Forever Evernote

They say there is an app for everything. Well, Evernote is the one that literally gives you the memory of an elephant.

Evernote is a note-taking app downloadable on any electronic device. It allows one “to copy, sort and annotate information, either from the Internet or direct input” (+). I got to experience it on my MacBook, and quickly realised: “I should have started using this a while ago.”

Since I write all sorts of lists in all possible formats, scattered everywhere on my hard disc (and among real paper documents), trying to regroup them on Evernote from now on will probably change my personal life. The good thing is that at any time while working on my laptop, I simply need to click the elephant head in the upper toolbar to start taking written and/or oral notes (yes!), taking complete or partial screenshots and send all of this directly to my Evernote. Apart from that, I naturally investigated some of the pedagogical uses of this app, and here are my findings.

In this article is promoted the use of Evernote as a student portfolio. In a hypothetical ESL classroom in which every student would own a tablet, this app would allow them to basically gather evidence of their learning process. This, of course, may be shared with teachers, classmates and family via URL, e-mail, social networks, and Evernote itself. Moreover, with a premium account, one is able to edit and comment the shared documents. Notable uses suggested by this article are:

– The ability to evaluate speaking abilities by asking the students to record oral-notes on classroom experiences, team discussions, reading assignments and so on.

– Using Skitch to photograph surrounding people or objects in order to annotate these images (label body parts, objects in a room, world maps, etc.), and sync them with Evernote afterward.

– To create checklists from brainstorming on-the-go to setting language learning goals for the semester/year. (+)

– Other evidence of learning that can be added to an Evernote portfolio: Prezi slideshows, students’ video footage uploaded to YouTube, and various photos of “poster-tasks” or “field-trips”. (+)

– For teachers exclusively, Evernote may be used to record spoken examinations, for absent students to take the test anyway, without the assistance of the teacher. (+)

Again, Evernote is one of the many tools that improve one’s organisation and reduces (eliminates) paper consumption. Oh! and when looking for a specific note/doc/video/checklist, the search bar resolves it instantly (time saving!).

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