Friday, August 31, 2012

Evernote - digital portfolios in our schools

This post highlights the use in our school of Evernote as digital portfolios capturing; learning, observations and anecdotal evidence that can be used for feedback, assessment and sharing of student work among teachers, students and parents.
 Mother Teresa Primary Westmead
 At present each child in 3/4 has their own Evernote account. They have it set up with a  folder for each of the KLAs .  
Using other technology and apps such as Educreations and iPad cameras, video etc, the children record their learning or respond to a teacher set task using their evernote account. The teacher can then access this to see their work.   The children also use the Apple TV to showcase their work to the class and to their parents when they come in to their Learning Studio.
The children are developing their organisational skills with the use of tags.  When we go on excursions we keep a record of the day using the evernote camera and video option, recording sounds we might have heard and writing the text as the day progresses. This is then a stimulating resource to enable us to revisit the day.
From Maria Boyd - Mother Teresa Primary, Westmead.
We began using Evernote at St Joseph’s at the beginning of Term 2. We created an account where all the K-2 staff can log in using the same username and password. Within the account we have three notebooks, one each for Kindergarten, Year One and Year Two.

Every student has their own note within their year notebook. We have arranged these to present alphabetically so it is easy to find each student’s note. We have found Evernote to be a fantastic resource in terms of capturing anecdotal records and assessments of the children’s learning. We are an EMU (Extending Mathematical Understanding) school and frequently photograph activities the children are involved in. We photograph number busting charts and have audio recordings of the students skip counting on and off the decade. In Kindergarten we have photographed structured play activities and recorded audio of the children’s reading and oral language during structured news group.
Using Evernote has streamlined our use of audio and visual evidence of student work. We can open any child’s note and see a visual record of their learning. It’s been great at parent teacher interviews where we can show parents exactly what their children have been doing. Audio recordings of reading, counting, talking etc allow us to measure improvement and gauge where more intervention is needed.

We used Evernote to record the narratives told by the children as part of the SOCs screener. We also photographed the scribed and analysed narrative to each child’s note so we can easily access it at any time.

Realistically, we have only just scratched the surface of the potential for this app. Our hope is for the older children to begin using Evernote themselves for photographing and recording their own and their peers work. As teachers, one of the best aspects of Evernote is that all our photographs and recordings immediately stream to all our devices. We are not limited to using a particular ipad or iphone AND we are not spending precious time searching for and ‘filing’ evidence for individual students – the technology does all the work. 
From Liz Nicholls - St Josephs Primary,  Kingswood

For some additional ideas using Evernote in the classroom see
How to use Evernote to Manage a class
TechChef4U  - Sync-up with Evernote
Evernote and IdeaPaint: Classroom Spotlight, Eisenhower High School - YouTube

Monday, August 20, 2012

Developing iPad learning workflows for best learning outcomes

Rethinking the approach to learning with an iPad was one of the key points that arose from our recent iPad study tour in Queensland.
Many of the schools talked about the development of 'Learning Workflows' where work is created in one app, then built on in another App and so on.
Using the iPad where many Apps are generally single function, requires a different approach to create useful learning outcomes that moves the integration of the iPad in learning from the Subsitution model to the Redefinition model. 

A very useful explanation with some practical examples of how to achieve a learning workflow in your classroom can be found in the following video by ELearning Laura based on work done at the Apple Teacher Institute 2012 in Cheltenham.

Read the full post with more details at:  Elearning Laura - Video iPad lesson workflows

Bounty Boulevard State School, one of the schools we toured, also had a very useful handout towards creating a 'Learning Workflow' available from their iPad portal. This handout provides a range of pathways for teachers to select Apps that can provide learning outcomes from understanding to reflection and then across that to move from less teacher centred workflows to more student centred learning.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

iPads in education study tour - Queensland

A group of educators from Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta recently took part in a study tour of a number of Queensland Schools around Brisbane and the Gold Coast looking at the use of iPads in learning.  We were also joined by educators from Lismore Diocese.

Agenda for the 2 day tour:
  1. Session with Apple
  2. Redlands College
  3. Bounty Boulevard State School
  4. St Hildas School
  5. Kings Christian College
  6. Trinity Lutheran College
Photos, shared thoughts, ideas and information from the tour are summarised in the following slideshare.