Assistive Tech for Note Taking: A preliminary comparison study of Livescribe Echo Pens vs. Sonocent Audio Notetaker


Presented at 2:15pm in Waverly on Wednesday, November 16, 2016.



  • Emily Helft, Virginia Commonwealth University

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format:
  • Expertise Level: Not provided
  • Type of session: General Conference


A basic comparison of qualitative and quantitative student feedback regarding two types of assistive technology used for note taking support: Livescribe Echo Pens and Sonocent Audio Notetaker. Pre and post survey results will be discussed, as well as training methods, back end management, and general thoughts on both tools.


*Please note: I do not have a formal abstract ready at this time, as post survey results will not be collected until early May but I did not want to miss the opportunity to apply to discuss this basic study!!*

Many colleges/universities struggle with the management, implementation, logistics, and reliability of human note takers for students who require note taking support. Given the availability of AT, rather than sole reliance on peer note takers, VCU DSS sought to begin preliminary comparison and analysis of the pros and cons of two different types of assistive technology items that can aid in note taking support, and in some instances replace the need for peer note takers. This basic investigative study presentation will discuss: 1) the recruiting and training of students 2) pre and post student reported skills and commentary related to the note taking experience, and 3) backend management and administrative input, along with thoughts on future implementation/use/changes.


  1. Understand the user pros, cons, and impact of note taking AT in relation to peer note takers
  2. Understand the managerial pros and cons of AT in addition to/place of peer note takers
  3. Utilize information gathered via this study to inform future note taking programming in higher ed settings

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Mobility

Topic Areas

Assistive Technology

Speaker Bio(s)

Emily Helft

Emily is a former school psychologist turned assistive technology specialist who recently transitioned from K-12 to higher education. She currently works at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Emily loves to geek out on the intersection of technology and the human experience in order to help all learners optimize their education in meaningful ways and achieve their potential. She specializes in holistic evaluation of student needs, capitalizing on student strengths, and using data and numbers to inform the future of disability support, accessibility, and AT.