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Pencasts vs Mathcasts

Page history last edited by Tim Fahlberg 12 years, 5 months ago

Home > Mathcasts - Pencasts > Pencasts vs Traditional Mathcasts


   Pencasts vs. Traditional Mathcasts   --- By Graeme MacNeil  (The Math Maker)


Advantages and Disadvantages



Traditional Mathcast


Cost Free - $10 (Jing, Screencast.com, free annotation software, $10 microphone) to $50-$100 (graphics tablet, Jing, ...) to more (Camtasia Studio, document camera, JingPro, etc) $150 - 1 GB LiveScribe Pulse SmartPen (holds 100 hours of audio + thousands of pages of notes), $200 - 2 GB version , Notebooks $4 - $13 each (most come in sets)


For true portability, requires a tablet PC with built in microphone or equivalent.

Very portable, the pen fits in your pocket but you must have the special paper.


Easy to embed into a webpage with Jing or Camtasia Studio (or other recording software).

Requires you to either a) obtain the embed code from the LiveScribe website or b) create your own embed code (for different sized pencasts)

Transferring to other sites

Very simple since you have a copy on your computer generated by the software.

Cannot be done due to the propriety method of uploading the files from the LiveScribe desktop.

Error correction

Simple to do.

Impossible unless you wish to record the error and make correction on the page.


Can be added easily.

You must draw the diagram on the page.


Easily changed with the annotation software.

Cannot be done unless you change refills.  Also there are a limited number of colors.


Simple when using the highlighting tool.  Text tools allow for emphasis.

Not possible unless just drawing boxes around key results.

Different formats

Depending on the software you may have a number of formats. E.g. swf, mp4, avi, flv

One format on their site.

Time to produce

For complex problem can be time consuming from start to finish.

As long as it takes to write the problem and solution.


Quality of the mathcasts can be changed to suit different devices.

Sound quality can be changed by using the supplied headset.

Using other software

Other software applications can be introduced and used in the mathcast.

Not possible.



When producing a traditional mathcasts, you will need annotation software, a writing tablet, microphone or headset

and software to produce the video whereas with the pen, you will only require the pen and appropriate paper. 

However, as shown above there are a number of key advantages to producing the traditional mathcasts over those

produced using the pen.



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