The year that the Apple Ipod touch came out with a camera I also decided to get the Iphone. It has changed the way I view technology but for this posting I am going to stick with how it made Evernote possible in my classroom.
What I really liked about Evernote from the beginning was that it was accessible from so many different types of technology. My laptop, the internet, a variety of smartphones and even a simple telephone with camera and emailing capability. I had been playing around with Evernote for several month before I moved into using it on a mobile device. When I got my iphone I immediately began to use the Evernote App to begin recording my students work. If I was going to be asking my students to use it I wanted to be pretty clear about its functionality. I really liked the fact that I could photograph, record and document with the word processing feature.
Because the mobile application of Evernote is so fast I began to record much of what I saw the students in my class doing. I would take pictures, type a few comments or make an audio recording. Many people ask me how I find the time during the day to do those kinds of things. I work really hard to build an atmosphere where kids are fairly self directed which gives me time to meet one-on-one a lot, or document what is happening in the class.
The images below are some examples of work that I documented. It might have been a particular strategy a student used (such as Morgan’s strategy), it might have been a whole group project (such as the list of favorite books) or it might have been an artifact like the script by Felix. I wanted to really see what I could record and how the kids might to it similarly. Along the way I began to realize that I was not only learning how to document the students work individually and in groups, but I was also having a chance to really look more closely at a student’s work when I needed to.
I also began to send parents information about their kids by immediately e-mailing the note about their child.
This was something that went over very well with families. While I do keep a blog about my classroom to keep the parents informed, they loved getting to see what their children were doing, thinking and learning in real time. In the first month or so I was making so many notes that I had to move from the free version to the Premium account just to have enough room.
During the conference that we had in the fall I was able to introduce parents to Evernote and show them what their children were doing and what I had been documenting. The SEARCH feature was priceless for this work. During the conference I could type a student’s name and everything that I had done with that students name would show up. What impressed me the most was that Evernote technology was able to search through photographs as well. Below you will see that when I typed in “DAHLIA” it was able to find her name and highlight it on a photo I took.