Thursday, October 18, 2012

Evernote for Collaboration #EdChat

My students are working on their first project this year. I'm a big fan of Project Based Learning and have my students multiple projects over the course of the school year. The addition of iPads in my classroom has really allowed me to expand my projects to areas not possible before. The addition of Evernote has really made a positive impact on the flow of project creation.

The students are creating Student Declarations of Independence. The are following the structure of the American version written by Thomas Jefferson. Working in groups of 4-5, they are outlining student rights and their complaints against the Crown (me or the school). It's a nice project I have used over the years and have moved digital recently. The biggest obstacle students always faced was trying to collaborate outside of the classroom. Emails and flash drives would be shared as they try and piece together all of the different parts of their document. Google Docs could have been a viable option, but our students do not have their accounts active and they do not know how to use them. Evernote solves this problem.

Through Evernote's Shared Notebooks (a Premium Feature), students can share notebooks and edit them from their accounts. This allows students to work on their parts of the project and add them to the shared notebook when they are ready. Students no longer need to worry about emails or flash drives. All of the work is safely in their Evernote account for them to access wherever they are.

We have had some sharing issues due to some spam blocking on our school's email server, but that is an issue on our end that is being corrected. Long term, sharing of notebooks will be a positive step in my effort to increase collaboration in my classroom.

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