Tag Archives: iPad

Reading Assessment and the iPad


In September and October last year I wrote a few posts about assessing student reading on the iPad by taking running records using the GoodReader app and then saving the assessments in Evernote to have everything in the one spot. This process has worked well for me for more than a year but recently I was reminded of a Record of Reading app (thanks to @richielambert) which I had previously dismissed due to not being able to export the completed record to Evernote. Rich suggested taking a screen shot and saving it to Evernote that way, which would work and is a great suggestion but I found it to be a little clunky and fiddly when in the classroom and on the go. After playing around with the app a little more, I found that you are able to email a completed record as either a .jpeg or .pdf file. By doing this I was able to email it directly to my Evernote account in less clicks (or taps) than taking a screen shot, just a little more efficient.

The Record of Reading app is a nifty idea and unlike annotating a .pdf using GoodReader, it allows the teacher to complete a miscue analysis by simply tapping instead of spending time writing more. I would still suggest using a stylus rather than your finger to complete the annotations.















Another good feature of the app is being able to add all the data- words read, errors and self corrections and then it automatically calculates the accuracy rate. Very handy in a busy classroom!

Ok, after the pros, there must come some cons…I still prefer to record the audio of my students reading in Evernote, that way I can access all of my data the one place and the emailing part is a little annoying but no more annoying than what it was saving an annotated .pdf from GoodReader.

Between this app, Kustomnote and Evernote, paperless assessment in my classroom is getting even easier and more efficient!

How do you use your iPad in reading assessment? 

Integrating the iPad/iPhone/iPod into your classroom – literally with Marco Torres

Wow! The last two Friday’s have blown my mind. I am so excited and inspired by the new things I have discovered and the questions I am now asking. Last Friday was Challenge Based Learning and today I went to a workshop on integrating the iPad/iPhone/iPod into your classroom, with the very inspirational, Marco Torres.

I really liked Marco’s analogy of ‘Studio, Stage, Community’. Those of you familiar with ‘Caves, Watering Holes and Campfires’ learning spaces may relate. The amount of technology students have at their fingertips should not be overlooked, whether we as educators, parents or members of the community like it or not, it can not be ignored or avoided. It’s here, now and students are always going to use it! Marco described the ‘Studio’, where students are using technology to produce content, the ‘Stage’ being the Internet, sharing their work and finally ‘Community’, where their work is celebrated with a global audience. He emphasised the fact that with mobile devices, students have their ‘Studio, Stage, Community’ on them at all times.

As a result of today’s workshop, I thought I would share some of the apps and ideas that were discussed. Some, I had heard about but never tried and there were also lots of new ones. The focus was on students using most of these apps to create- not just regurgitate information or play drill and practise games.

GarageBand- GarageBand turns your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch into a collection of Touch Instruments and a full-featured recording studio — so you can make music anywhere you go.

See (and hear) the potential-http://vimeo.com/43162659 Students playing in an iPad Orchestra created by their teacher. Directed by Marco Torres

Wiki Nodes- Wikipedia comes to life with an infinite constellation of visual links. Browse. Discover. Bookmark. Annotate. Share.

Evernote_Icon_256No surprises here- Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity.

Wkikhood- Organises the information from Wikipedia for any place in the world. Within a few clicks you not only get access to all the locations around you, but also the vast information related to these locations categorized by “persons” und “culture/buildings”.

AppshopperAppShopper keeps you up to date on the newest App Store apps, sales and freebies.

Barefoot World Atlas- A magical interactive 3D globe that invites children to explore the regions and countries of the world, discovering hundreds of fascinating features and immersing themselves in the rich wonders of our planet.

ShowMe- Allows you to record voice-over whiteboard tutorials and share them online.

iMovie- Make beautiful HD movies anywhere with iMovie, the fast and fun moviemaking app that puts everything you need to tell your story at your fingertips.

AutoRap- Simply speak into your iPad or iPhone and it turns it your speech into a rap song.

Haiku Deck- The simple new way to create stunning presentations for any occasion.

Explain Everything- Easy-to-use design tool that lets you annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations.

Word Lens- See the world in your language: instantly translate printed words using your built-in video camera, in real time!

With these apps and examples of student learning I saw today as well as last Friday I am beginning to ask my self many questions.

How can I challenge my students to ask ‘under the surface questions’?

What am I doing in my classroom to get students to come up with their own ideas about learning?

How can my students learn by watching me learn?

How can I encourage my students to challenge themselves and their own thinking?

I would love to hear your thoughts.


Student Conferences with Evernote and KustomNote

Evernote has transformed the way I keep notes on students in my class. I type notes, record audio and video and take photos of their worksamples. All this information is then stored in individual student notebooks within Evernote.

I first began using Evernote for individual reading conferences and since then just about all of my organisastional data and student anecdotal notes are taken using Evernote. I love that it allows me to keep everything in one place, it keeps me organised and able to track students and information easily with the tap of a button.

Although Evernote has become a necessity for me in my classroom, I have never been one hundred percent happy with the formating tools. I am a very visual person so not only do I want my information accessible I want it to look good too.

Today I stumbled upon a web app called KustomNote. KustomNote was originally designed for the Evernote Dev Cup. Think Google Forms and Evernote all mixed into one! I like it as it takes out all the need for formatting and produces professional looking, neat notes.

Below I have included a little story of how my notes have changed since I began using Evernote-

At this stage I can not see a way to record audio or video through KustomNote but once your note has been saved you can go in and add audio and attachments as you usually would.

I like the fact that once I have my templates made all I need to do is edit and the information is easily saved in my desired notebook in Evernote.

I have created the following templates and have made them public for other users to copy.

  • Reading Conference
  • Writing Conference
  • Strategy Group- Reading
  • Strategy Group- Writing
  • Maths Focus Group

How could you use KustomNote in the classroom?

How do you format your notes for student records?

10 of My Favourite Apps

I know everybody has their favourites but I thought it was my time to share the iPad apps that I can’t live without! I have had my iPad since September 2011 and found that as each day at school went by I was using it more and more. Regular readers of my blog would already be aware of my affection for Evernote and Good Reader and how I use these apps to eliminate paper in my reading assessments with students. These are just two of my favourites so I thought it was time to share a few more!

1. Evernote

I have said it before and I will say it again and again until every teacher I know at least tries Evernote! Evernote is a note taking app that allows users to take notes by typing, audio, video and pictures. It can be used on a variety of devices and syncs, so if I edit on my laptop it appears on my iPad!

I use Evernote to-

Save all of my assessment notes and data-
I have notebooks set up for different subjects and add notes about students as I notice them! I always have either my iPhone or iPad with me in the classroom so I can update quickly and easily, it keeps me mobile, away from the laptop and I never forget anything!

Keep checklists-
I have checklists set up for keeping records for homework and home reading, as well as keeping track of spelling results. I also know of teachers that have set up checklists for use in guided reading.

I keep track of all staff meeting notes so that I can refer to them later, again I find this easier than writing my notes on paper or in a book as I tend to put it down somewhere and never find it again! I also take notes on team meetings and can easily share or email the notes between team members.

If This Then That- “Put the Internet to work for you!” ifttt is a web app that allows you to create tasks of a simple structure. For example I could get ifttt to send me en email with the weather forecast every morning or send my mum a Facebook message on her birthday.

I use ifttt with Evernote to-

  • Save my starred items from Google Reader. It keeps them all together and easy to find at a later date.
  • Save new blog posts- every time I write a new post it sends a copy to Evernote for safe keeping.
  • Save my Twitter favourites- every time I favourite a tweet on Twitter it saves in Evernote.
  • Make a copy of my YouTube videos.

Professional Learning-
I keep track of all of my professional learning using Evernote- I can create quick and easy notes, take pictures, video and audio so that I don’t forget what I have learnt!

2. Good Reader

Good Reader is an app that allows you to annotate PDF and Word Documents.

I use Good Reader to-

  • Complete running records (I then save them in the corresponding student note in Evernote)
  • Complete paperless Observation Surveys.
  • Complete assessment checklists.
  • Have important documents on hand ready to go- eg when I am completing a reading conference I have the CAFE menu open and have easy access to the CAFE Ready Reference Guides.

Basically anything that you can do on paper you can scan or email and do it on the iPad!

3- Twitter

The most influential and inspiring Professional Learning Network around! For any teacher reading this who is not on Twitter I would highly suggest that you get on and have a look. I use Twitter to
LEARN and to SHARE. Kathleen Morris shares her ideas for teachers new to Twitter- Using Twitter to Build Your PLN, Are You On Twitter Yet? and Top 10 Twitter Tips

4- WordPress

The WordPress app allows me to edit and update blog posts and make comments easily and efficiently.

5- OneNote

I do all my planning and work program using OneNote and since Office 2010 and the integration of SkyDrive it is even better! It is great having OneNote on my iPad and iPhone. The app allows me to have easy access to my planning documents at all times and I can add and edit on the go. The only thing I don’t like is that you can’t edit a table that has already been created- can be frustrating!

6- TED

Need some inspiration- take 10 minutes to listen to the latest TED talk.

7- Flipboard

Turns your social networks into an interactive, online magazine! Add your Facebook or Twitter account to view in a dynamic and different way on the iPad or iPhone. You can also set up different Twitter hashtags that you follow.

8- Prezi Viewer

Allows you to view Prezi’s on your Ipad!


9- Splashtop Whiteboard

Download the Splashtop streamer on your computer and iPad to create an easy and free remote desktop! Sit anywhere in the classroom and control your IWB or have students demonstrate on iPad rather than standing up in front of the class.

With Splashtop Whiteboard-

Teachers can:

Be in Control – Have complete control over the applications on the classroom PC as if you were sitting right there. No need to stay at the front of class. Be free to roam around. Hand the iPad to a student and let their imagination do the rest!

Experience lifelike play back – All video and audio are played in high definition on your iPad. Play Adobe Flash content, iTunes music, DVDs, CDs, etc.

10- iMovie

I love iMovie! It is so easy to use, very user friendly- I demonstrated once to some Prep, 1 and 2 students and that was it! They were publishing their writing using iMovie to be uploaded to our class website and were so excited about it. I find that it is a lot more instant than Photo Story or Movie Maker. I have used iMovie to create weekly school vodcasts, record and make movies of students working, had students make movies and photo stories to publish their work.

Ok so there are just 10 apps that I love and use lots! I hope that you get some ideas and maybe try some yourself!

How have you used these apps?

What are your favourite apps?

A simple checklist, minus the paper!

I had a great first week back at school last week, as Melbourne schools prepare for their last term of the year!

Last week I tried something new (for me anyway) using Evernote and the iPad. As many readers of this blog are aware, I do not organise my paper work well and as a result have been trying ways to eliminate paper in my classroom. I have had so much success with using Evernote and Goodreader to complete running records and reading assessments/conferences that I know my quest to be a paperless organised teacher is only just beginning!

Many teachers may have different ways of recording a childs home reading habits and in the past, I have always used a checklist, where I would tick and sign if a student brought their reader in. Yesterday however, I created a simple checklist within Evernote. I started a new note, added each students name, the date and the checkbox feature in Evernote (See Evernote tips here- http://bit.ly/qdEByn ) . It was great, simple and took less than 5 minutes! Tonight I opened Evernote web and copied and pasted so my checklist is now set up for the next few weeks! (See picture below). I couldn’t believe how easy it was. No longer will I forget to photocopy a checklist, there is no need, it is now all on my iPad, iPhone or computer! I thought it was handy too as I could jot in some notes if a student had not brought their reader in, were absent or if they had changed the book box they choose their books from.

It got me thinking….How else could we as super organised teachers use the checkbox feature in Evernote? Have notes made with curriculum standards for each child, ready to be checked? Have a checklist of reading behaviours and check off what you notice a student doing? I think there are so many possibilities for using this feature. I can’t wait to try it out more!

What could you use the Evernote checkbox feature for? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Accessing and saving Goodreader files in Evernote

I have had a fabulous response to my use of Evernote, Goodreader and the iPad. It has been great to hear from like minded educators about how they are using these tools in the classroom. Today however I have had lots of questions and Twitter conversations about how to save files from Goodreader in Evernote so thought I would do a quick ‘how to’ post to hopefully make it a bit easier on users. See video for step by step instructions.

Once I have my file in Evernote I copy and paste it to the selected student note, this however, I have only figured out how to do using Evernote on my computer, if anyone knows of an iPad way, please share. Depending on how you have your notes set up you could just rename and tag the note that has already been created.

Hope this helps! 🙂

Being organised with Evernote and Goodreader…

Well it has been a few days since my last post and I thought I would write an update to how I am going with my new found tools!

Let’s just say I don’t think I have ever felt so organised when it comes to assessment notes and running records….not to mention saving so much paper! I have really enjoyed having everything ready to go and accessible in such a short amount of time. I have noticed that I am even becoming much more aware of writing my observations as soon as I notice something about a student.

Using Goodreader to annotate running record sheets has allowed me to eliminate photocopying and have all my student assessment records stored in the same place. As I mentioned in my last post it was a little tricky using my finger to annotate and thanks to a colleague, I was able to test out an iPad stylus. This was fantastic, although my writing is a little bigger than usual it was much more accurate and easier to write with.


I also thought that I would share a screen capture of how I have my Evernote notes set up- I would love some feedback from this, interested in seeing how other teachers are being organised!


If you have an ipad I would seriously suggest giving it a go! Let me know how you go! 🙂

No time like the present…

Where to start…my first blog post…I have so many things running through my head to write about. But will start with the most recent changes to my use of tech in the classroom.

On Friday I purchased an iPad, since then I don’t think I have stopped thinking about all the things I could do / want to do / WILL DO! The possibilites are endless with such a nifty little gadget. I have not yet used my iPad in my IWB (only figured out how to do that today) but when I do I will be sure to post an update. One main thing I have been trying to do is organise myself….see I am not good with paper, I find keeping up  to date with paper work really hard and I can’t stand the mess, it is a constant battle for me. Keeping anecdotal notes has never been a strong point for me either (again I think it has something to do with the paper). I needed a way that I could eliminate this problem…and I think I have found it! If you find yourself with a similar problem or just want to try something new read on…

1- Download Evernote http://www.evernote.com/ A handy program that you can use on multiple devices, which also syncs between the devices. In Evernote I have created different notebooks, anecdotal notes for reading, writing, maths etc (see pic), each notebook has a note dedicated to each student that I can continue to edit whether at home, school or on my iPad or iPhone.


Now I don’t have to print off any paper, I can easily type in any observations, it has been great. Today however I took it a step further and also completed running records on my iPad…

2- Goodreader–  An app that allows you to annotate, highlight and add notes to PDF files. I scanned in my running record observation sheets and now have them stored in Goodreader. So using this app I was able to take a running record digitally….It was a bit tricky in the beginning but once I got used to using my finger instead of a pen it was great.


Putting it together- I saved my newly annotated PDF in Goodreader and ‘sent it to’ Evernote- so now not only do I have my anecdotal notes, I also have the running record that goes along with them, all in one place (See screen shot)….with no paper!!!!!


I have also used Evernote to record students reading in Guided Reading groups and Individual reading conferences, not only has this been helpful to go back and listen to students read but also a great self assessment tool!!!