Vibrating Pen Alerts User Of Writing Mistakes
A host of studies conclude technology such as spell check and grammar check have eroded the writing skills of America’s youth. Katz Business School professor Dennis Galletta conducted a study in which 33 undergraduate students were asked to proofread a one-page business letter—half with spell-check and half without. With the spell check off, students averaged between five and 12 errors, but once they turned the auto-correct feature on they actually made an average of 16.5 errors.
Likewise, Stanford professor Andrea Lunsford and U.C. Santa Barbara professor Karen Lunsford published a study in 2008 called “Mistakes Are a Fact of Life.” The study compared handwritten papers of students from around the U.S. in 1988 to those of 2008 students. The 2008 students, who had greater access to spell-check technology, more often used the wrong word and misspelled words—including homonyms. In fact, misspelling didn’t even place among the top 20 errors for 1988 students, but was No. 5 in 2008.
One new technology promises to reverse the above-mentioned trend, however. Lernstift is a pen that vibrates each time the user makes a mistake. Instead of providing the correct answer, however, it sticks to the autonomous method of learning. Although the vibration notifies the user a mistake has been made, it’s up to the student to think of the correction.
The pen can be set in either “calligraphy mode,” which points out flaws in form and legibility, or “orthography mode,” which detects if the user has erred in spelling or grammar.
“Lernstift’s subtle, yet unmistakable vibrating alert lets us know instantly and sensorially when a mistake was made,” stated Salzburg-based Lernstift, the startup which markets the product. “This makes Lernstift a unique and effective educational aid that makes learning a fun thing to do.”
Lernstift hopes to offer future versions of the pen that include a dynamic pressure sensor, as well as a networking module that connects to PCs and other devices, and even an open platform for app development. The company plans to launch a crowdfunding effort in February.
[Image via Lernstift]
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