year to graduate even though I was told I never would be able to. I gave up trying to do what “good students” are supposed to do. I didn’t take many notes,unless needed. I was critiqued for it but i choose to just listen many a times. I had many highs and lows, failed some classes and retook them. Some semesters I only took a part time course load. It was hard I graduated with a 2.6 GPA and feel no different than valedictorians . I take the ADHD medication , I go to counseling when needed because Imget,frustrated easily when it takes me working twice as hard to do what others seemingly get easily. It’s doable,I would recommend your son acknowledge the dyslexia because it’s not a label but. A reminder that you can do just as well as anybody else just differently . It s a learning difference not disability.


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