Tech Tuesday: Rocketbooks and Frixion Pens!

 

Looking for an easy way to upload your class notes to your computer or cloud drives? Sick of wasting paper? Want a neat and easy way to stay organized?     

Then check out the Everlast Rocket Notebook and Frixion Pens! These tools were recently introduced to me by a student, and I wanted to make sure Penn students knew about them.

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Photo from getrocketbook.com

This notebook is reusable, syncs easily to your cloud drive, and works with any of the Frixion pens! It’s perfect for someone who prefers to take and save notes electronically, but that is in a class that requires them to take detailed notes on equations, pictures, or diagrams that don’t always format well in a traditional electronic note-taking devices or applications. It’s also great for those classes where your professors do not allow electronics!

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Photo from getrocketbook.com

How does it work?

  • Using one of the Frixion pens, simply write in the notebook like you would with any others.
  • At the bottom of the pages are icons where you can mark which cloud drive you want to send the notes to.
  • Using your phone, open the Rocketbook App and take a picture of your notes.
  • The phone and app will recognize the code at the bottom of your notebook page and will then send your notes to the proper electronic storage device.
  • After you have saved your notes, use a damp cloth to wipe the pages clean.
  • Give the pages a few minutes to dry, and then repeat the cycle!

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Photo from getrocketbook.com

Any drawbacks to using these tools?

  • The cost of the notebook on Amazon is $34, which is a bit hefty for one notebook. However, if this notebook is used properly, you won’t need to buy another notebook for a long time.
  • The notebook only works with Frixion pens. One is included with the first purchase of a notebook, but after that you will need to purchase more. Conveniently, these pens are erasable and not only work with Rocektbooks, but also with traditional paper.

Do you use the Rocketbooks? Let us know what you think!

Do you have any tools you would want to recommend to other Penn students?

Let us know and we can feature your ideas on our blog!

Disclaimer: Our Tech Tuesdays features are not an ad, we just like to highlight tools we think will be useful for Penn students!

By Staff Writer: Kelcey Grogan, Learning Instructor and Research Fellow

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Tech Tuesday: Text Help with Read and Write

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Read and Write is a technology software recently introduced to our office by Amrou Ibrahim, our Assistive Technology Specialist. It’s an amazing application that can assist many students with their reading and writing needs. The tool offers support through various features, including highlighting texts, reading texts aloud, and utilizing talk-to-text features.

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Read and Write can be installed through a Google Chrome or Safari add-ons. Once it is installed, the application installs a toolbar that can be used with any tab in your web browser. Additionally, there is a desktop feature that can be downloaded so that Read and Write can be used offline as well.

This tool includes many different features which can benefit students here at Penn. Here are a few :

  • Text-to-speech features for selected passages or entire documents (works with emails, web browsers, PDFs, and more!)
    • While the text is read aloud, the associated words are highlighted on the screen. (This can help keep the reader focused)
  • Text and picture dictionaries to aid in students’ reading
  • A speech to text feature that can aid in students’ writing
  • A simplifying text features that gets rid of ads and other distracting features from web pages
  • Tools to highlight and underline while you are reading

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This is a great tool to try, especially because it is free! If you are interested in learning more about this tool or other technology that can be useful, call the Weingarten Learning Resources Center at (215) 573-9235 to make an appointment with Amrou or with one of our other learning instructors!

By Staff Writer: Kelcey Grogan, Learning Fellow and Learning Instructor

Infographics in 1914: Simple Still Reigns

As educators, we love finding new ways to implement technology and keep things fresh for students.

 

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As technology advances, so do the demands on educators: innovative, marketed content is no longer an innovation. It’s an expectation.

My friends at Weigle Information Commons sent over this article, featuring a How-to book on Infographics from 1914.

You heard me right: an infographic manual from 101 years ago.

 

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A fan of sites like piktochart and canva, I loved reading about the history of these visual pieces which boomed in accord with the news demands around the wars of the 20th century. Like our students, the general public needed clear images and graphs to understand complex ideas around war and production.

 

 

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It’s hard to believe infographics were actually created when Penn students dressed like this:

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Informing and educating through graphics and flashy images is really nothing new and now I can justify the cost of the piktochart professional upgrade with 100 year old data.

All jokes aside, Brighton’s book offers a quick, integral reminder for all technology pioneers of 1914 that I really needed to hear:

“You can’t throw curves… for general use, graphic charts must be simple.”

That’s some 100 year old wisdom that we can use today.

If our technological experiments in the classroom are simple, the failures and successes will be as well.

Small failures and set backs have another term among educators—lessons. And small wins add up fast.

The next time I go to create a new infographic for a workshop or meeting, I’ll boil my content down even further.
And I’ll certainly be less likely to take free data visualization software for granted.

 

 

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This blog post brought to you in collaboration by:

wicLogo2   WLRC

 

Staff Blogger: Jen Papadakis

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