Just Say NO to Paper!

I write a lot about iPads. I think my fascination with iPads in education comes from the transformative power they have to eliminate pencils, paper, binders, spiral notebooks from the classroom environment. I dislike paper. I just don’t find it easy to organize and I think many students have the same problem. I remember many of my third graders would have desks stuffed full of papers that were months old or incomplete. It’s just not very practical for some students. I was one of those students and still am, really.The iPads that we are piloting at a high school and middle school in my district have allowed the students and teachers in this pilot to work in a virtually paperless environment and it’s all because of a few of my favorite apps, which I’ll discuss in this post.One of the apps that allows students and teacher to “go paperless” is Evernote. It is a GREAT, free app! Today I had the opportunity to teach a class about Evernote at the high school where we are conducting one of our 1:1 iPad pilots…BUT.. I didn’t drive there. Since the class started at 7:15, 45 minutes before my work day begins, I decided to teach the class virtually! Yesterday I asked the teacher to test a new process with me. I set up my laptop and displayed a live shot of my iPad screen in Chrome using a nifty little app called Display Recorder. I “Skyped” the teacher (She used Skype on her iPad) and shared my screen with her. She confirmed that she was able to see a live, moving shot of my iPad. Perfect!

This morning I “Skyped” the high school class where the teacher had connected her iPad to her projector so that her entire class could see the live shot of my iPad screen. I led them through the process of signing up with an Evernote account using their Gaggle e-mail addresses and then walked students through the basic features of the app. It was a true success and the principal was even in the classroom to observe. He filmed the experience on his iPad and was very pleased with what he observed, according to the teacher.

The students are now in the process of creating an English portfolio that they will share with their teacher. The premium version of Evernote allows the teacher to EDIT student notebooks for revision purposes, so we may test this out in the future as well.

Our students are now using a combination of Notability (to annotate graphic organizers, handouts, etc.), Gaggle and Evernote to transition from paper, pencils and spiral notebooks to full-on digital. The awesome thing for our ESL students is that Evernote and Notability allows students to capture images and even audio notes, which are helpful supports in learning the language.

The best feature of Evernote, in my opinion, is that users are given a free “Evernote Upload” e-mail address that is linked directly to the Evernote account. So my next task is to teach students to e-mail work in Notability to their Evernote upload e-mail addresses so that notes are automatically pushed into Evernote notebooks. Sending an email to that address will
create a new note in Evernote using the email subject as the note title, the email body as the note body and the source email address as the note author. This is just brilliant!

We do not allow our students to bring their iPads home due to safety and security issues, but we are encouraging those with computers at home to access their work in iCloud and Evernote. Thus, NO paper to bring home!

Our students are having fun saving paper, are YOU? And HOW?

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