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8/16/14

One Digital Step at a Time

It has taken me nearly two years to figure out how to use Evernote effectively. This is not Evernote's fault, nor is it anyone who blogs about how they use Evernote. This is my fault for moving too quickly. I have that problem. I don't think I'd get high marks if Ability to Resist Impulsive Reactions was on my iObservation.

Instead of thinking about how I would use Evernote and taking it one step at a time, I tried to implement someone else's ideas. This rarely works for me, but that doesn't stop me apparently. Luckily I am a very persistent person who uses failures as ways to identify success instead of as reasons for quitting.

Patience: 0
Persistence: 1

As I come into my second year of implementing my no paper trail plan, I am looking for new ways to streamline my systems. Last year I ended the year with exactly the amount of paper I was required to have by my district: Calkin's On Demand (post for Narrative, Opinion, and Informational), End of Unit assessments for EveryDay Math, sight word list, DIBELS booklet, and Word Their Way end of year assessment, cover sheet for each student recording the data within the portfolio. That's it! No reams of paper with people contact information, rules about the playground, notes from parents, love notes from students, or curriculum guides. If I wanted to keep it, I put it in Evernote and gave back the sheet handed out or recycled them. The great thing is that I never lost anything. This was my focus last year. I knew there was more I could do, but I wanted to do something I could really accomplish.

This year I am armed with a lot more knowledge.

  1. It's possible to be completely digital for an entire year.
  2. Evernote is very intuitive and useful for my needs.
  3. Classroom blogging changed the face of my classroom and is now a requirement for me.
I had a Classroom Blog last year that I loved. Moran Minds I knew the platform. I understood how to make it all work and I had found an app that let the kids blog along with me. Things were moving along swimmingly, but not seamlessly.

This summer I read a book called Playing with Media by Wesley Fryer (follow him on Twitter @wfryer) that really got me thinking about how I use digital media with my kids. He investigates the idea that the fewer the clicks to get to where you want to go digitally, the better. BOOM! WOW! I love this idea.
In the interest of using this concept, I want to create a blog where I can post with fewer clicks and I want to use Evernote as my main digital notebook this year. I also use Dropbox and Google, but only where it helps me makes something easier and with 'fewer clicks' to get the job accomplished. So I began to investigate ideas and found that other people wanted the same thing! Voila!
This thing of beauty is called Postach.io. It is a blogging platform that uses Evernote to post. So all I have to do is open up a note during the day, take pics and write text about the day, and then tag it published to have it auto load to my new classroom blog. Yippee!! I set a blog up in three minutes and then I practiced posting things I usually post like images, .pdfs, videos, and audio files. It took me a bit to figure out how postach.io likes to receive info from Evernote, but now I get it and know that I might need to play with it occasionally before I become a pro. I can't wait to be more seamless this year.

You know I'll post more as I use it.

Next up...digital portfolios using Evernote. I'll be needing to teach my kids how Evernote works, but that will be helpful as they choose to blog their work as well. I just purchased Matt Renwick's new book (follow him @ReadByExample). I'll post about that after I read it.
Buy this book and read it, then we can be reading and implementing buddies! Wouldn't that be fun?

5 comments:

  1. You're about ten steps ahead of me, but keep sharing!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

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  2. Love using fewer clicks. Makes so much sense. Can't wait to learn from you.

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  3. Kimberley,
    Have you thought about posting on the Sunday digilit roundup at Margaret Simon's blog: http://reflectionsontheteche.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/technology-trouble/. It's a weekly meme though many post on Sundays as it fits.

    Thanks for the reminder to make it work for me. I'm a bit uneasy as I move into a new position about how I will track student progress, record steps, and share information with teachers. I've been pondering Google (because our school is using it so much) or Evernote and have decided it is Google AND Evernote. It still will be a journey to figure it out. I'm thinking "few clicks" is something to consider.

    Cathy

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  4. Some interesting resources to check out. Thanks.

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  5. I'm using Evernote more and more, & hope to set up files for each teacher I work with. I'm also exploring Google-sharing with my writing group instead of bringing hard copies of our work to our meetings. I'll be watching for more from you Kimberley. Thanks for your thoughts here!

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