A few weeks ago while researching more information about one of my favorite tools / websites / apps… EVERNOTE…. which I use on a daily basis I came across a blog by the same company. After reading my blogs I know that you are fully aware of my love for Evernote. I find it to be such a wonderful project, website, app, etc. Not only do I use it in my daily life for personal reasons but I use it professionally as well.
As a high school Graphics & Design teacher I introduced it to my student interns that I had working with me last year. It worked out so wonderfully that I had to introduce to all my students this year. It actually worked out perfect as this year my county Board of Education has decided to move towards a BYOD district. I am sure that you have heard of this before. It means that students are allowed to Bring Their Own Devices to school to use for educational purposes. For the most part it has worked out pretty well minus the few students who have technology addictions to certain games, apps, websites, etc. For some students it is a constant struggle to keep them on task. Due to this fact I know of some teachers that do not allow students to use their devices in class, which I fully understand.
Anyways, back to the topic at hand, Evernote!!!! A few weeks ago, after watching a video about “IdeaPaint” I introduced an idea to my students. I called it the IdeaPad, I’m sure that I need to come up with a new name but the idea is the same. With IdeaPaint, you paint any smooth surface and it makes it into a dry erase surface. The students then can write their notes, draw their ideas, brainstorm, mindmap, etc. and then photograph it and post it in their Evernote account. So here’s my idea….As a graphic teacher / class we create a vinyl decals for people. The white vinyl that we use is a smooth white surface…. hum… that made me think… While I like the idea of the IdeaPaint I wanted something that didn’t not damage the students’ desks but would allow them to take notes while at their desks. So, of course, I had to write on the vinyl material to see how well a user could write on and wipe off the dry erase markers… and what do you know… it worked AWESOME! Now students are allowed to take notes either by writing them down on paper (which they can photograph and upload to their Evernote), writing them on their IdeaPad (and then photographing it (using a device or digital camera) & upload it to evernote), or take notes directly into Evernote (web or desktop version). The students really enjoy the freedom to take notes how they want to. I find that more students are actually taking notes. Many of my students are using Evernote to take notes in their other class as well as in their personal lives.
On a sad note, one of my students asked one of their teachers about incorporating the vinyl in their class so that he could takes notes that way and her/his teacher said that it was a dumb idea…. In my opinion, I think anything that encourages and motivates a students to want to learn and take notes is a GREAT idea. Not to worry, I’m going to come up with some alternative ideas for that student so he/she can take notes the ways that he/she wants to.