Evernote is an organization tool that can be used by anyone, and after a workshop I attended in February, I can certainly see the value of Evernote to teachers. At our District Professional Development day, I was able to attend a workshop hosted by a local teacher, Melissa Edstrom. Melissa says she uses Evernote in her teaching practice daily: she stores webpages, lesson plans, worksheets, pictures, and basically anything she uses for her classroom (Edstrom, 2013). She describes Evernote as replacing all her binders of “stuff” that every teacher seems to have and with it, she doesn’t have to worry about working in different rooms on different computers, or even at different schools because everything she needs is always with her, on all her devices (Edstrom, 2013). Melissa finds the investment of $5 a month for a Premium account well worth it to keep herself organized (Edstrom, 2013).
According to the Evernote website, their tool is great for teachers to be able to “capture notes, organize lesson plans, collaborate on projects, snap photos of whiteboards and more” (Evernote, 2013). It allows the user to create different notebooks to help keep everything organized. New notes are easily created by, typing in text, importing PDF files, taking pictures, taking screenshots of webpages, or saving links (Edstrom, 2013). Evernote has a text recognition feature so you can scan handwritten notes, take pictures of signs, pages in books etc. and be able to search within the text for information (Edstrom, 2013). You can also invite individuals to view specific notes or notebooks to share information.
Evernote is free to download and use, but purchasing a Premium account for $5/month gives the user more upload capacity per month, offers greater sharing options, and no advertisements (Andrade). It can be downloaded to your computer or other device, or can simply be used from the Evernote website. This is a nice feature as it means Evernote doesn’t have to be downloaded on all the computers in a school for students and teachers to be able to use it. Everything is automatically synced. I downloaded Evernote to my computer at home, but while at the Evernote workshop I used it online without downloading it to the school computer I was using. The notes I took at the workshop were waiting for me when I got home.
The Evernote blog outlines numerous ways teachers and students can use its features. I started using Evernote by creating notebooks for different subjects. Notebooks can be stacked so you can have notebooks within notebooks. For example I created the notebook Science 9. Within this notebook I created notebooks for the different units (ex. Space Exploration, Life Sciences etc.). I have been saving everything I created for this assignment using Web 2.0 tools to the Space Exploration notebook, which you can see here. I can see this as a very useful tool for teacher-librarians. Evernote allows a place to organize and save resources for different subjects that can be accessed from anywhere. Evernote would allow me to take pictures and save them in Evernote (ex. Book I see in a bookstore, book displays I like, quotes, signs, etc.) I can also save outlines of assignment teachers do in the library as well as any online resources I find for them.
At the Evernote workshop I attended, there were numerous teachers there attesting to the fact that they find Evernote very useful in their teaching practice. As a TOC Evernote makes it easy to add to my “bag of tricks” that I can take to any class I may find myself in. I am looking forward to exploring this Web 2.0 tool more and continue to learn how it can help me in my teaching practice.
Andrade, M. [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://educationaltechnologyguy.blogspot.ca/p/evernote-for-education.html
Edstrom, M. (2013, February). Evernote. CTA Professional Development Day, Port Coquitlam, BC.
Evernote. (2013). Evernote for teachers. Retrieved from http://evernote.com/teachers/