New iPad....?!?!

I know lots of teachers got iPads for Christmas! Yay! Thank you Santa! I wanted to share one way I use my iPad in my classroom. I know lots of teachers aren’t sure if they want to use their devices for personal use only, or at school too. I say this about a lot of things, and I’ve found that the line between personal life and school life is very very blurry most of the time (good thing I love my job because this would not be good otherwise!). This is especially clear to me while I am at home, knee deep in paperwork and grading and planning and report cards and the hubby (whose work does not allow him to take anything home- I mean, if he does, they PAY him!!!) is sitting back relaxing watching basketball…

Back on track….I do have to say though, my iPad is kind of like my personal assistant at school. It has made my life MUCH easier in the classroom. And here’s one way it’s done that:

Evernote is an app that can be accessed from any computer with internet access. Hey, you could even use your iPhone if you don’t have an iPad. (I use my iPhone all day long in my classroom too- another post on that later!)  

Evernote is pretty much a virtual notebook to put (if you’re anything like me) all of your post-its, sticky notes, crumbled up pieces of paper, and napkins with notes about the kiddos in one spot. Yes, I said one spot. Where you can actually find them the next day! Imagine that….!

Once Evernote is downloaded, you can create a “notebook” for each of your students. In each kiddo’s notebook, you can put anecdotal notes, observations, and even formal assessments. Oh but it doesn’t end there! You can also take video of the students reading, reading their writing, and at work and put that in their notebook too. Annndddd, you can take pictures of student work and place it in their notebook.

When parent-teacher conferences and report card time comes around, there will be NO frantically running around your classroom (if you’re anything like me), digging through piles, or backaches from filing millions and millions of papers. That’s because it’s all right there in Evernote! This is also an amazing tool because you can actually show the parents the videos, pictures, and notes. My parent-teacher conferences were amazing this year because the parents got to listen to their kids reading, and actually see their students at work in our classroom. The parents were more engaged and seemed to really love seeing their kiddo’s learning in action. It
wasn’t just me rambling on and on and on. And on.   

If your class is lucky enough to have any personal devices for your kiddos to use in your classroom, you can even create an Evernote account for your class. I did this the same way I created my teacher account (you will just need another email address). Each student has a notebook, so they open up Evernote and then open their personal notebook. The kids are able to type their writing there, take pictures of work they are proud of, and record themselves reading. And since I have complete access to the account, I can check in and see what the kiddos are working on, and even give them feedback in their notebook! Wonderful!

And the beauty of this is that it doesn’t matter which device the kiddo uses, their work will be there! Genius!!!

Click here to read another great blog post about using Evernote in the classroom from:

Hope this gives you some ideas! One more day of 2011! Enjoy it!!!

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