It is in fact a reed pen used.
the reason I am doing the pen & notebook requirement is to be inclusive of all types of learners.
Some people are more kinesthetic and by having a notebook and writing out their homework in the Devanagari script it will keep them more engaged. It also forces them to be more mindful of what/how they are writing, which encourages memorization.
This is a beginning Sanskrit course for adults - most of them will be in their early twenties and North American. I expect to see a few International students join as well most likely Asian.
The point is to get the students interacting with the language in a way that engages them, so reading, writing, speaking and listening as if it is a colloquial language. Each person has 1 or 2 skills in languages that are naturally higher and I want them to have every opportunity to explore in the way they learn best.
I'm basically applying second language pedagogy principles to learning Sanskrit.