Evernote is easily my favorite program for a variety of reasons. Their motto is simply “Remember Everything” which is what they have accomplished through simplicity of their program and developing programs for the various mobile platforms as well. The best way that I can describe Evernote is a giant notebook that fits in my pocket, is searchable and more. In my life I use Evernote for everything from work, documentation, ideas and school.
The last item in that list though is where I see Evernote excel and have a potential to be a paradigm shift in education. I am currently enrolled at Bowling Green State University in a Master’s program focusing on Classroom Technology that empowers teachers in learning how to use technology to enhance their student’s learning. My final project/thesis is geared around creating a digital notebook/E-Portfolio system that achieves three items. The first item I desire to achieve would be the ability for a student to use Evernote in a way that they can refer back to it not only in their current class or grade but further down the road. The second item I desire to achieve would be a system that allows students, parents, teachers and others to communicate on a piece of work created by the student and giving feedback. The third item I desire to achieve would be for the student to be able to create a showcase of learning/work as they progress.
Evernote did the first and third item on my wish list with perfection. It was the second item that I saw Evernote struggling with but in all fairness it wasn’t developed as a product to achieve my second goal. Then along came Postach.io.
Postach.io took my second goal and ran with it. In using Evernote as the platform for creation and the web as the platform for publication Postach.io has created the best of both worlds. Evernote is simplistic in learning how to use it and Postach.io carries that simplicity on in how posts are published. Enabling Disqus for commenting allows for the collaboration between the parties I mentioned previously.
At this time, I am working to develop a process on how Postach.io and Evernote could be used in a classroom setting. In my own learning I am using Postach.io in conjunction with other Web 2.0 tools to create a dynamic rich website. The tools in use are IFTTT, Feedly, Evernote, Twitter and Postach.io.
In Feedly I have entered multiple feeds from various websites related to Education Technology and other items which I can read and tag. I have created a tag within Feedly that is checked by IFTTT every 15 minutes. If a new article appears in the tag, IFTTT leaps into action and this is where the magic happens. IFTTT creates a new note within Evernote and tags it with the tag published which then sends the note to Postach.io. The same thing occurs if I favorite a tweet through Twitter. These five tools afford me the opportunity to not only share cool things I find with the world but creates a digital trail that I can follow later if I am looking for a resource.
Here is how the workflow happens with Feedly:
- News stories are brought into Feedly
- I read the stories and tag them.
- IFTTT checks the tag every 15 minutes
3a. If no new article the process stops there.
3b. If there is a new article then proceed to step 4.
- IFTTT creates a note within Evernote placing it into a pre-determined notebook with the tag published.
- Site is updated.
Here is how the workflow happens with Twitter:
- I read my Twitter feed
- If I feel the tweet is valuable then I click favorite
- IFTTT checks the favorites every 15 minutes
- If a new favorite appears, IFTTT creates a note within Evernote placing it into a pre-determined notebook with the tag published.
- Site is updated.
How does this play out in a school setting and create a resource for a student to have from Kindergarten and beyond? Is this something that is going to look different at different grade levels? Do you start out in Kindergarten with the teacher having a notebook for each student and then exporting that notebook out further down the road? Is this something that could be done through Evernote Business? I am still working on those ideas but I wanted to take a minute to show you how leveraging various tools such as Evernote, IFTTT, Feedly, Twitter and Postach.io can create not only a website but a way to track things later down the road.