Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Office: Company Electric Ink Edition

Let me start by saying that I have not started teaching yet. Therefore, I’m still working for another organization which happens to be a professional development center for teachers.

I love working here. Everyone is so, so, so very nice. The staff is amazing; everyone is friendly and does their best to help you when you need it.

So, why am I leaving? Because after working so many years here, I've decided I want to teach. Working with the staff here has shown me how rewarding it is to help children achieve their goals and that's what I want to do.

Anyway, yesterday, I sat through a demonstration of a new product someone is trying to shill to our organization. It is the Pulse Smartpen by Livescribe. I was a bit skeptical about the product, but after sitting through the demonstration and being able to use it, I was sold. It’s an amazing product.

The pen is an audio/visual recording device. It records what you write via a small camera and it also captures the audio in the room. So, while you are taking notes, it records the lecture, meeting, etc. as well. Then, all you have to do is place your pen over your notes and it will instantly play the audio it was recording at the time you wrote your notes.

Also, the pen allows you to download the recording to your PC or you can store all the information on a server.

It is really a very useful product. I’m taking grad classes, and this product would help so much, I would be able to listen to the entire lecture all over again and know what the professor was talking about if my notes aren’t clear (which happens pretty often). I really believe this product could benefit many people on a personal level.

However, I don’t think it’s a product our organization really has a use for. Other than the strategic planning meetings our board and directors have every two or three years, we simply don’t have a need for this product.

We already offer classes online and on site. Someone said it would be useful for people that miss a day in one of our 2-week-long workshops, but honestly, we could just record an entire workshop and have the DVDs available to check out of our library. This would be more cost effective as we already have the camera, editing software, and DVD burners to do this.

What really bothers me is that I’ve gone without a raise for the last two years (and so has everyone else), so it just doesn't seem right to invest in some new gadget when all the staff hears is that the organization doesn’t have enough money.

However, I’m not in a position to make decisions, so I just hope they really think about it before these pens end up gathering dust in some closet.

That’s all for now, 'till next time.

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