Monday, November 24, 2014
Just because students can save notes, it does not suggest that they can actually find what they wrote or typed. Beyond file names and organizational structures, students can also search digital notes to locate the desired information.
While I was in grad school, the potential to use Finder on my Mac to locate key terms buried in lecture notes saved me hours. Now consider the search possibilities afforded by Drive, Evernote, or OneNote. Students can look for specific words or phrases in typed text as well handwritten notes -- and even photos. By using a tablet or smartphone camera, even paper-based notes can be saved and searched, added to typed lecture notes, and then organized into a digital notebook.
Beyond searching text, the potential also exists to tag content -- to apply keywords to notes that describe the overarching purpose, important details, or even a personal rating of understanding. Students could take pictures of handwritten notes and then tag them by topic, date, unit, or level of comprehension. By tagging notes, the potential exists for students to add another layer of organization, apply an additional layer of understanding, and reflect on what they wrote."
Posted by donnacriswell at 9:08 AM
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
The Second "S"...
To quote Alice Keeler, digital tools save students from "the Paper Yeti who lives in backpacks and gobbles up notes." Whether students work in cloud-based platforms or take pictures of analog notes, technology lets them save their work indefinitely.
I once had a wonderful advisee. Every afternoon, we repeated this routine.
- Find his planner.
- Find his notebooks.
- Make sure that he could find his notes in said notebooks.
- Put the notebooks into his backpack.
When we finally got this child a laptop, everything changed. He typed all of his notes in Google Docs so that he could access them from any device and from anywhere. Suddenly, everything was truly saved."
Posted by donnacriswell at 10:46 AM
Monday, November 10, 2014
Articles have been written recently about the value of handwriting vs. keyboarding and some arguing about the effect on notetaking in particular. (The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard). In question is whether information is synthesized deeply enough when taking notes electronically as opposed to writing by hand. A friend and colleague at EdTechTeacher.org, Beth Holland, wrote a very interesting article that addresses this (in my opinion) in an educationally sound way. The Four S's stand for Support, Save, Search and Share!
I am going to cite her article word for word (http://www.edutopia.org/blog/the-4ss-of-note-taking-beth-holland) but breaking it down by each "S" week by week.
"... before making a blanket statement that one device may be better than another (e.g. pen vs. laptop) or calling into question what may be the best note-taking system, what if we approach the concept by identifying what is best for individual students? In other words, does the system . . .
- Adequately support the students' learning needs?
- Allow students to save their notes to multiple locations?
- Let students search for salient points?
- Permit students to share with peers and teachers?"
What if, because of individual learning styles, pen and paper are a detriment to learning? By providing students with digital options, we can remove a number of barriers to learning and create a least restrictive environment.
1. Anything that's text can be heard.
By typing content, students have the option of hearing it played back through text-to-speech. Imagine the potential for an ELL/ESL student or struggling reader to be able to listen to his or her own notes!
2. Record audio directly into notes.
Others may benefit from recording audio directly into a note. Both Evernote and OneNote include an option to add audio files. Similarly, Notability and AudioNote support audio syncing. Not only do these apps record audio, but they also sync it to anything typed or written while recording. While a student might not replay an entire class, he or she might tap on a word and jump directly to that portion of the audio.
3. Establish visual hierarchy.
Most note taking and word processing tools quickly create bulleted or numbered lists. For several of my former students with visual-spatial challenges, aligning text and creating visual order helped them to better synthesize the information.
Digital notes offer multiple dimensions -- text, images, drawing, handwriting, and audio -- that paper notes do not. Students need the opportunity to identify strategies that best support their learning."
Posted by donnacriswell at 10:04 AM
Monday, November 3, 2014
Megan Bowhers posted this to her Early Childhood Blog.
I thought it was a great summary what a 21st Century Classroom should look like so I asked if I could also share the graphic! Enjoy!
Posted by donnacriswell at 10:40 AM