Do you sometimes have trouble understanding your own notes? Miss a point or two in a crucial meeting? I know I do. And I know that I definitely want to check out Pear Note: “A note taking utility” (how unsexy sounding for something so tempting)…
Pear Note records audio and/or video while you take your notes, so later you can find what was being said when you typed something. You can play back an entire recording, or jump straight to the point you need. Watch this short video to get the full picture.
From a learning theory point of view, having to take notes in class is a serious dump o’ cognitive load (yo’ po’ brain is doing double duty trying to understand and trying to record it all for later). So being able to take down the very minimum and know that you can go back and hear critical parts without hunting could be a real relief for students sitting in a lecture hall. Or for anyone sitting in any meeting room.
You can listen better, so you can understand better and participate more effectively.
Pear Notes is only for Macs running Leopard (10.5) with an update for Snow Leopard (10.6) in the works. This might finally get me to update from Tiger. Finally… 🙂
P.S. Assuming he’s been correctly quoted I can’t help passing on this quip about face-to-face teaching from Open University’s James Fleck:
“[…] It’s a process whereby the notes of the lecturer are transferred to the notes of the student without passing through the brain of either […]”