Monthly Archives: February 2013

Using Note Links to get Organized

This year I am working with a new portfolios system. My students still have individual accounts but at my new school (Opal Charter School) we are also using grouped accounts. Each graduating class is grouped together under one account. This grouped account is where each child has a formal, presentation portfolio. The school is using this presentation portfolio as a way to move away from very large narrative report cards. The school has set up a list of almost 20 portfolio entries for each student. These portfolio entires are based on the learning goals the school has created for students. The list of required entries contains everything from reading evaluations, to writing samples, to photographs that show a student working with an artistic material they are skilled with.

Another big change with the group account portfolios is that they are much more teacher created. Whereas in the past (in my previous school) the work of uploading portfolio artifacts rested mostly on the shoulders of my students, at Opal the teachers have a responsibility for uploading student work.

With 29 students and a long list of required artifacts I was finding it difficult to keep track of what items I had uploaded and what students still needed artifacts. I was using a paper spreadsheet but that kept getting misplaced. At the same time my teaching partner wanted to upload work into accounts or at least see what each person had accomplished.

To make this whole process easier I decided to use the Link To Note feature found in the desktop version of Evernote and create a link-able table or spreadsheet.

I created a new note in the graduating classes notebook (below you see the 4th grade graduating class. I replaced their names for generic ones for this posting). In the note, which I titled 2013 Portfolio Checklist, I created a table. This table has all the students names vertically and all the required artifacts for the year horizontally.
I then went to each students notebook, opened up the notes I wanted to add to the table individually, copied them as a link, and pasted them into the table. In the picture below you can see each artifact in green. I just tap on the green artifact title and I go directly to the students artifact.
This is a great strategy for those teachers who want to really stay organized with their students portfolios and have easy and quick access to them. This only works, however, if you have group account portfolios not individual ones. You can't create a link to a portfolio or artifact outside of the account.
While going back and creating this table takes some time (its a lot of pasting) it well worth it in the long run. Now I have one place where I can quickly access all my students work. It is a hyper linked table of contents for my students work.
This kind of process could also be used for individual accounts. A note could be created that was called Final Portfolio Presentations and a student could make a table of contents of all their best work. In that way, they could more easily access their artifacts when they did a presentation.

A portion of my Required Student Artifacts table