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k-12 Evernote vs Website-posted Resources

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I am deciding how and if to use Evernote in my classroom. I have kept some pretty extensive web pages for each unit of my science classes with web links, unit tasks, etc. What do you see as the advantages of putting resources into Evernote, rather than a web page? Or if you used both, how would your website change? How do you see Evernote as changing classoom dynamics as a result?

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After trying Evernote, webpage, dropbox, and GoogleDocs for posting class resources I have basically settled onto GoogleDocs and ruled out Evernote.

1. Evernote web did not work with our school's Internet Explorer. Slow and frequent crashes. Evernote support was no help ("Try a different browser.")

2. When students visit the url of my shared notebook they are presented with lots of Evernote promotion ("Join this Notebook" etc.) rather than a simple list of notes. The whole notebook/note terminology rather than folder/file or document is unique to Evernote and confusing to anyone not experienced with Evernote. Students and parents got bogged down in an unfamiliar interface.

3. When printing a note such as a class assignment it seems impossible to not print the note's heading too. Adds clutter and takes up valuable page space.

I use Evernote for personal stuff and tried really hard to incorporate it into my classes, but it seems that there are easier and better ways available.

Tim Watters

High School Science Teacher

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Thanks, Tim. We do have Google Chrome, so that issue should be ok, but I know some schools where the techs will only run IE, so I can see where that can be a problem. I would like some others to chime in with their experiences!

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If you have the notes sorted by title and put note links into an index note (sorted to the top if you use and exclamation mark in the title), then I don't think the Evernote notebooks are terribly confusing for people. Here is an example:

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s74/sh/4307a6ba-79f7-48cd-afed-624105c90acf/21b31554a5507dad40df37595502eccf

If you just want to share files (not links, notes, etc.), then you'll be better off using Dropbox. If you want to collaborate, have things searchable, and grow an external brain, then Evernote is the best tool for the task. I think it depends on which purpose you have in mind.

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I think Evernote gains in flexibility in terms of adding files which on a true web page can be more involved. Same thing for the ability to let your students edit documents. I think GM's use of an index note is also a strong point.

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I was hoping EN would be the "be all and end all" for my courses this fall, but have decided it won't work.

So, I will be using it in tandem with some other apps - Schoology will be the course content, grades, T/Q (automatically and immediately marked), discussion, collaboration, etc.

I like Grumpy's "grow an external brain" picture. External brain, portable filing cabinet . . . good pictures for the kids on Day 1 when I intro them to EN.

:-)

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Schoology and other educational resources are quite nice, and offer applications tailor-made for educators. I seems like it is a user-friendly version of the "Blackboard" app used at universities, which I use for my classes. With the Evernote email address, and easy web clipping, I think you'll easily be able to move things into Evernote. Evernote tends to augment my workflow, rather than completely replace everything. I still use word processors, for example. I just don't use them anymore to keep lists of contacts, vocab lists, or journal entries.

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I am also looking for one place for everything, but I've settled on a GDrive + Evernote option. GDrive is where the "formal" work goes -- my handouts and my students' essays. A link to a collection of GDocs can easily make its way on a website, too, of course, but if students use GDocs a lot, then they can just access the handouts directly from there.

But for informal work -- and stuff collected on the fly (like images, informal notes, audio notes, video, and more) -- Evernote is definitely better. That said, I don't particularly like shared notebooks (without Premium) on Evernote. In addition to not being able to collaborate/modify, notes can be in only one notebook at a time.

This is what I wish: I wish there were an easy way in Evernote to share a collection of tagged notes.

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With school starting in 3 weeks here, I am getting a little nervous about launching Evernote, but I really want it to work. I have basically decided to keep my web page with lesson plans and unit requirements, but want to use Evernote for individual student science notebooks. I plan to get a premium account for myself, even if I have to pay for it, but there is no way I can do that for students, as I see over 100 kids in our 7-period day. But, I am still not clear on how to do shared notebooks so I can comment on student work with only my premium account. Can someone walk me through this? I get how to do a basic share of a notebook...just not how to set this up to grade kids's stuff. It needs to be pretty simple for both of us to work. I am used to Google Docs and love that, but many of my kids will be using their own devices and it just doesn't work when it is still read only on iOS devices. Thanks!

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I have the same question:

I am still not clear on how to do shared notebooks so I can comment on student work with only my premium account. Can someone walk me through this? I get how to do a basic share of a notebook...just not how to set this up to grade kids's stuff.

I'm considering using Evernote for the same purposes as the OP (also considering Google Docs/Edmodo), but I'm unclear on how to grade/comment on student work if only I have a Premium account.

Thanks.

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I think a mix of shared notebooks and emailing might be interesting. For example, create a notebook and invite everyone just to view it. You could share assignments, materials, etc. this way. Students could email you their completed assignments directly into a notebook in your account. You comment on these and share the notes with that student when you are done. In other words, a shared notebook for everyone and shared notes for individuals.

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I think a shared notebook for materials is fine, but if I have all of my kids emailing me notes it will be a disaster...I am having them use their Evernote notebook as a science notebook, so I need to somehow go in and view its content and score it. There may be multiple entries I will grade at a time. Other ideas?

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The emails would be sent directly to your notebook that you set up to receive their work using your Evernote email address, so I don't see how it would be a disaster. Notebook A = shared notebook. Notebook B = shared notes. The notes would just appear there in B ready for you to grade. You wouldn't have to do any work.

Students could share notebooks containing their assignments with you, but because they don't have premium, they couldn't give you modification privileges, so all you could do is view.

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Thanks and sorry Grumpy Monkey...I missed the part about emailing to a notebook. But if I wanted to keep the kids' stuff compiled in a notebook (rather than sending separate notes), I am thinking I would need to set up a separate notebook on my end for each kid and then share that with them with modification rights. Can any one think of a simpler way to do this? It would be a lot easier if I could get our kids premium accounts, but...

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No worries. The problem with shared notebooks in a classroom situation is that everyone can view everything. The system is set up for collaboration. If they had shared notebooks... Make sure to check out the group discounts (up to 50% for schools) and talk to the Evernote staff directly about this. They might have a different solution.

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What I was thinking is I would have to set up a different notebook for each student, but if anyone has a better idea, please let me know!

I did contact the Evernote folks and they said there is no discount beyond the "half off for schools". I was hoping maybe there was some grant funding or such. Half off is generous, but with the number of students I see a day, it would still eat expensive. I teach in a small, rural district and I don't feel I could justify the cost.

Thanks for your input, folks! :)

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