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


  1. Hello this is Ron from Evernote. Thanks so much for putting this together. It's great to hear you're putting Evernote to such good use at your school. I'd love to chat sometime and hear more.


  2. Its nice to see other schools using Evernote in a similar way as I have been. It would be great to hear more about what you are doing.

    I have been writing about my experiences at

  3. Thanks for sharing this. We've found in our work with Rosendale in London that you get more mileage when three factors you've mentioned above are pulled in tandem:

    1. Students have notebooks within the same account, to enable 'stealing' and browsing of each other's learning.
    2. Students are experiencing some explicit learning about learning scaffolding throughout their classes, so that making reflections becomes, over time, second nature.
    3. Students take responsibility for thinking about the tags they might use to describe their learning - so the teacher is not the one identifying the KLAs, but the kids are.

    Please keep sharing as your journey develops - it'll be great to learn from each other.

  4. Thanks Ron, Rob and Ewan for sharing your ideas and thoughts about Evernote use in schools. I will also send my email contacts information about your websites/blogs and your experiences. Keep sharing, thanks Lisa

  5. Ewan

    I'm curious to hear more about the browsing of others learning. How has that worked and how have students grown from that experience?

  6. It's pretty much related to the fundamentals of peer assessment: you've got to make sharing each other's work as easy as possible, and as WIDE as possible, so that young people can see how a wider variety of their peers have approached something, question them on it, 'steal' some ideas for their own projects etc. It needs to be part of the way the teacher teaches - formative assessment as a habit of all in the room, rather than an occasional sport ;-)

  7. Hi,

    Have set up a system with my Year 1-2s where each student has their own notebook. I then tag by subject areas and 'artefact type' i.e. reflection, assessment, feedback.

    Working OK, a few teething issues (am new using!).
    - My kids seem to drag their notebooks when opening and end up 'stacking' their notebooks.
    - I am 'scared' of notes accidentally been deleted....
    - I find it frustrating that I can only copy/move 1 note at a time. For example, I created a note that I wanted in 23 different students notebooks. Only way I could work out how to add was to individually copy the note to every notebook.

    So, can you lock notes/notebooks?
    Best way to save/backup?
    Select multiple notebooks to add notes too?

    To end on a positive, I have loved using my phone to snap photos and directly save to an individuals notebook! very cool! Love recording audio too!

    1. Hi, I've asked some of our schools to respond to your questions, so hopefully you will get some responses soon to your questions. Thanks for sharing your use and challenges. Perhaps Ron at Evernote will also have some ideas. Try dropping him an email : Regards Lisa


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