Thursday, September 23, 2010

A New Love

I have fallen in love.  With Evernote.  I've been hearing about it on twitter from a couple of folks (@coolcatteacher & @newfirewithin).  I will say that it wasn't love at first sight.  When I first saw it, I didn't have the time to check it out & so on the back burner it went.  After hearing about how one teacher used Evernote with his students, I was prompted to check it out again.

Here is what I discovered.  I can access Evernote on-line, on my laptop (they have a desk-top application), & on my cellphone.  WOW!  And...not only can I access it from all of these places, I can take notes in a variety of ways.  I can type, audio record, video record or picture.  The application allows you to do much, much more.  For instance, I can see a link on twitter & Evernote it.  I can find a webpage & Evernote it.  I'm sure there is even more I haven't discovered!  Did I mention that you can also tag your notes & they sync between all devices?

This is what I really wanted to use Evernote classroom.  I'm a teacher, why else would I want a cool tech tool?  And, once I started using it in my classroom I feel even harder.  I always find conferring difficult.  Not because of the nature of conferring, but because I found the record keeping cumbersome.  I tried post - it notes & then transferred them to a notebook.  Hated it.  I tried a notebook with pages designated for each child.  Hated it.  I tried a plan book & hated it.  But now that I have Evernote, I find it much more enjoyable.

Until today, I was using strictly my laptop.  I knew, once I began using Evernote, that there would come a time I would have to leave my laptop plugged in to the SMART Board so my students could continue accessing what was displayed.  Today was that day.  I got the opportunity to record my conference notes on my smartphone.  At first, I attempted recording them using the keypad.  It was cumbersome & not nearly as efficient as typing.  So, I decided to try out the audio note.  It worked well!  I was able to easily record what the students & I said.  But then, I discovered an added bonus.  A few of the students I conferred with were attempting to apply what I had just taught them in the conference.  They were struggling to remember what I had said.  I pulled out a splitter & some earbuds & pressed play.  Even better ~ they could play it as often as they needed to!  They were then able to effortlessly apply the suggestion & move on to more independent practice.

If you get the opportunity, you have to check it out!  It's just a click away on your computer & smartphone...