Wednesday, July 16, 2014

6 Uses for Evernote in the Classroom

This is a guest post from Greg Kulowiec at, an advertiser on this blog. 

Evernote is a helpful productivity tool when used effectively on iPad and can play a significant role in a 1:1 iPad classroom. Whether being used in a Math, English, Foreign Language or Art class, by combining the capacity to type, insert images, annotate, and record audio, students can integrate their iPad with Evernote in a number of unique ways. Below are six approaches to using Evernote in the classroom to improve organization, promote reflection, and help students capture their process and thinking.

Math Class:
Students can use a combination of dry erase boards and paper to complete work in class. Periodically (during or at the end of the class) students can snap pictures of their work to drop into their Evernote math notebook. As a follow up assignment, students can then type short explanations or reflections of the problem solving process that they used with those problems. Further, by integrating tagging within their notes, students could tag their notes with the chapter, concept, vocabulary or even level of understanding with a scheme such as, “mastered”, “developing”, or “needs work.”

Teachers could also integrate their iPad and Evernote into their daily process by snapping pictures of the chalk or dry erase board as well as student work. Additionally, any files used in class can be inserted into a notebook to create a daily log of the class. Teachers can then share the notebook with individual students or post a public link to the notebook on their website or blog.

Students could use Evernote in their English or History class as a research journal, effectively replacing the traditional process of archiving research on notecards. An Evernote research notebook could be created and shared with the teacher at the beginning of the process. While researching, a new note for every source could be created to include the appropriate citation, pictures of excerpts from paper resources, screenshots from web resources, and a summary to explain how the content will be used in the research. Tagging can also play a helpful role in the process as students can tag their notes with a scheme such as: “introduction”, “thesis”, “evidence”, “topic 1, topic 2, topic 3” and “conclusion”.

Digital Portfolio:
Evernote is a single user tool, and the free-version, by default, sets all notes to private. Even sharing from the free version is “view-only.” However, when integrated with the blogging platform, any Evernote notebook can become a public portfolio. By creating a blog, a designated Evernote notebook becomes the blogging platform. When notes are ready to be published to the blog, tag them with “published,” and they will appear. Students can now include a combination of text, links, and images of their work that they would like to have presented in their public digital portfolio.

Foreign Language:
In a Foreign Language class, Evernote can act as an archiving tool for students to capture periodic audio recordings that demonstrate their ability to use the language. Whether students are given specific passages to read and record, or they are capturing a discussion with a classmate, the audio component can play a significant role in capturing and allowing the teacher to evaluate progress towards mastery of the language. The Evernote notebook being used for this process can be either shared directly with the teacher or via a public link.

Art Class:
Students could use Evernote to curate pictures of what they are both creating and examining into an Art notebook. Below each image that they are analyzing (theirs or from another artist), students can annotate and ink on top of the picture directly in Evernote to highlight specific characteristics, features, or sections of the piece. Then, below the picture, students can type notes that explain the image, capture their perspective, as well as defend or criticize the work. When combined with, their Art notebook could even become a public blog.

Elementary teacher:
Elementary teachers could use Evernote to build a reading fluency log. By creating one notebook for their class, and a note for each student, teachers could then have students do quick recordings to periodically capture their reading fluency and document improvement over time. Typed notes can then be added below each audio recording for evaluation purposes. If desired, the individual student note can be shared with other team teachers or even the parents of the student.

Greg Kulowiec will be speaking at the upcoming EdTechTeacher Summit in Chicago, July 29-30. To learn more about using Evernote and iPads, space is still available in EdTechTeacher's August 4-6 iPad Classroom workshops in Austin and Los Angeles.

Monday, July 14, 2014

This Interactive Will Show You If You and Your Students Are Getting Enough Sleep

We all know that sleep is important and that there is a correlation between the amount of sleep students get and how the perform in the classroom, but what about us? Are we, as teachers, getting enough sleep? National Geographic has a quiz to help us answer that question. The Secrets of Sleep quiz asks ten questions related to your sleeping habits. The quiz uses your responses to tell you if you're getting enough sleep and, if necessary, what you can do to improve your sleeping habits.

Applications for Education
The Secrets of Sleep quiz could be used by teachers themselves and by students. Health teachers could have students take the quiz to see first-hand how much sleep they should be getting and how they can go about improving their sleeping habits.

Turn Your Blog Into a Book

BlogBooker is a free service that allows you to turn your the contents of your Blogger blog into a PDF. Using BlogBooker is a fairly straight-forward process. BlogBooker walks you through each step of the process except for the very first step which might sound a little too "techy" for some Blogger users, but it's actually quite easy. The first step in using BlogBooker is to export the contents of your blog as an XML file. This is actually easy to do in Blogger. Step one is to open the "settings" menu of your Blogger blog. Step two is to select "export blog" under "basic" menu. Step three is to click "download." Don't worry, exporting the contents of your blog will not remove any content from your blog. After you've completed the export process, jump over to BlogBooker and follow their directions for completing the transition from XML file to PDF.

Applications for Education
Turning a classroom blog into a book is a great way to show students and their parents how much they have written in a semester.

Padlet Adds a New Layout Option

Today, during the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp I discovered a new layout option in Padlet. In addition to the free form and stream layouts there is now a grid layout option. Selecting the grid option in the "modify wall" menu will snap your free form notes into a grid.

Applications for Education
Padlet (formerly known as Wall Wisher) is a tool that has been used by teachers in a variety of ways for years now. I've often used as a collaborative know-want-learn chart and as an exit ticket tool. Padlet works on interactive whiteboards, on iPads and Android tablets, and in the web browser on your laptop.

In the guide embedded below I provide step-by-step directions for using Padlet in your classroom. The guide also includes ideas and directions for using Socrative and TodaysMeet. You can download the guide here and view it as embedded below.

Storyboard That Releases New Teacher Guides

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on this blog.

Storyboard That provides templates in which you can create your stories in a comic strip style. To help you create your story Storyboard That provides dozens of scenes, characters, and text bubbles to fill your storyboard's frames. Each element that you drag into your storyboard's frames can be re-sized, rotated, and re-positioned to your heart's content. Your completed storyboard can be saved as a comic strip, saved as a set of images (one image for each frame), or saved as a set of PPTX slides.

This week Storyboard That added three new guides for teaching classic literature with storyboards. The new guides provide great ideas for teaching Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, and The Great Gatsby with storyboards. Each of the guides include a set of essential questions, alignment to Common Core standards, and templates for character analysis. The templates also include ideas for using comics in which students analyze the elements of plot in each story.