One question that keeps coming up for people (and rightly so, as it is the first thing you need to do in the online portfolio process) is “How do you set up accounts for all your students?” While I have set my kids up in a certain way (look below) it isn’t the only way to do it. The issue around setting up Evernote accounts (especially for kids under 13) is that you need to do them all individually. At this writing I don’t believe there is any way to set up a whole class of accounts which one teacher or school has access and control over. Ideally Evernote will create a way for schools to “batch” accounts so the school can have control and access over them and eventually when kids leave the school their accounts could be released so individuals could take them with.
Another way to set up an account (if your school or parents have issues around setting up email accounts) is to create notebooks for each child within a teachers account. This way individual student notebooks can still be shared and viewed outside of school. Unfortunately this also makes the students portfolios inaccessible to them if they are not with their teacher.
I believe that the power of the online portfolio is the way that it changes the conversation about education between students, their parents and their teachers. It takes the conversation beyond the walls of the building and enables the documentation, reflection and presentation of learning to happen almost anywhere. THIS is powerful and needs to be considered when creating online portfolios. THAT is the main reason I decided to give each individual student their own account. However, as you will read below, I also set it up in a way that I can access their accounts at any time.
Guidelines for getting students started with Evernote accounts.
1. To set up an Evernote account you have to have an e-mail account. Make sure all your students have e-mail accounts. If you plan on setting up the Evernote accounts for them then you will need to have access to their user names and passwords. To have full access to their Evernote account you will need to set up an e-mail account for them. This way if they change or lose their password or forget their user name you can request it from Evernote and it will be sent to “their” email account. It is not possible to set up multiple Evernote accounts using one e-mail account. For record keeping it is useful to set up an excel spreadsheet to keep and track all the accounts you have created and set up. Storing this in a Google Doc is helpful so it can be accessed by multiple teachers/staff or if there is a main online porfolio administrator.
2. Go to http://www.evernote.com
3. Create new accounts using the students e-mail address. To make it easy for kids and yourself, you may want to use their first and last names for their user names “marcusallen” for Marcus Allen. Also use any easy password to remember “allenmarcus2” for instance. The students can always change them later but it makes it easier when everyone is getting started and they keep turning to you for help with passwords.
4. Once the account is created you will then have to open up their E-MAIL account to verify the opening of the Evernote account. This is a tedious process, especially when setting up a whole class, but once it is done you never have to do it again.
5. Once the Evernote account has been verified, you can then log onto their account so you can “SHARE” the account. When students share an account you will be able to see everything they have added but will not be able to make changes to it. (Unless everyone has Premium Accounts). All shared accounts will show up in the “share” section of your Evernote homepage.
6. The students are now ready upload work to their accounts using the internet (www.evernote.com) and mobile devises that have Evernote applications.
Adding Student Evernote Accounts to Lexmark Smart Solution Printers.
Once you have set up your Lexmark Printer you are ready to add Evernote icons to the Smart Solution section.
1. You will need to set up a Smart Solutions account online (http://smartsolutions.lexmark.com) This will allow you to add icons to the Smart Solution section on your printer.
2. Log in and press on the SOLUTION CENTER link on the top right. This will open up a page containing a variety of icons on the left hand side and big box with a few of the permanent icons that are already on your printer.
3. Scroll down until you see the green Evernote icon with the elephant. Grab it with the mouse and drag it over to the large box.
4. Double click on the icon and a pop up box will appear. Here you can title the icon. For each student I wrote their name. (ie Marcus’s Evernote).
5. You may choose from either pdf OR jpeg. If you choose jpeg artifacts will be loaded into the Evernote as a picture which will allow you to use the great Evernote Scanning feature. It doesn’t work with pdfs.
6. For the icon to work on the printer you will need to get the students special e-mail address from Evernote. Go to Evernote and log on to the students site. Clink on the SETTINGS link at the top of the page.
7. At the bottom of the page is the Emailing to Evernote section. That is where the special e-mail address is. Copy that address and paste it into the Lexmark pop up.
8. Once you have done this will all students save it. It will download this to your wireless printer.
9. Students can now go to the Smart Solution section on the printer and find their Evernote Icon. When they have something loaded on the printer they only need to press the icon one time for it to work. The items will scan and automatically upload to the Evernote account.
Ways to keep Evernote Useful, Efficient and Organized
Inform Parents. Make sure parents know about the E-portfolios.
Reflection Sheet. Create or use the Trillium Portfolio Artifact and Reflection sheet. I use this for all items that are added to the portfolios. You can scan them in with the work that goes into the Lexmark or you can take pictures of them for items you will be adding by mobile device. For instance, when kids did a 3D art project they wanted to preserve I had them fill out the reflection sheet and then took a picture of it. I then made a new note in Evernote and added both the picture of the reflection sheet and the picture of the artifact.
Use Tags. Have everyone use tags to record what categories from the Framework are being added. This can be done immediately with mobile devices and after the fact when using the scanner. Using tags is vital when searching for items. If you or a student are just searching for Literacy items you can type in literacy in the Evernote search and it will find them all. I also created WIP (work in progress) so you could check out everything that is still in process. Once it become permanent then the WIP tag can be removed.
Here are the tags I use: Literacy, Math, Science, Social Science, The Arts, Technology, CM (Community Membership), Independece, Movement, HWS (Health, Wellness and Safety), WIP (work in progress), Best Work
Teach Kids. Teach kids how to use the scanner and mobile devices right away. That will ensure that you are not doing most of the uploading and will get the kids excited about the process. Walk them through the whole process with one piece of work and then make a weekly activity until they get the hang of it. Teach them how to select work both on-going and completed.
Use Evernote Online for Writing. Kids can type text directly into Evernote. It has a text editor. Instead of using word, or Google docs, or their Ubuntu account, they can type directly into Evernote. This way you can also (as an advisor) have access to ongoing work.
Stay on top of the Technology . Evernote is constantly updating the way that users can interface with the program.