The Epic Evernote Experiment

I will be keeping a running journal of all things Evernote as I roll out a complete Evernote Environment in my classes that will be utilizing a class set of iPads. I'm excited to see where this takes me and I cannot wait to see how my students use Evernote. Stay tuned for more updated as I move closer to the school year.

Post 1: It Begins... 

 Hello everyone! I've had plenty of requests to write about what I'm doing and I wanted to wait until I was all set before I wrote a post.

This Fall, I will be doing an Epic Evernote Experiment. I know that I have used the word Epic to describe my previous project (The Epic Romeo and Juliet Project), but this Experiment is truly Epic and I'm a sucker for alliterations.

My plan is pretty simple, use Evernote to share all of my class notes and reading with the students. All assignments will be shared through Evernote as well as any additional resources that I use in class. Seems pretty straight forward.

I have spend the past few days compiling all of the resources I have used in my class for my Honors American Literature, Traditional American Literature and Freshmen English. I have created notes, notebooks and tags for each piece. Units were cross-referenced using tags and the title of the note so students can quickly find what they are looking for on Evernote.

I created four Notebooks for each class; Assignments, Notes, Handouts and Stories. These are the four standard notebooks that will be shared with each student when they arrive to class in the Fall. They will have access to all of their textbook needs on Evernote wherever they are. All additional notes will be placed in the Notebooks as the school year progresses.

In the Notes Notebook, I have placed background information on authors and historical information centering around the various texts and stories we will be reading making sure to use the tagging feature to allows students to pull the information up quickly. I also created notes that have YouTube video read ins of some of the stories. I have created a complete digital backpack for my students. They will have everything they need for the entire year on the first day of school.

This process was a long and tedious one, but I have these notes FOREVER. I was able to upload PDFs and us the Evernote Clipper tool on Google Chrome to quickly and easily create notes and store them in the correct Notebook with the specific tags I needed. This really is a game changer for how my students will be able to access information inside AND outside of the classroom.

This would be an awesome experiment, but it's not quite epic. With that in mind, I have added another level to bring it to epic proportions. E-portfolios. I'm looking for my students to use Evernote Notebooks to store their written work and projects. With the ability to take photos and record audio I envision students being able to take pictures and store their thoughts on various work throughout the year. Long term, this could be great if an entire school district got on board and students from a young age could curate all of their work over the course of their school career. Imagine a 12 Grade student being able to review their writing from 5th grade. I can't think of a better way for an individual to measure growth. I wish I could see my work from grade school.

I'm excited to be working with some other companies who partner with Evernote and want to help with this Experiment. IPEVO is sending over a document camera that, later this summer, will allow images to be directly sent to Evernote. I'm really excited for the chance to look at this document camera. I have heard nothing but good things and I'm always pumped to offer more tools to my students. I envision many of my artistic students using the Document Camera to record their hand drawn work at home and storing it on their Evernote accounts. Their are many different possibilities.

I'm talking with other groups that are interested in being part of the Epic Evernote Experiment. If you are a company and want to join the fun, please send me an email at OneNerdyTeacher@gmail.com and I will get back to you right away. If you know of a product that would fit in well with my Experiment, please let me know and I will reach out to them. Any new products will be mentioned on my blog as they come in and I look them over.

I'm really excited about the possibilities of creating this environment for my students. Follow the journey on the special page I created. The Epic Evernote Experiment

That's it for now, stay tuned for more fun in the near future.


Post 2: IPEVO and the Epic Evernote Experiment

When I was at ISTE, I stopped by the Evernote booth and had a chance to see a demo of IPEVO document cameras. The cool thing about these cameras is that they will be able to (Sometime this summer) save pictures directly to Evernote accounts. I loved this idea! There are plenty of things I do by hand in class that I would love to take snapshots of and move directly to Evernote. I know my students will also want to do the same thing once the Experiment gets rollings. I reached out to IPEVO to see if I could demo their awesome devices and they agreed! Here is what I saw with the two different devices. 

Point 2 View USB Document Camera retails at $69.00 and it is a great bargain. I was able to take it out of the box, load the CD and start looking at things with the camera in under 5 minutes. The Point 2 View is extremely portable and the arm attachment bends to all for different angels. What I like best is that the camera can detach from the arm and be clipped to the computer as a webcam or moved around to show different aspects of an object. I have seen document cameras that cost hundreds of dollars and have tons of bells and whistles, but the average teacher does not need all of those things. The Point 2 View is perfect for the classroom setting and exactly what I need for the Experiment. The program that I installed allowed me to take pictures, zoom up to 3X and review the pictures that I took. I could choose to flip the horizontal or vertical to get the picture correct that I was trying to display. I can set a timer to 3 or 10 seconds if I wanted to get class pictures. All of the controls were very simple to adjust and did not require an extensive manual. The camera has an autofocus button that can be set to Auto if desired. The picture was crisp and clear allowing me to change the resolution if needed. I'm very happy with the Point 2 View and would recommend to to teachers looking for a nice way to integrated a document camera into their classroom at an affordable price. 

Here are the specs for the Point 2 View USB Document Camera from the IPEVO website. 

  • True 2.0-megapixel CMOS sensor
  • Full autofocus lens
  • Up to 2" (5cm) macro focus
  • 3x digital zoom
  • Up to 30 fps live video capture (at 640 x 480)
  • USB 2.0 Video Class (UVC) interface
  • Mac & Windows PC compatible
  • Max shooting area: 9.4" x 7.2" (240mm x 182mm)
  • Max shooting area with extension stand: 17.17" x 13.4" (450 x 340mm)
  • L x W x H: 3.8" x 0.9" x 1.1" (96 x 24 x 30 mm)
  • USB cable length: 4.9ft (150cm)
  • Color: Silver camera, white stand


Ziggi USB Document Camera retails at $89.00 and is a nice upgrade. Since I had already installed the software for the Point 2 View, I did not need the CD that came in the package. I took it out of the box, plugged it in and opened the P2V software. You can see the specs below, but I will mention some of the differences you are getting for the extra $20. The max shooting areas is up from 9.4" x 7.2" to 12.2" x 9.1". A nice larger capture area is always a plus when working with larger objects. This comes is hand or odd sized projects or items that a teacher wants to display. The arm is much taller on the Ziggi as well. This is nice if the teacher really wants to pull back for an better perspective. I love the fact that the Ziggi is compatible with other applications. The need for hardware and software to play nice is very important in the educational field because we generally are putting together networks piecemeal so they more compatibility the better. I really like the Anti-Glare Shield for the Ziggi as well. If I'm trying to project something from a tablet, the glare protection is huge when I'm trying to display something quickly for the class. These reasons are more than enough to spend the extra $20. 

Here are the specs on the Ziggi USB Document Camera from the IPEVO website.

  • True 2.0-megapixel CMOS sensor
  • Full autofocus lens
  • Up to 2" (5cm) macro focus
  • 3x digital zoom
  • Up to 30 fps live video capture (at 640 x 480)
  • USB 2.0 Video Class (UVC) interface
  • Mac & Windows PC compatible
  • Max shooting area: 12.2" x 9.1" (310 x 230mm)
  • LxWxH: 4.92" x 3.15" x 10.63" (125 x 80 x 270 mm)
  • USB cable length: 4.8ft (146cm)
  • Color: black
  • Compatible with popular image/video capturing and internet calling applications, including Apple's PhotoBooth, Google Picasa, Skype, Window Live, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, GoogleTalk, etc.
I was thinking about how I'm going to use this as part of my class and I was really excited about the possibilities. When the ability to send pictures to Evernote is available, I can quickly snap shots of things i have been working on in class and upload them to the shared Class Notes folders. Another thought was to use the Livescribe pen in conjunction with the Document Camera. If I took notes and talked using the Livescribe Pen and the Document Camera, I could create pencast that can be saved to Evernote and instruct the class at the same time. I could take care of two issues at once. Since the upload of pencasts to Evernote is seamless, it will not take extra time out of my day to create, upload and share the information. 

This is a perfect example of what this Experiment is about. I want to try and see how the different combinations of products can enhance the instruction and learning of the students and teacher (me). There will be things I will try that are awesome and things that will not work as well as planned. I'm excited that people are interested to see how this works and that there are companies wiling to have me pilot their products in class. Please share your thoughts on how you would use an IPEVO Document Camera in your class. 

I look forward to sharing more exciting updates on the Epic Evernote Experiment. 

-Nick

Post 3

Since I started this Experiment to use Evernote in every aspect of my classroom, I wasn't really sure what I was going to discover. I was sure there would be some way that Evernote was not going to meet my needs and I would be forced to add another tool to my chest while I continue the experiment for the school year. One way I was weary of was lesson planning. I have used the the traditional planner book for years and it has always been very good to me. I could easily flip back and see what I what I did the year before as I planned the upcoming school year. I'm not a big fan of trying to fix things that are not broken, but I figured I needed to give it a try in the name of the Experiment. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.



Here is a shot of my desktop version of Evernote. I have created lesson plan notebooks for each class I'm teaching. Within those notebooks, I've created notes for the individual units I have created for the school year. For each unit, I do not place dates, because I want the flexibility to move units around as I need to. 

Within the notebooks for the specific classes, I have scanned and uploaded various assignments I had in paper form only and added them to new notes. For assignments I already had in digital form, I copied and pasted them into new notes. This was a very simple and smooth process. I now have every document I need to teach a full year of school. 

Since all of my students will have Evernote accounts, I can easily share the assignments with the students in specially created notebooks. I can take a note, copy it and place it in the shared notebook when I assign the work. No handouts, copies or lost work. It will be there for the students the moment I place it in the notebook. There will be a tremendous amount of time saved by not having to pass out assignments to everyone at the start or end of the class. 



I have also created notebooks that contain notes on tech tips for using the various tools. The students will have complete access to any and all information when they want and where they need it. Simple things like this will save everyone involved some time when it comes to troubleshooting. As the school year moves along, I will be able to add new notes to address issues that come up along the way. 

One of my favorite parts of lesson planning in Evernote is the ability to tag my notes. 



If I want to see all of the different essay assignments for first semester, I just need to search tags for "Essay writing" and "First Semester." Only those notes will appear in the search field. I can narrow the search down as much as I want. It is awesome. I was never much of a tagger when it came to using Evernote for personal use, but for lesson planning, it would be stupid not to tag everything. My notebooks are only going to grow over time, so tagging makes sense when I want to find something to edit it or even share it. Tagging is going to save me so much time down the road. No longer will I be digging through a filing cabinet looking for "that" assignment. A quick search of my tags will have it ready in a flash. 

As I look at the set up, I have to say the best part is the fact I do not need to re-invent the wheel a year from now. It took me hours to sit and plan out an entire school year for three classes, but it is worth it. I will not have to do it again. I will have to tweak assignments and I might remove or add readings, but the bulk of my content is saved for life. 

Another nice bit is that my lessons are available on my iPhone, iPad, home computer and anywhere I have Internet access. If I want, I can download all of these notes and access them when the Internet is down. I've spilt drinks on my lesson planner before, it was an awful experience. Now, it's not a problem. 

If you are looking for a new way to approach lesson planning, please take the time to explore how Evernote can change and improve the way you prepare for the school year. You will not regret it. 

I look forward to sharing with you more of the cool things I discover and the Epic Evernote Experiment continues. 

- The Nerdy Teacher

Post 4

I am happy to announce that ImprovElectronics is now part of the Epic Evernote Experiment. The Original 8.5" Boogie Board and Boogie Board Rip are going to be exciting additions to the Experiment. I first heard about the Boogie Board at the Evernote workshop at ISTE this past summer and was very interested in what it could do for me as a teacher and my students. I was very impressed with the presentation I saw in the exhibit hall and knew I had to try one of these out.

The thing that really caught my attention with the Boogie Board Rip was the compatibility with Evernote. The ability to take handwritten notes and add them to notebooks with tags is a great feature. It really takes the Boogie Board to a whole new level.

Despite my love for all things tech, I do find myself doing initial brainstorming on paper. I use post-its, computer paper or anything else I can get my hands on. Most of my initial brainstorming takes place on paper. I really wanted to find something that could replace that, but nothing really worked for me. The stacks of brainstorming paper would just be a hassle to keep track of during the planning phase. The Boogie Board Rip is a great tool to replace all of the different scraps of paper. I can do all of my planning and then save it to Evernote when I'm done. That is an awesome time saving addition to my job. 

I can also see students really using the Rip for their school needs. I can see students really utilizing this during the brainstorming phase of their essay writing and project planning. This lightweight and easy to carry device can really save students lots of time and energy in the note-taking world.

The 8.5" Boogie Board is a nice tablet for students and teachers looking for a tablet to jot down ideas or think out problems. 

I'm a fan of this little guy. Too many times, I've seen students tear paper out to just write a few ideas down and then discard. This tablet can allow students to do that and not waste any paper. Working out math problems can be done without the constant use of different sheets of paper. Some students need the practice of doing various problems over and over again, and this tablet allows students to do that without the waste. 

I can also see these being used for projects or class games where students can write their answers down and share with the class. These tablets can be used in many different creative ways. I can't wait to see what my students and other teachers can come up with when I get these in their hands. 

I'm really excited to have the Boogie Boards as part of the Experiment and I can't wait to share the awesome experiences with them in my classroom. 

- @TheNerdyTeacher

Post 5

The Epic Evernote Experiment is off and running. I walked my students through the sign up process and they were all able to create accounts without a problem. The kids were excited when I told them about the uses of Evernote for note-taking and the e-portfolio. Here are some of the things students said were frustrating with using traditional paper notebooks.

"Spilling coffee or pop on my notebook can destroy a year's worth of notes."

"Sometimes I bring the wrong notebook to class and then I have notes for different classes in multiple notebooks."

"Searching for specific notes for a certain test or essay can be tough."

I showed the students how all of these issues can be resolved by using Evernote. Notebooks, tagging and cloud storage allows students to take their notes and access them wherever they are. The students really jumped on board with this concept.

The kids also seemed interested in the e-portfolio aspect of Evernote. They all created their portfolio notebooks and I explained they would be saving all of their completed work here to be reviewed later. This is the only part of Evernote that will be required of my students. I have strongly encouraged my students to use Evernote for note-taking, but I don want them to use something they are not comfortable using. Plus, if they change their mind later, they can use the Doxie Scanner to move their notes into Evernote later.

I was able to take the links of the notebooks I want to share with students and email it to them at their school accounts. Trying to share through the email function of Evernote worked, but was blocked by my district's spam filter. A small hiccup, but nothing that wasn't quickly resolved.

The students will be using Evernote on the iPads on Monday for the first time, so I look forward to seeing them navigate the app. It's early in the experiment, but I like what I have seen from my students so far.

I'll keep you posted as the weeks go by.

If you are interested in getting started with Evernote on the iPad, you should check out my e-book from the iBookstore.


Post 6

We are in our third week of the EEE and things are going pretty well. I have had some students encounter problems with saving work on Evernote from home. They told me there were some error messages and some of their work was lost. Like most things tech, not everyone is going to have a perfect experience every time. I told them to write down as much information as possible the next time something goes wrong and send it to me so I can send it to Evernote.

There is something valuable to be learned when tech behaves badly. Kids need to be reminded to save work regularly and have back ups just in case. The vast majority of my students have not had any problems using Evernote or saving information, I just hate seeing a few struggle because of technical errors outside of their control.

Students started taking class notes this week and reading stories on-line. It has been a really great combination for my class. I have had multiple students tell me that they used their personal devices to access the stories, the notes and write their responses all away from their home. Kids are really investing in the time and energy it takes to learn the new system and are finding the places to integrate it into their lives. As time goes by, more students will become more comfortable with the system and do some cool things with their accounts.

I have two teachers that have started to use Evernote in my building since introducing the system to them and I have another two that are interested in moving their notes, lessons, assignments, etc to Evernote as well. It is so exciting to see teachers excited to learn new things. The two that are already using it have expressed utter joy at being able to easily share information with students and staff. It really has changed they way the approach the classroom.

Things I've seen with Evernote:

  • Student took a picture of my notes on the board after I was done to add to their Evernote account
  • Student took down the email address of the students at his table to contact if he was out for the day
  • Students sharing notes to other that have missed school
  • Students wrote their entire essay in Evernote and then submitted it to Turnitin.com
  • Students typing up blog posts on Evernote and then posting them to their Blogger Account. 
These are just a few things I have seen the past couple of weeks. I can't wait to share more of what the kids are doing. 

- @TheNerdyTeacher

Post 7

Last week was a fairly simple week. Kids come in, get their iPad from the cart and log into Evernote. It's become a solid routine for my students. I still need to remind some of them to log off, but it's much better now than is was a couple of weeks ago.

My classroom has a Smartboard and I use the Notebook software to take notes. It's nice because I can save the notes as a PDF and upload them to a shared notebook in Evernote for my students to access. One day, my computer decides it doesn't not want to open Smart Notebook and kept crashing. This happened right before I needed to use it with my Freshmen. Say what you want, but Freshmen to not respond well when plans change on the fly.

At first, I wasn't sure what to do. I had everything ready to go on the Notebook file, but couldn't access it. Normally, I would just write on the chalkboard, but the Smartboard covers my chalkboard, so I could write there. I looked over to my desk and saw my IPEVO Document Camera and my Livescribe Pen plugged in and it clicked. I will use both of them to accomplish the same thing with Notebook with an added bonus. Recorded audio!

I told the class we were going to try something a little different and I needed them to pay close attention and speak up when called to answer a question. I took out my trusty Livescribe Notebook, turned on the document camera connected to my computer and displayed on the projector, and started recording a lesson in front of the class. It was awesome!

I did about 10 minutes of notes and conversation and stopped the recording. After class, I uploaded the Pencast to Evernote and shared it with my students by placing it in the shared folder. It was an awesome and really smooth process.

I couldn't be happier with the way that turned out. I will be doing more of this in the future, but next time, it will planned in advance.

Have any questions about using Evernote in the classroom? Send me an email or a tweet and I will help you out.

Want to use Evernote on the iPad, but are not sure where to start? Check out my book on the iBookstore and you will be an expert in no time!

One of the things I'm doing with Evernote this year is having students use it as a way to store all of their work in class. I am slowly rolling it out this year because I'm asking my students to learn many different tools and I do not want to overwhelm them.

I chose my Freshmen to try the full E-Portfolio idea because I only have one class of them and it is a small class. Here is what I set up:

I had each student create their Evernote Account.
I had each student create a notebook and name it with their name followed by E-Portfolio. (ex. Nicholas Provenzano E-Portfolio)
In class, I had the students share the folder with me and give me editing rights.

By following these steps, I have access to all of their work stored in their e-portfolio. Every assignment they do is now accessible when I want to look at it. This has been great for checking in work.

The other day, I sat down and looked through their work and I wanted to leave comments. So, I created a new note and labeled it "Mr P's Comments". In there, I label a date and share my thoughts on their work so far. If I wanted, I could record a voice message for them. When the students see this, I am going to encourage them to leave their comments below mine and we can start a private dialogue on their work. I can do this from any device connected to the Internet. Awesome!

I'm really excited to see where this can take me. I had student take pictures of their in class essays and save them to their e-portfolios. It blew there mind when I showed them their essays were now searchable in Evernote! It was pretty cool.

I will keep you all posted on using Evernote in the classroom!

Email me if you have any questions.

The  Beginner's Guide to Using Evernote on the iPad - $2.99 in the iBookstore

- @TheNerdyTeacher

Post 8

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.

Post 9

The first semester is drawing to a close and I have had some time to reflect on how the Epic Evernote Experiment has impacted my classroom. Here are some of the areas I really looked at.

Paperless:

Evernote has allowed me to get rid of handouts. I just don't make them anymore. All of my projects are shared with my students through our shared notebooks and all assignments are posted on the Assignment shared notebook that is available for parents on my website. Traditionally, these handouts would be viewed by students then trashed. Now they can view them on Evernote and trees can be saved.

Also, I'm not stuck in line at the copy machine in the mornings or during my prep. I have had more time to lesson plan and prep this semester now that everything is in Evernote. Going paperless saves time. It is a fact for me now.

Lesson Planning:

It was a pain to move everything over to Evernote because it took time, but now that it is all there, I couldn't be happier. I can find anything and everything I want in a simple search. I can change things on the fly and leave notes to myself on how lessons went and what I should keep an eye out for next time. This is so much better than a physical plan book. All of my documents are uploaded or scanned into notes in notebooks that I can easily share with other teachers in my building. I also love having access to all of my lessons on my iPad, iPhone and desktop. No lost lessons for me.

e-Portfolio:

I have all of my students keeping their work in a notebook that is shared with me. I am able to check the notebook and leave comments on their work. They also are able to review their work and improve their next assignment. No more lost assignments for my students. By using the Doxie Scanner, my kids have all of their work available wherever they are. The portfolio idea has been so successful, it might replace the stand alone final exam in other classes next year to better reflect student achievement.

Partners:

I couldn't be happier with how my IPEVO document camera, Doxie ScannerLivescribe Sky Pen, and Boogie Board Rip have worked in my classroom. They have become parts of my classroom that I can not live without. I'm excited to start using IdeaPaint in my classroom in the coming weeks once my doors and desks are coated. These extra tools allow for a deeper integration of Evernote. I travel with many of these tools when I attend and present at conferences because they make my workflow so much smoother. I used my Evernote Moleskine notebook to jot down ideas for this post actually. Thanks to all of the partners.

Overall, I have been very happy with how Evernote has integrated into my classroom. My students use it every day in class and have loved sharing notebooks for their group projects. They are always learning something new about Evernote every day and love to show it off to others. I can't wait to see what the second semester holds for my students and Evernote. Keep an eye out for future posts.

@TheNerdyTeacher

Post 10

It is hard to believe that June is upon us and my Epic Evernote Experiment is coming to a close. I wanted to share some thoughts with you on how this worked out for me and my students this year and offer some suggestions for teachers considering integrating Evernote into their workflow.

Lesson Planning:

This was the first year that I moved all of my lesson plans to Evernote. Everything I did started in Evernote as a note. All of my units were outlined in Evernote and all of my projects were planned in Evernote. If it was an idea in my brain about school, it ended up in Evernote.


I was able to store all of my old handouts and notes as PDFs that became searchable parts of my Evernote environment. I loved having my lessons with me wherever I went. I would often add ideas on my phone while waiting for meetings, appointments or before I went to bed. I was able to lesson plan on the go and that is huge for me. I found myself on the go more than ever this year and it was nice to have my lessons with me so I can address any ideas I might have. Inspiration rarely hits me while I'm sitting at my desk, so Evernote was perfect for capturing my ideas whenever and wherever I had them. 

Communication:

I created shared notebooks for student assignments. I personally invited each student to the notebook for their class. In that notebook, I placed the days' work. Almost every day, there was a new note explaining what the class work was going to be the next day. 


Students were able to access their work wherever they could access Evernote. The vast majority of my students have mobile devices of their own, so many of them would access Evernote on their cellphone. I had a significant drop in the number of students who claimed that they did not know what they assignment was the day before. It has been a huge time saver on my part. I no longer have to use class time to catch students up on what they missed. They know to go to Evernote to see what we did and what they need to make up. 

Access:

I was able to find a digital version of almost every piece of literature my class covered this year. I found them all online and saved these links in notes and shared them with the students. This allowed my students to leave their bulky textbook at home and read on the fly with their personal device. Most of the novels still needed to be passed out to the students, byt the vast majority of poems and short stories we cover are outside of copyright, so free digital version were available to my students. 

This was great for my students who wanted to see what the assignment was and complete it without ever having to leave the Evernote environment. Many students told me this was very helpful when they were going on vacation, sports trips and other long excursions where a large textbook and a notebook would not help them in a bus or car. Evernote gave them access to do their work when they wanted and that is a big win for me as a teacher. 

One final part of access has to do with parents. I placed the public link to the homework notebooks on my school website so parents could access the work as well. If a parent wanted, they could join the notebook from the public link I have posted and they can keep track of their child's work from anywhere they are. It's a nice bonus feature for parents that do not want to jump through hoops to get my teacher page and find the correct class for the assignments. 

Portfolios:

One of the big pushes for me this year was to have my students create portfolios. I wanted them to create a digital record of their work so they could access it when they needed. This access would hopefully prompt better reflection on their writing and leave to improved skills and stronger writing as the year progressed. 



My students have been keeping all of their work in Evernote this year and I think it has worked well. All handwritten work can be scanned or captured using Evernote's camera function. The nice part of the photos being added is that they become a searchable part of the Evernote environment. This means students can search for specific comments I have left and see what they need to work on for their next assignment. 

Students have done a very good jon of keeping their portfolios together, but some needed constant reminders to put their items in their so I could review them later. I loved the ability to have these portfolios be a shared notebook that would allow me to create a note just for my comments. It allowed for a dialogue on their work that did not need to happen publicly in class. I did not use this feature as much as I would have liked, but I can see myself dedicating more time to it next year because I do think it is a valuable option for communicating with students about their work. 

Next Year - Reminders 

This new feature by Evernote allows users to set up notification reminders on notes. This is going to be awesome for next year. Students that have joined shared notebooks can get automatic reminders if I set them on their assignments. I can set the reminder for one minute before school gets out so they can remember to get what they need from their locker for an assignment they might have forgotten about. 


This little addition to the Evernote world is huge for education. Students could get a digital reminder for every assignment given to them if the teacher adds the reminder to the note. That is huge. All of those students that forgot work despite all of the this help, can get one more reminder before school gets out for the day. I was hoping for something like this and I'm excited to see this in practice next year.

Overall Assessment:

I loved moving to Evernote this year. For me, it makes the most sense. I love having everything in a central location and at my fingertips. I will not have to reinvent the wheel next year with my lessons and I can tweak work on Evernote whenever I want. I worked hard all year to leave notes to myself in the lessons I made so I can make the appropriate changes next year. Using Evernote for Lesson Planning is a no brainer and I can't wait to see what next year will look like knowing I do not have to start from scratch. 

As for the student use, I was very happy with how everything turned out. Students used Evernote to take class notes, plan projects and store their graded work. I would like to try and set up a way using Evernote's email for students to submit work digitally and directly into notebooks. I would also like to try using Skitch to grade their work as well. The kids loved using Evernote and many of them used it for other classes. It really had a positive impact on many of my students on how they take notes and organize their class life. 

Evernote is a perfect solution for a 1:1 environment. I used it my class and was able to almost become completely paperless. That is crazy to think about when you consider the fact that I am an English teacher. After only one year of trying this experiment out, I'm excited to see what I can accomplish nest year with the experience under my belt. 

If you are interested in trying to move Evernote into your educational world, check out my book, The Complete Guide to Evernote in Education. It is available on Kindle and the iBookstore. 


18 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great idea. It needs a paid account though to share notes doesn't it? Do the students need paid accounts as well or just the sharer? Are you paying or school? I'm interested in doing same but not sure of overall cost.

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  2. Same questions! Also how will you grade and provide feedback for work? Do they turn in work only using Evernote?

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  3. I teach math and plan to use Evernote to share my examples from class with students. I am going to experiment with using the Penultimate app on my iPad to write my examples and show them in class. This app syncs with Evernote and is a free app on the iPad.

    I also ordered a document camera and will use it to take pictures and upload them to Evernote.

    Your 'Epic Adventure' has inspired me to take one of my own.

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  4. I'm in the same boat as these folks. I've been looking for a way to transition to an online ISN, but my school doesn't have 1:1 technology even with BYOD. What are the constraints if it's not the premium version of Evernote? I've been reading up, but I'm a little unclear as to the major differences.

    Also, thanks for sharing Doxie. I've been looking for an in-class scanner. Ordering mine tomorrow. :) Thanks for sharing! Excited to hear how it goes!!

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  5. @Kara

    If you have a premium account, you can share notebooks with others that have a premium account and they will be allowed to edit them. If someone does not have a premium account, you can share as a read only notebook. Most of what I will be sharing with students wil not require them to edit, but I want them to share their eportfolios and I would want to create notes to leave comments on their work. That would require a premium account.

    As an educator, I suggest a Premium Account. It is the best money I've spent and would never go back. I can share with other educators from around the world and have access to the notes from any device.

    It's worth looking into.

    Nick

    The Nerdy Teacher

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  6. @Jonathan

    Most of their work will be project based, so they will submit their projects however they created them. I will use Evernote to share readins with them, as a place for them to take notes and for them to create an e-portfolio. This Notebook will be shared with the students and the teacher and I wil be able to leave comments on them as they build their work.

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  7. Nick,
    One quick question...
    For the eportfolios, if I have a premium account the students can share their portfolios with me and I can comment even if they have a free account?! I'm a little confused about that!

    Thanks,
    Kristen

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  8. You can use the export option on the free account to export notes as .enex files. I provide my students with a link to download my. enex files that they can then import into their ever note notebooks.

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  9. Great post -- and great work. I look forward to hearing more about your program. IPEVO makes excellent products, and I'm a fan of Evernote, though I have a question: You say that you put PDFs on Evernote. What about Word docs?

    Do these render well on Evernote for the students? Or do the PDFs have to be opened?

    One more: Do you grade your students' work using Evernote? I assume that you have a shared folder per student to do this. Do you find it's a good workflow?

    The reason I ask this question is that I've used Google Docs (now Drive) for many of the same things you're using Evernote for. But Evernote seems a little more flexible for many tasks (photos, audio, etc.) -- but not for others.

    Thanks again!

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  10. @Kristen - They need a premium account so both people can share and comment on individual notes.

    @Mark - I haven't tried to put word documents on Evernote. I have actually just copied the contents and pasted them on to new notes. That seemed to make more sense to me at the time.

    As for PDFs, they do render wonderfully. They look great and I can read right from them for class.

    I have not graded the student work using Evernote. I have thought about it and might give it a try with an assignment as part of the experiment. With everyone having a Premium account, it is doable, I just need to put the structure together for submissions, grading and feedback.

    I hear the GDocs argument from others and I agree with the idea that Gdocs is better for somethings. I have a class set of iPads and GDocs do not play well with iPads, so that is why I went Evernote.

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  11. Hi Nick,
    Firstly, Thanks for sharing this I and many others are very interested in this project as a forerunner to our own.
    Please indulge me in several questions,

    have you ever tried using a voice enhancement microphone in the classroom? They are said to increase the engagement in class and assist with students who have difficulties. (I don't know the company but will get it for you next week). This tool would be great so students can record audio into Evernote and have this as another dimension to their notes.

    Also, How will you manage your students accounts going premium? Will students/parents be expected to pay, Will school fund or will this be optional as it is approx $50 per account per year to maintain? I'm sure this could be covered through the reduced need for physical note books, but what is the plan through transition?

    Thanks again for sharing.
    Rachael Bath
    @rachbath

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  12. Nick,
    I love the posts; they are really helpful. Just wondering if you also use Google apps for Ed and if so, how are the 2 (Google apps and Evernote) working together and how are you using them for different purposes?
    Debra (@teacherdebra)

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  13. Love this! GENIUS thank you!!! Evernote is Emazing! Glad to see you integrate it in your classroom -- if these kids really figure out the beauty of this program they're whole lives may be changed. :) I'm actually gearing up to write an EPIC evernote guide for my blog readers... it's definitely the most valuable tool I've found for organization and productivity. :)

    BenRolnik.com

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  14. I Loved this blog, thanks so much for taking the time to write it all down! One question I have is that both students and teachers have to pay for a premium account if they would like to use it as you did. For me that wouldn't be too much of a problem but I expect that most of my students wouldn't like to pay extra. What kind of response do you get when you tell them they have to pay for a premium account?

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  15. A great blog with some wonderful observations to get the rest of us up to speed.
    I have been using OneNote with students over the past 7 years in a 1 to 1 environment and loved it. We also had Fujitsu laptops on which whose screens you can do hand writing with a stylus. I had students share documents with me and I could hand write or add my comments in a comment bubble as in Word or GDocs on the same document the students submitted. I find it powerful to be able to point directly to the spot in an essay where my comment relates to.
    Sounds like you have not been able to do this in Evernote or? Is there a comment bubble feature in EverNote as in Word or GDoc?

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  16. I've been using Evernote and having some great success. Once I hit 104 students I haven't been able to open any new shared notebooks. Any idea why?

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  17. Sounds great how you have integrated Evernote so completely. I feel caught in the middle of a number of platforms, including Evernote and Google Docs. My own current experiment with Evernote entails students using it to keep all of their research articles and notes for a big project they are working on. Some of them have found it extremely helpful, especially Clearly and Web Clipper. Assessing their notes has been nice since they have shared their notebooks with me. I feel like they have written more in terms of reflecting on their research. Not sure if this attributable to Evernote or the project focus--probably both.

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  18. Nick,

    How did the students respond to paying for premium? What % did/were willing or did you require it somehow? Good posts and thanks for sharing.

    -butch

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