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.
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.
- It's possible to be completely digital for an entire year.
- Evernote is very intuitive and useful for my needs.
- Classroom blogging changed the face of my classroom and is now a requirement for me.
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.
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.