Old school or new school, school is school. Sometimes, though, something comes along that combines the two, like the Livescribe 3 Smartpen, which might possibly be the best back-to-school gadget of the season.
The Livescribe 3 Smartpen is a pretty sharp-looking ballpoint; but once you write or draw anything on Livescribe paper, which comes in a wide variety of sizes, you can upload notes, diagrams, you name it, to your iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth. From there, you can organize, tag, search and even convert to text through the Livescribe App. Livescribe is compatible with iPad 3, 4, Mini and Air tablets and the iPhone 4 and 5 series.
Livescribe 3 comes in sharp-looking black or chrome, costs $149.95 and comes with a 50-page starter notebook and a USB charging cable. The Livescribe 3 Pro Edition, at $199.95, includes all of the above, plus 50 more pages, extra ink cartridges and a premium subscription to Evernote, software that helps organize handwritten notes.