Monthly Archives: May 2012

Using QR codes

The use of QR codes in the classroom has begun to gain some traction recently. People are exploring its use in a variety of ways and I have begun to wonder how they could enable portfolios to be more easily documented or allow them to be multi-dimensional.

Don’t know what a QR code is?

As I explore this more I will add my discoveries to this blog but if anyone out there has some experience with QR codes let me know.

If you have a QR reader on your smart phone test out this link…



Some e-portfolio organizations

Here is a list of interesting e-portfolio organizations.

E-Portfolio Organizations, Journals, Associations, & Conferences

International Journal of ePortfolios (IJeP )

Inter/National Coalition For Electronic Portfolio Research (NCEPR)

Association for Authentic, Experiential, and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL) Professional association and conference

Electronic Portfolio Action and Communication (EPAC) Community of Practice

International Journal of ePortfolio (IJEP)

E-Portfolio & Identity Conference (EPIC)

Europortfolio- A European Consortium of E-Portfolio Practitioners

Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) Nonprofit Organization Focusing on E-Portfolios in the UK

Open Source Portfolio Initiative

Using Evernote habitually

The more we use Evernote portfolios in the classroom the more students turn to them as a place to be creative and stay organized. During my literacy lab today a group of students were working on second drafts of stories they were writing and one student decided to organize all his work by creating new notebooks for separate academic subjects. A third student was using an itouch to finish up a presentation on Jonny Cash that he was independently preparing for the class. (It was one of his goals). A fourth student was using an itouch to log her goals. These were all actions students took without prompting.

When I see this kind of spontaneous incorporation of the Portfolios into the life of the class I know that the tools are working well. It also gives me a chance to begin to see how students make their portfolios their own. I have never mentioned anything about creating new notebooks but one student discovered the possibility and realized it was a tool that HE wanted or needed to keep himself organized. Now, if others want to learn about that skill he will be available to teach them. In fact, today I will have him present his work to the rest of the class. It’s an important discovery and one others can learn from. This kind of self direction is what I hope this technology provides for my students, a freedom and power to control their learning on their own terms.



Suggestions to improve the Lexmark Scanner

Somehow I deleted the last posting on this subject so I get to recreate it.

One of the pieces of hardware that gets a lot of use in my class (and in the class of other teachers who are beginning to use Evernote as Portfolios) is the Lexmark Scanner. I have written about its use previously and wanted to add some ideas for ways this technology could be improved.

As I presently use it, in my classroom, it works just fine. I have 23 students, each who have an individual Evernote widget. When they want to scan something they place the paper on the scanner or document feeder, hit their widget and away it goes. This is great and revolutionary. But as I am in the business of making things work better I have some suggestions that could greatly improve the long term viability of this Evernote-Lexmark partnership.

#1. If you use the scanner you can never ADD things to an existing note. This is fine if you haven’t created a portfolio note yet, but if you have already started a portfolio note, added a bunch of work and want to scan something in, it won’t work. In the long run that means my students have to photograph final work, which isn’t as nice as putting it through a scanner.

#2. As I begin to set up Evernote for Portfolio accounts school-wide, and start adding many more scanners around the building, there needs to be someone that has to manage all the accounts on all the Lexmark Scanners. The scanners can only hold up to 75 individual Evernote widgets, which means that students are tied to ONE scanner. We don’t have the ability to have all students in the school be on all the scanners. PLUS that would be a nightmare to set up. No one would want to constantly be updating all the scanner with all the individual kids. Adding each individual Evernote email account to the online Smartsolutions website is time consuming, especially when you have a large group of people to enter. This is the managerial headache.

#3. When students move to new classes or teachers throughout the year or at the end of the year, all the departing students have to be removed from the scanner and put on a new one. Again, a managerial headache, especially when deal with 365 people.


Each scanner should have an Evernote widget that brings the user to a log in screen (just like on mobile devices) In that way any student can use any scanner around the building. In addition, once you log in you would be prompted to add a document to a particular note or given the opportunity to create a new one. Of course this is a problem for the programers to figure out, but the result, for the end user, especially at schools or larger organizations that use Evernote and Lexmark Scanners would be significant.

Below is my visual brainstorm for those who want “Just the Facts”.


Recording the entire learning process

Back in April I wrote about how students were using Evernote to record parts of the writing process. Below are photos of the entire process. (The first draft of a book review written on paper. The second draft off the review after a single student conference typed into Evernote. The rubric and feedback from many other students after they read the 2nd draft. The final draft of the review types in Evernote.)

Having the entirety of the writing process is extremely valuable as it clearly shows what kind of changes were made along the way. It is now easy to go back and reflect on the process and I can have a clear sense of how I can continue to design lessons to improve writing. Of course this kind of documentation can really happen with any subject.