Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Evernote in a shared environment

I'll be honest, I was not always an Evernote user. I had a few occasional encounters with the program, but never really found a place for it in my life. That all changed this summer when I decided to commit myself to using Evernote for all of my note taking needs. I couldn't be happier about my choice.

I love Evernote and cannot imagine being without in my daily life. All of my important information I want to access is kept in Evernote. I love that I can send articles directly from Zite to Evernote for future sharing and reading. If I take great notes at a session during a conference, I can share it with everyone on Twitter whether they have an Evernote account or not. I have integrated Evernote so thoroughly into my life, I really can't think of any better way to take notes and share them with others.

A couple of months ago, I was given an opportunity to pilot Evernote with my students on the class set of iPads. I wasn't sure how the students were going to react to having a new tool to learn, but it wasn't as big of a deal as I thought it might be.

I have had Evernote on the iPads since I gave them to the students in November and never went into detail about Evernote. I told the kids it's an awesome app and they should take a look at when they get a chance. I was surprised to find that about 1/3 of my students started to use it on a regular basis for their note taking.

When I introduced the Evernote Schools pilot, the kids gladly joined up and were interested in the ability to quickly and easily share notes with others. Even students who were not comfortable using other apps on the iPad, took to Evernote very quickly. The students have been using it every day for their note taking needs.

The iPad pilot has been an experiment in shared devices and a potential 1:1 environment. Evernote is a perfect tool for either environment. As I look at the shared device system in my class, Evernote fits in perfectly. Students are able to take the notes they want in class and log out at the end of the period. It solved my biggest concern in the shared environment; How do students take secure notes? Evernote is the perfect choice.

For a 1:1 environment, Evernote makes a great deal of sense. I can see a student with a single tablet going to each class with Evernote to easily organize their thoughts. Students can quickly search older notes for information they need on the spot. Creating specific notebooks for each subject or even units within a subject can even help the most disorganized students. Instead of seeing students scurry around for extra paper, new pens or forgotten notebooks, students can carry around a tablet and nothing else (assuming the school is using e-textbooks).

I'm very excited at what Evernote for Schools means for the shared/1:1 environments. Giving students the chance to organize all of their notes in one spot is a potential life changer for many students. If you haven't had a chance to take a look at Evernote, now is the time.

If you want to start your Evernote journey now, follow this link to sign up!