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k-12 Evernote Portfolios High School Math

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Greetings All,


I am a relative newbie to Evernote and soaking it in believing this will completely transform my teaching.  I have researched and read everything I can find on this topic and will continue to do so.


I want to incorporate this to use with Student portfolios.  I do have a premium account (ty S5), but I would be an early adapter at my school and will not be able to get school licenses.  I teacher 180 students, so there is no way I could create a folder for each one.  What I thought about doing is the following and I would love feedback,  suggestion, and comments:


-  Create a notebook for all scanned documents for students (probably different notebook for each period)

-  I will assign each students a certain code and on the top of each paper I will make them write the code (IE #501)

- I am more than willing to invest in a quality scanner such as the Evernote Snapscan

-  When I have a problem student or upcoming conference, I can do a search for their number and the OCR should pick up all documents that have that number 501.

-  I can create a folder for that student with their number and then share it with the parents as necessary.


So my questions included:


1)  For this to work would i have to scan each document separately anyway?

2)  Would the ocr and search functions be sophisticated enough to pick up the codes?

3)  Any other suggestions, concerns, etc?


Thanks so much in advance for any and all advice.

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1) I am not sure what you mean by this. Ideally each scanned document would be its own note...

2) YES, if the writing is clear enough and the scan is of a sufficiently high quality (most modern scanners will provide more than adequate quality)

3) Suggestions:

FIRST: I am assuming that you will be using Evernote ONLY for yourself, as if it were your filing cabinet at your desk. That is to say, you will not be sharing notebooks or other content with students using Evernote, just like your students aren't rifling through your filing cabinet next to your desk. This makes things SIMPLE.



If this assumption is correct, then indeed there would be no need to create one notebook per student. I can see a number of schemes. 


a) One notebook per course/period/whatever lingo you use at your institutions.

b ) One STACK per course/period/whatever containing several notebooks related e.g., one for assignments, one for letters to/from parents, one for routinely used forms, one for course documents such as syllabi and assignment criteria. 


so (b ) might look like:

    Stack                  Notebook


Social Studies

                       >Course Material



Eng. Literature

                      >Course Material




So, all your course material that you might regularly distribute every year can go in the "course materials" notebook. 

all of the assignments submitted go to "Assignments"

All communication about students to or from teachers or other staff goes in "letters"



You can use tags to your advantage. One way I could see tags being useful is as a replacement for the student code you propose. You could have 1 TAG per student, and apply that tag to any content that pertains to that student. When you have a meeting or a problem student, simply search for or select that tag and all of their content will appear. This will eliminate any possible OCR issues. It will also facilitate the deletion of student content when a student is no longer in your class. Simply select all the notes with that student's tag and delete them, then delete the tag. 


There are 101 other ways you could use tags depending on your needs. 

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Hey Scott,


Thanks for the quick and great feedback.  My first question about scanning, what I was wondering is that say I have 30 papers.  If I scan them all at the same time, would it simply count it as one major pdf or each one as a separate note, or can I indicate that setting?  I would hate to hand feed at the end 160+ documents one at a time.


As for the filing, I liked the suggestions you had.  The thing is though, I want to be able to share notebooks on some students.  For instance, if I had a problem student or engaged parent, I would want to create a notebook that I could share with them.  My vision is at a parent-teacher conference to be able to show work on my tablet to parents and give them on option to see it most any time?


I think your idea of tagging is a great one.  Again, realistically I am not sure I can keep up with having to take 160-180 documents every time.  That seems time consuming.

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Most scanners offer a setting for whether to treat each page as its own document, or as one continuous document, so this SHOULD be user controllable, but will vary by model. 


With respect to sharing, it is important to be specific about what you mean. 

1) In Evernote, you can create a notebook, and you can share that notebook with other Evernote users. The notebook appears in their Evernote database, as well as yours. They can be allowed to edit the contents, or not. 

2) You can simply turn your tablet or computer screen towards someone who is in close proximity and essentially "share" the content with them. 


(1) requires that the other person have an Evernote account. You must invite that person using their email address. If you had a problem student, you could create a notebook for that particular student specifically for the purposes of sharing that notebook with a parent or staff member. Since you use tags to keep track of all of your students, you should simply search for notes tagged with that student's name, and move them all to that newly created notebook which you could then share with whomever you see fit (assuming they have an Evernote account). This will give access only to those people you share it with, and only to that data. Data on other students in other notebooks is still private to you. 


You can have up to 250 notebooks with a premium account. If you create student-specific notebooks only in instances where there is a need to share contents with another Evernote user (be it a parent of a colleague), you should be able to stay well within those limits (you have 180 students maximum, so if each one was a troublemaker, you would still have 70 notebooks left over to do the rest of your organizing). When your business with a given student is complete (the problem resolved, information conveyed, the student transferred, etc.), you'd be wise to return the notes to the regular pool with the rest of the students and remove the shared notebook to keep your notebook count under control. 



(2) Is self-evident. The only concern here would be that you may want to take care that no other private information belonging to other students is visible on the screen when you show the device to parents/staff etc. For example, the note list on the left hand side might show the first few lines of each note in the list. You'll want to ensure nothing is inadvertently exposed by those means. 

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You'll also want to make sure you are complying with any privacy related laws in your country/state/etc, and any privacy regulations at your workplace. You are storing personal information on third-party servers by using Evernote.


For example, in many jurisdictions it is illegal to store medical information (or psychiatric information) on a cloud service such as Evernote (or dropbox, or Box, or Google). You'd be wise to double-check the laws and policies in your area and see if there is anything you need to consider in this regard, especially since you are dealing with minors. 

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I think Scott has hit on an important point in regards to privacy and student records. Please check into that. However, I'm not sure that most places have as high a bar in terms of student test results as medical records so you may be fine. 


I would say that just using their names is fine. If you can search on a special code, why not search on their name? While I suppose it is possible you might a few students with duplicate names, "John Smith," I think you could sort most of those out. 


And while it may sound like more work, I'd consider scanning and tagging their items with name tags instead of going the student route. 


My reservation on giving them each a code is that they are teenagers. Do you really expect them to keep up with a code for the whole year and not garble it? I'm sure some will do fine with that, but I expect that the overlap between children needing a special conference and those who have problems using your code might be high. 


Let me suggest some options on the sharing with parents part. You may consider just printing out the tests and giving the parents their own copy. Or you could email them to them from Evernote. Another thing to consider is just merging multiple tests or papers from one student into one note and just sharing that document with them. 

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To Scott and Candice:


Thank you so much.  I do not think you will ever know how much this is helping me with thousands of ideas.


First, let me just quickly address the code part.  This is part of a grander scheme that is running around educational circles where you have students number their work so it is in alphabetical order.  The code will only be three digits.  The first digit will be their peirod number.  The second number is the number I assign them based on alphabetical order.  So someone may be #305.  That means they are #5 in my class.  They use this number all year for all technology we do (IE graphing calculators, promethean clickers, etc).


That being said, the more I look at your suggestions, the more I am feeling you are both right that tagging as I scan them is going to really optimize what I want to do.  Taking a little time up front can really save in the future.  I need to research scanners, maybe the evernote one will let me tag as I scan.  Then I am thinking Candice you are right that for just a conference I could simply merge into one note.  I had not considered that at all, but that would be so much easier to share.  Then, I could reserve a notebook for any student that the parent once to have an ongoing review of.  That would be more rare. 


Again, thank you both for helping me.  I know it will be a learning process as I go through this, but I think the benefits will far outweight the costs.


Thanks again!!! I may come up with more questions/problems!

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