I am very excited about the updated Fly Pen. I have the old Fly Pen which I purchased last year for my niece and brother. She needs support with writing while he needed help with his algebra class. It has been a wonderful tool but now the Fly Pen has made another jump that makes it even more exciting.
The added feature that is the most exciting for me is the note capturing feature of the device. For many students with writing difficulties we often use a peer scribe or an aide will scribe for them. With the Fly Fusion pen it stores the written notes in the pen and allows you to upload the notes into digitalized notes. The difference between Fly Fusion then other digital pens or notetakers that I have tried is that it is able to read your handwriting and turn it into editable text. It is not perfect and you have to get use to writing with the Fusion. You need to make sure that your writing is legible, that you leave spaces between words and sentences. If a student has illegible handwriting you will not get good editable text. But if the student has fair handwriting the student will get good editable text that they can correct on the computer.
The Fly Fusion has also gotten into the MP3 market. Although this feature of the pen works and will be “cool” for children and teens I would be ok without it not being a feature of the pen. I do have to admit that although I am not hot on the MP3, I do like the Flytones and chose Keyboard. The pen walks you step by step in drawing a 13-key keyboard, complete with sharps and flats, and an instrument selector, which included piano, synthesizer, and other musical instruments including drums, and rhythms. You can customize your Flytones as reminders such as when the pen turns on, scheduler and notes. I will give you that students may become even more distracted by this feature then the MP3 but at least they are being creative. Yeah, I am one of the users that would find it more interesting creating bad music then listening to the instructor.
Leapfrog has also updated their website so you can download and share materials with others. Not all applications are free but they are simple to download if you pay attention to the directions. If you don’t pay attention you won’t know that it is a two step process to download and sync your Fusion.
My biggest frustration was the on and off for reading. I kept turning the pen off when I was writing. Once you get the hang of it, it works like a dream. It is just a matter of holding the pen properly and getting use to the bulk of the pen. Some issues to be concerned about is the top weight of the device. The device is not that heavy just a few ounces but that is a big difference from a standard pen/pencil. If you are going to have a peer use it for note taking, I would suggest that you allow the student to use it for about a week to get to use to the difference in size and week. It would also be good practice to see how the students’ handwriting is supported by the Fly Fusion.
The gift of this pen is all the features but the price isn’t that bad either. You can find it in the stores for between $80. - $100.00 depending on what packages are features. I managed to get mine on sale for $59.00 a few weeks ago and then I purchased some accessories like paper and carrying case. Yes, that is one of the cons of the device, after all the complaining with the first Fly pen you would think that LeapFrog would package the Fly Fusion with a protection case.
What the Fly Fusion comes with:
English - FLY™ Notes – upload what you write or draw to your computerForeign Language - Spanish Translator Games and Activities - Game Pad, FLYtype™ PracticeMath - FastComp™ BasicsMusic - MP3 Player, FLYtones™, FLY Music StudioTest Prep - Pop QuizTools - Calculator, Controls, Scheduler & Settings, TimeFLY Tour