Friday, November 18, 2011


Evernote is a great tool for classroom documentation.

It used to be that the other kindergarten teachers and I would walk around the classroom with a clipboard and scribble notes about student learning, thinking, challenges, and any other skill or ability that our children were demonstrating. By the time report writing came around, I had amassed quite a stack of scribbles and post-it's. It was really nothing that I could share with anyone until after I spent some time sifting through the scribbles and writing drafts of my reports. Using Evernote on our iPads, we can do more and we can share it all. Having created one Evernote folder for each student, I can now walk around the classroom as learning is happening and capture the students articulating their thinking. Evernote allows teachers to type notes, take photos, upload photos, and record audio.

Now, using Evernote, I am able to take a photo of a student's work, and then have a conversation with her as I record her thinking. I can make her thinking visible. (to me, to her, to another teacher who was not present, even to her parents if needed)

Using tags, I can come back later and search for a particular student's work. I can search for all math pattern work or all reading levels or any other category of learning that I tag to find out how we are doing as a whole class. I can save emails and documents that pertain to a student's learning or challenges in their individual Evernote folder.

I can take notes during parent conferences - using my tablet pc and Evernote I can even ink notes in Evernote during meetings and conferences. (dear Evernote, please make inking possible on the iPad version...)

Why this is a good idea:
-use evernote to snap photos of students at work and then write your notes directly onto the note for that photo
-use a new note to compose thoughts for reports from anywhere in your classroom, another classroom, on a field trip, anywhere
-use audio recording in evernote for classroom documentation, both student-led and teacher
-create a folder in your evenote binder for each student at the start of the year
-use evernote to add other documentation on each student as needed - emails, documents, photos, etc.
-open your evernote folders from any computer to write reports or updates or to check for assessments
-share your folders with other teachers, support people as needed
-keep every artifact about your students together, paperless, and accessible from anywhere

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