Tag Archives: Rebecca Spink

Evernote in Education Series


I have been busily organising myself for two upcoming conferences that I am presenting at over the next month.

I will be presenting two sessions at http://iwb.net.au/ – Leading a Digital School

  • Organised and Paperless Assessment with Evernote
  • Getting Evernote Ready (Hands on workshop)

I will also be at Mobile Learning Experience 2013 Presenting ‘Mobilising Student Assessment with Evernote- A Practical Approach’.

As such I thought over the next few months I will share some (more) of my tips and tricks for using Evernote as an education professional. Each week I will post a ‘task’ which will have some information, ideas, how to’s and a practical way for you to experiment with and practise.

I am starting with different things that I use in and out of the classroom on a daily basis. If there is something in particular that you really want to know about, please leave a comment on this post and I will add it to my list!

Happy Evernote-ing…

Bec

Evernote Education Series- Task # 1

Death by Anchor Chart!

 

It has become quite a running joke with my year 5/6 students that I am obsessed with posters- or ‘anchor charts’ in our classroom. For months I have continued to brush off their comments, believing what I have always been told…that students need these visual displays that have ‘captured their learning’…that I was creating a ‘print rich’ classroom environment that gives my students (and visitors to the room) a clear image of our classroom culture and what we are currently learning about. I had often been told by casual replacement teachers that they were appreciative of the (many) charts as they found it easy to pick up and teach if I was absent. I was commended by other staff, with many often coming in to take pictures for their own ideas. I loved the colours and maybe became a little too obsessed about which textas and paper I would use…only the best would do. A simple Google or Pinterest search delivers hundreds of brightly coloured, aesthetic charts teachers have proudly uploaded to the internet.

One day some students asked to share with the class an iMovie they had worked on in their free time, I was more than happy to allow them to excitedly share their finished product.

And this is what we saw-

Posters from Rebecca Spink on Vimeo.

Could they have made their point any more clear? I have always given my students ownership over our classroom, they choose where the tables and chairs go and we don’t have assigned seats, so why was it so hard for me to take on board what they were telling me for so long?

As educators in the 21st Century we go on and on about digital, online learning, calling our students digital natives…yet I wonder if the look of our classrooms illustrates this? We constantly get our students to present their work using digital means, we prepare and deliver lessons that require the use of a vast range of technology, we use mobile devices in and out of the classroom without question…yet we still get told it is ‘best practice’ to use paper and textas to ‘capture learning’. I’m confused.

I think the reason I kept putting it off and ignoring their comments was because I didn’t have a solution, it was all well and good to write these charts up on an interactive whiteboard but then they get hidden in the computer away from student eyes. What happens when they needed to refer to them?

My solution?

A few months ago my school signed up for Google Apps for Education and in the last few months we have started using it with students in years five and six. Towards the end of last term I was able to visit Rich Lambert and some of his staff at Kalinda Primary School in Victoria to learn about what their school was doing with Google Apps. I was really intrigued with the way that their year 5/6 students and their teachers were using Google Sites. As a result I thought I would give it a try and set up a site for my students to use in the classroom to upload their work and create a way to encourage more collaboration within the classroom. As soon as I began I remembered the iMovie.

This was my solution…get rid of the clutter in the room and create a class Google Site that documents what we are doing in the classroom and is a good point of reference for students when they need it. They all have their own accounts and we have enough devices in the classroom for them to access it when needed. This also allows them to access things at home for assistance with homework or to share their learning with their parents. I love that using Google sites also allows me to upload lesson resources I have used like videos, pictures and web links, creating a nice package. Students are also able to upload their work to the site that corresponds to the learning intention and digital ‘anchor chart’. Lately my students have also been adding their reflections to the comments section as well, creating a neat package from beginning to end of the learning process- much more powerful than a poster on a wall or hanging from some string.

I am not saying I am never going to make an anchor chart again and if I taught very young students or didn’t have access to enough devices in the classroom I wouldn’t be writing this post. But I will and we do, so for now this is my solution. I am listening to my students because I want them to love our classroom, to feel welcomed and give them a say in how they learn.

Teaching the Social Media Generation

Yesterday I attended ICT in Education Victoria‘s annual state conference and was lucky enough to present about the ways I am exploring social media in my classroom.

I have written a couple of posts about embracing social media with students-

Twitter in my Classroom

A Chance Tweet 

One of my students has also written a post about his experiences-

Tweeting the Prime Minister

My session overview stated- 

The majority of students we teach use social media, they have Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Google and Twitter accounts. It is no longer ok for teachers to ignore the fact that their students are using these tools and that social media is becoming a fundamental source for students to research, gather information, learn, play and communicate. It is time that we as educators start embracing this use of technology in the classroom. This session will specifically explore using Twitter as a fundamental educational tool in the classroom.

It was great to see a booked out session and some familiar Twitter faces in the crowd.

Click the following link to view my presentation slides- Teaching the social media generation – ICTEV 2013 Presentation

How do you use Twitter with your students? 

Evernote Reminders are HERE

I am just a little excited to share that today Evernote released a new feature for Mac, iOS and Web….REMINDERS! I have always been a user of the reminders available on my iPhone so when I heard that Evernote was releasing Reminders built into the app I was super excited! Evernote already organises my life, home and work, everything I need to keep track of is in Evernote so Reminders will greatly enhance my organisation!

 

Evernote Reminders allow:

  • In-app and email Alarms
  • Quick note based to-do lists
  • Pinning notes to the top of your note list
From just playing around with Reminders today, I can tell it is quite easy and seamless to use. Just tap on the little alarm clock icon in your note (top corner in Mac and Web, bottom of note in iOS), set a date and time and you are done!
The Evernote Reminders are Notebook based (I am a stickler for having my Notebooks and Notebook Stacks organised ‘just right’ so I love this feature). In the screen shot below you can see how my Reminders are categorised in each of the Notebooks they are set for.

 

Why I think Evernote reminders will work for me-

In the last couple of weeks, I have gone from being in the classroom teaching three days a week to only two. On my three days outside of the classroom I am a Teaching and Learning coach within my school- spending much of my time visiting, planning with and mentoring other teachers and classes of different levels all over my school. Needless to say my job just became a little more hectic. Having to remember which classroom I am due in and at what time, as well as the planning for and teaching of my own class on the other two days- Evernote Reminders could not have come at a better time! For all of these different things I do, classroom visits, planning sessions and my own student assessment, I keep notes in Evernote. Now I can add reminders to my notes! I have just created Reminders for all I want to complete next week and feel so much more organised already!

Check out my Reminders associated with my notes-

So excited (I know I said that already!) to see my productivity continue to improve with Evernote Reminders!

How will Evernote Reminders work for you?