What the Fly Pen Does

The Fly Pen is an innovative piece of technology designed to help students age 8-13 excel in school. At the most basic level, the pen converts handwritten text into digital text. This means that what the student writes in his or her notebook can be easily uploaded onto a computer as a text file.

Handwriting recognition is only the tip of the iceberg. Students use the Fly Pen to write on special Fly Paper. Touching the pens to one of the icons at the bottom of the Fly Paper opens menus and programs that the student can use to complete an assignment, study for a test or even play MP3s. Students also have the option of drawing their own icons and clicking them to open other programs. Pretty cool.

Leap Frog, the designer and manufacturer of the pen, has put a great deal of effort into making this product a powerful educational tool. Custom homework and games are available online and the pen can even spellcheck the student’s handwritten work.

One of the most beneficial features of the pen is its calculator. A student simply draws a calculator on the Fly Paper and clicks the numbers and operations to perform calculations. Far from a cheat, the calculation feature also guides students step-by-step through quadratic equations and other tricky math operations.

Another useful feature is that students can upload the notes they handwrite in class onto a computer. This allows students to search and edit their notes with ease. With this ability, students don’t have to worry as much about how they organize their notes in class, because they can always come back later and make a more organized outline.

A really cool program for the pen provides students with instant translation into Spanish or French. Just write a word in English, tell the pen to translate and the pen responds by saying the word aloud in the desired language. I wish I had one of these when I was in middle school.

Fly Pen Helps Students Learn

Leap Frog, the creator of the Fly Pen, knows what it takes to help kids learn. The company believes that if a product cannot engage a student within seven seconds, that product never will engage the student. That’s a pretty tall order, but the Fly Fusion meets the demand. There are several reasons why this product is great for helping students learn. Let’s take a look.

First of all, the Fly Fusion is fun, even cool. It understands what students write on paper and provides definitions, comments and step-by-step instructions. Now that’s one heck of a pen! There are a number of games made specifically for the pen that middle school students love, but it also features Spanish translation, math homework help and quizzes based on school subjects. The whole theory behind this product is that if kids enjoy using the pen to do homework, they’ll spend more time studying.

One of the most useful features of the Fly Pen is its calculator and the math homework help that it provides. A student simply draws a calculator on the Fly Paper and the pen calculates the figures. Pretty neat, but the pen does much more than that. If a student writes out a math problem (everything from a simple multiplication problem to a complex quadratic equation), the pen actually guides the student step-by-step through the process. This helps students learn how to do math on their own instead of just giving them the answer.

As you can see, the Fly Fusion is far more than just a cool gadget with some educational qualities. It is actually a robust learning system that helps students excel and feel cool at the same time. And the educational benefits don’t stop at math. This pen also helps students with writing assignments, foreign languages, test review and organization. Since it’s so fun to use all of the pen’s features, you’ll find that students spend more time working on schoolwork.

Fly Pen Handwriting Recognition

One of the best features of the Fly Pen is its handwriting recognition ability. The pen uses several interesting pieces of technology to provide students with nearly flawless handwriting recognition. This allows the student to digitize handwritten notes and upload them onto a PC as a text document.

In order for the pen to recognize handwriting, the student must write on special Fly Paper. This paper is covered with millions of little dots that form a grid. As the student writes, the computer interprets the letters, numbers and other characters by reading the lines made on the grid.

The pen has a built-in scanner or camera near the tip of the pen. The scanner basically reads the grid (rather than the actual ink) and tells the computer what is being written by storing a series of grid coordinates. The computer then uses special software to interpret those coordinates as letters, words, numbers or even drawings.

The Fly Pen uses MyScript handwriting recognition to read those grid coordinates. MyScript is a powerful handwriting recognition tool that uses vocabulary lists to recognize actual words rather than just letters, numbers and other characters. The program uses the context words are written in to determine precisely which word should be used.

All of this technology sounds great, but of course it leads one to wonder how well a middle school student could use it. The technology itself operates on its own behind the scenes, but what about a middle school student with sloppy handwriting?

Leap Frog, the maker of the Fly Fusion, actually had a test group of 8-13 year-olds who provided handwriting samples to develop the handwriting recognition program. As a result, the pen offers copletely operational handwriting recognition for both words and individual letters and numbers, even if the student’s handwriting isn’t the clearest.

Fly Pen for Studying and Organization

The Fly Pen is a fantastic studying tool. Three features make it one of the best ways to study around. Those features are the pen’s translator, quizzes and note organization system. The Fly Fusion keeps students engaged in their schoolwork and encourages them to excel. Here’s a brief overview of it’s study features.

The pen’s translator tool provides translation into Spanish and French. The student simply writes the English word on Fly Paper, asks the pen to translate and the pen speaks the word in Spanish or French, giving correct pronunciation and spelling. Far from a cheat sheet, this feature enables students to whiz through foreign language assignments and helps them master a second language in far less time.

The Fly Pen also quizzes students on their school subjects. Using a database compiled from hundreds of the most commonly used middle school textbooks, the pen asks questions and gives answers. Believe it or not, this is pretty fun to use and actually makes students want to study. It takes on the qualities of a game and makes subject quizzes addictive.

Of course, the key benefit of the Fly Fusion is that it transforms handwritten material into digital text. In other words, the pen can read a student’s handwriting and then convert that into a text document that can be uploaded onto a PC. This allows students to take notes with pen and paper like their classmates, but then turn around and quickly upload the notes onto a computer. Students can then search and edit their notes with ease and the textbook database mentioned above actually provides chapter outlines for subjects, making note organization a breeze.

And the pen doesn’t just recognize handwriting; it can actually spell check handwritten work. One of the best ways to become a good speller is to consult a dictionary if you’re not sure how to spell a word. Students rarely do this, but with the Fly Fusion, the dictionary and spell checker are built write in, making it easier than ever to become a good speller.