Evernote is a free web tool for note taking, for clipping websites, capturing photos or audio notes. It can be downloaded and installed to the computer, be used online or as an app for mobile devices. Notes get synchronized across devices so they are accessible everywhere. Notebooks and stacks of notebooks help to organize notes. Tags and a search function for keywords and tags support easy retrieval of notes. Notes can be shared on Social media and by email and notebooks can be shared with others for collaboration.
With Evernote web clipper added to the browser website content can be clipped and stored as a note in Evernote.
Together with Skitch for making annotations and sketches Evernote is perfect for saving and sharing ideas.
I use Evernote for collecting ideas about a topic I am working on. On Sundays I take notes of sermons using the Evernote app on my phone and revise their content by adding links to audio recordings and bible verses. I have also started to write my journal in Evernote.
How do you use Evernote?
Since last fall I am using Scratch 1.4 in my grade 8/9 ICT class. Scratch is an easy-to-use programming environment developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab that can be downloaded for free. It helps students to understand the basic concepts of programming by using Lego-like blocks that can be snapped together.
Students create stories, animations, games and much more. They can share their work online on the Scratch website and become part of a collaborative online community. This aspect offers a great opportunity to incorporate aspects of digital citizenship into the curriculum. Check out my ScratchIT class website.
There are several Web 2.0 tools available for creating websites the easy way. For several years I have been using Google Sites to create my class website and some of my colleagues at my school have followed my example. Google Sites is really easy to use as this Beginner’s Guide shows, and there are several templates for class websites available.
Last fall a colleague and I had the opportunity to teach a workshop on how to create a class website for the teachers of my school. Here are my workshop materials.
Dropbox is a free web 2.0 tool I have just started to use for collaboration with a team and for backing up important materials and pictures online. It also helps to synchronize files between several devices.
I downloaded the Dropbox application to my computer and now I am using a Dropbox folder on my device just as any other folder, except that changes in this folder are reflected online.
For collaboration I shared an online folder with my team and anyone who joined the shared folder now can see it inside their Dropbox and will get all files kept up to date automatically.
Dropbox also allows to share links to folders and to individual files on websites. So any updates in the Dropbox folder take effect everywhere. While writing this I just realize the great potential this feature has: No more additional uploading of files to my class website when I make changes. I have to make use of this in the coming school year.
There a many differnent tools available to do screen recordings. Here are two that I recently used.
Screenr is a free and easy to use Web 2.0 tool. I used it to create short instructional screen recordings for my class that I embedded on my class website. Here are some examples stored in my account online.
Another easy to use tool for screen shots and screen recordings is Jing. The software is free to download and to install on your computer. It lets you create screen shots in png format and record videos in swf format. Picture or video files can be saved on your computer or stored and shared in the cloud on Screencast.com.
Do you have any suggestions for creating screen casts?
I usually start my site using a blank template and add one of the themes for a nice touch. For an easy beginning there are also some pre-built templates available. Each newly created site is publicly available on the web unless you choose to make it private.
There are different page types to choose from for creating new pages. I use the webpage type for my home page, the announcement type for what is happening in the most recent class, a file cabinet for all the handouts and a list type for a list of links to more ICT content on the web.
Pages can be edited in an easy to use text editor without any knowledge of HTML and after pressing the “Save” button a page goes public. Switching to HTML view is only necessary to embed code from other services.
Currently my ICT students are building web sites with Google sites. Using Screenr I produced some short instructional videos for them and embedded those on a Google Sites How To page in my class website. Have a look!
Please share your experiences with Google sites or any other website builder here!
Have you ever seen this icon on a blog and wondered what it is useful for? It is the RSS Icon. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Clicking this button in my favorite blogs helps me to keep up with their latest updates. Having subscribed to their news feeds, their posts get collected either in my feed reader account online or in my Internet Explorer news feed. Common Craft explains RSS in a simple way.
I use a free Google Reader account to aggregate news from blogs I am following.
Google Reader allows me not only to subscribe to blogs but also to collect tweet streams of people or lists from Twitter or even twitter searches. This helps me not to miss any interesting tweets.
Subscriptions can be organized within folders and tags can be added to each individual news so they become easy to find. I can share interesting news with a comment by email or on social media sites like G+, Facebook or Twitter.
What is your favorite news reader? Share your experiences!