Evernote – my favourite teaching app
When @rlj1981 nominated me for @MartynReah’s wonderfully positive Sharing is Caring blog series, I considered sharing how I use Evernote, but then the little voice said that if I’m using it, every teacher in the world must be using it. Then the other little voice argued that since it has enabled me to try new teaching techniques and reflect on them, it was probably worth mentioning anyway. Both little voices would really like to know if anyone finds what follows useful!
Evernote has been my favourite app for a few years now, and one of the reasons it’s my favourite is that it has enabled me to create a searchable library of teaching ideas. Pre-Evernote I had a couple of lever arch files bursting with ideas, activities and the wisdom of other teachers.. and I didn’t ever look at any of it. Too much paper, not enough order. What I wanted was a way of organising all of those wonderful ideas in a way that would help me when I am planning lessons or when looking for inspiration. Evernote seemed to be the logical solution because I was already using it to organise other areas of my life.
With all of those ideas, activities, articles and hand written notes (Evernote lets you search your hand written notes) transferred from the lever arch files to Evernote I can organise, categorise and tag everything into perfect order, and find things again later (so they become useful when I’m planning a lesson, and not just an exercise in how to hoard paper in a lever arch file).
I have a notebook stack called Teaching Ideas, and inside that stack are a collection of notebooks including: ice breakers, starters, middles, ends assessment and articles, and in each notebook are my notes, tagged so that I can search for a particular theme in the future. Files can be attached to notes, so I can add images, sound files and documents, and notes can be shared and printed.
Evernote syncs across all devices, and there is a program for PC and Mac, so I can get my notes from anywhere. Premium users can share notebooks, so it’s great for collaboration too. It’s also quite beautiful to use.
Whether I’m reading a book, attending a training session or just have an idea for a lesson while I’m driving, I can pop it straight into Evernote (I stop the car first), and it’s there for when I’m ready to use it.
There is a great getting started guide to using Evernote here.