Quick overview: Evernote is a cloud based app which effortlessly syncs notes between your Mac, PC, tablet or smartphone. It also does photos and audio too. Free!
Why this article? The other weekend, I came across an web article that asked readers what’s their absolute “can’t live without” app on their tablet or smartphone. I immediately thought of Evernote! For the last two years, it’s an app that I use EVERY SINGLE day, both in my personal life and for work. It’s definitely one of my top five favorite apps. It was just then that I realized that I’ve never mentioned anything about Evernote on the blog! (Better late than never.. eh?)
Who should use it? If you own a smartphone or tablet and often take notes with it.
How can I use it as a teacher? Whenever I come across printed documents or other important information, I’ll often use my phone to take a “picture” of the text so that I can read it later. However, if I decide to take the picture in the Evernote app (or type a note) it gets saved to the Evernote “cloud” instead of my phone. This means that I then can then pull up the image or note on my laptop or desktop computer for further reference. I also use Evernote to take written notes during meetings on my iPad or when I’m writing my lesson plan on my laptop. Using Evernote, I know that I can always pull up any of this information on any of my other other devices.
How can students use it in the classroom? Do you allow your students to take a picture of your notes on the blackboard? Using Evernote, they can snap a photo of the blackboard on their smartphone and it will appear on their computer or tablet at home to study from later on. If they prefer to use Evernote to take written notes in class (or a laptop or phone) they can use tags and keywords to search through any of their notes at a later date. Language students can even use Evernote to record small audio snippets, like asking the teacher to pronounce a difficult word and then play back the recording at home. This all being said, students need to respect your guidelines and rules when it comes to using their own mobile devices in your classroom. Perhaps having a designated time to take note snapshots (i.e. – at the end of each slide or before you erase the board) is a good model to follow.
How is this different than Apple’s iCloud? This is not a service from Apple. Evernote works on any device and uses it’s own “cloud” system. It’s designed primarily to sync your notes.
If it safe? Personally, I consider Evernote to be very safe, but like any other service they have had security breaches in the past. Like your e-mail, be cautious about what you put in there.
Why not just use Word or the notes app on my phone? When you use Evernote, you don’t have to worry about where you save your information. No more forgetting about leaving your laptop at work or your phone in your bag with all your notes or photos on it. Using Evernote, ALL your notes travel with you wherever you go, sort of like how we all use webmail nowadays (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc..) to get our e-mail wherever we happen to be.
How much does it cost? A basic account is free and is MORE than adequate for most uses. However, if you get really serious about Evernote (and want a few more bells and whistles) you can buy a premium subscription.