By Andrew Coy
In the age of the internet, the concept of taking notes is stretch- ing beyond traditional bounds and
becoming untethered from analog
limitations. Learning in the digital age
is now less about rote memorization
and more about the mastery of skills
needed to access information quickly.
To capture, process, and organize all
of the information one encounters,
however, requires a versatile tool that
is not only compatible across devices
but also capable of staying in sync
and working across platforms.
The creators of Evernote, a program
designed to help you remember things
big and small, understood early on the
scope and sequence of change brought
about by the explosion of the internet. They anticipated the information
overload we would all deal with and
designed a solution that is both powerful and elegant. Here are four main
features of Evernote with direct application to the classroom.
Evernote’s ync feature updates all of your notes, web clips, files, and images on every device you use.
you can clip
online. Find this
and many other
ISTE 2011 at
The first and easiest thing to do
with this application is to take notes.
Evernote is organized using a folder
system with easy-to-use, basic editing
capabilities to change font style, color,
and size, and to create ordered and
unordered lists, to-do check boxes,
and tables. Beyond this, Evernote allows you to record audio directly into
the program. This function is simple
to use and quite powerful.
At one of the ISTE 2011 keynotes,
I saw a teacher using Evernote to
take notes while recording the audio
from the keynote simultaneously. She
then effortlessly synced both of these
from her iPad without any wires or
prompts. She also shared her Ever-
note folder with students in a college
class she taught so that each of them
received the notes and audio without
having to download them manually or
search the website.
If you’re like me, you are inundated
with new websites and often resort
to emailing yourself links. Or you
may use some other method to or-
ganize them, such as Delicious or
your browser’s bookmarks function.
The problem is that, unless you add
a detailed description, tag it well, or
otherwise remember the name of the
bookmark, you might not be able to
find it later. With Evernote, a simple
extension to your web browser will
“clip” the website, instantly saving the
text, images, and layout of the web-
page and make all of it searchable for
quick reference. This works even if
you can remember only a part of what
was on the webpage—an incredibly
powerful function with many uses.
At ISTE 2011, for example, I clipped
more than 100 websites that present-
ers mentioned or showed or that I
found between sessions. Students can
use this function to save websites they
visit while doing a research project
and easily reference them later.