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NCCA teacher gets smart pen grant

Our technology keeps getting smarter, and now a local teacher will have the opportunity to harness this smart era to help at-risk students.

Loineda Dean, a Newton College and Career Academy instructional coordinator, received a $929 Georgia Association of Educations Best Practice Grant to be used for the improvement of note-taking skills for at-risk students.

“The objective of the grant is to provide CTI students, who may be struggling with taking notes while listening to their instructor during lectures, with an opportunity to take better notes during class by using smart pens,” Dean said. “Note taking is a skill that is helpful for all of us. We all rely on notes to help us remember daily activities and schedules. Notes can serve as an extension of our long-term memory.”

While smart pens may look like a typical pen, they are actually high-tech instruments that have a tiny camera and digital voice recorder, allowing them to synchronize and digitize written notes with a recorded conversation, according to Livescribe’s website, a leading designer and manufacturer of smart pens. Notes are recorded on special paper and can be replayed from specific places, downloaded to a computer and uploaded to other viewing platforms.

Dean said she will use the funds to buy six smart pens, notebooks, cases and refill smart pen cartridges.

“These smart pens are just another form of assistive technology students can use to access the curriculum better,” said Dean, adding that students will have the chance to borrow the pens during the school year and return them at the end of the year. Dean will complete an assessment on those students both before they start using the pens and at the end of the school year to measure success.