I am a list-maker. I’m also a note taker; I need to write things down to remember them. As much as I love to write things down, though, I often forget to bring my list with me or I don’t have my notebook handy, and then I’m really lost. But I always have my smart phone with me (or some other device), so I use Evernote to keep my lists and to take my notes. Evernote is great as a personal production tool, but it also has many great uses for the classroom.
Evernote in the Classroom?
There are so many great ways to use Evernote on a personal level. I use it to curate the web, collaborate with my husband on home projects, keep lists (of course!) and more. After I got hooked on it personally, I wanted to figure out if there was a way it could be used in the classroom to promote the Common Core Standards. Here’s a short list of the benefits of Evernote:
- Teachers and students collaborate and share resources easily
- Create notebooks for each class, and create a new note for the class each day with the agenda, images of notes, and/or audio comments
- Each note has a shareable URL, so teachers can post their notes for the day to social media and allow parents to access
- Email notes to parents if they don’t use social media
- Record audio comments as feedback directly in a student note
- Tag notes with labels for easy searching
- Prevents backaches: Instead of having to lug giant notebooks around for grading, the shared notebooks are in the Cloud!
- Having the premium version means that you can view “note history” if you create the note
- Having the premium version also means you can share entire notebooks instead of just single notes
- Students can collaborate together (but not in real time)
- Present notes to the class in presentation mode
- The Web Clipper and iPad work-around (bookmark feature) means that students using iPads can save websites into Evernote
- Chat with group members who are online in the app
- Change the email associated with the account so that when students leave the district, they maintain ownership of all of their notes.
How Does Evernote Work?
Some of my colleagues and I put together an Evernote Collaboration Project that we presented at the Annual CUE Conference in 2013. We grouped the students into quartets: two students from a fifth grade classroom in one district partnered with two students from an eighth grade classroom in a different district. The teachers decided that their collaboration project would focus on Science and Language Arts standards, and students collected information and resources about disastrous weather. In an effort to circumvent asking for funding from the principals, I created a shared account and all the teachers and students had access to the same account. I created notebooks for each group and each group took written notes and audio notes in their respective notebooks. There were incidences of students putting notes in the incorrect places, but we didn’t experience any issues with students doing anything unsavory to anyone else’s notes. They were extremely respectful and they “kept their digital hands to their digital selves.”
Common Core Connection
The collaboration project proved that Evernote can be a valuable resource not just for personal use but also for classroom use. Students were able to communicate and collaborate using the app because all of the students had access regardless of the device they were using. Common Core standards call for students to collaborate and to use the appropriate tool for the appropriate job. While this is a predominantly a personal productivity tool, using Evernote in the classroom can be beneficial for teachers and students as they work to build their technology skills.
What Do You Think?
How have you used Evernote in your classroom? Please share in the comments!