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The Power of the PLN and education karma

Okay, here is the deal, I know this is a highly unusual post and request from me but bear with me for just a minute while I explain the importance of what I am asking.  At the bottom of the post I talk about a really cool new tool worth checking out. I am working on a rather large educational project that will make it possible for every teacher to customize and tailor curriculum and learning for each of their students without putting a huge burden on teachers.  I have met some wonderful entreprenuers and business minds as I have worked on that project.  One of those brilliant people is @Toma_Bedolla.  Yesterday Toma and I were talking about this big project and I was trying to convey the powerhouse that is my personal learning network.  People outside of this network don’t really understand how it works or how it can make a difference in the world.  Toma could see that I have a lot of followers on Twitter and that I follow a lot of people on Twitter, what he couldn’t see is incredible support system that it is.  We don’t just follow each other. We make changes happen. We pull together and network and brainstorm and collaborate and discuss and encourage.  People who don’t use social media this way have a hard time getting it. As we were wrapping up our conversation yesterday Toma mentioned this little contest he was involved in, a contest to get more fit.  Not education related per-say but I thought…what if I could use this contest to help someone outside of the PLN and outside of education see just what a powerhouse my PLN is?  What if by winning a contest (and subsequently $10,000) I could show someone outside of the PLN why it is worth investigating more, why it is worth investing in?  This is where you come in.  I’m hoping that I can get all of you to vote and help Toma out.  The problem?  The site is a PAIN to vote on, seriously, they couldn’t have made it more confusing.  But…it is really just 4 steps and if you know the secret (which I will tell you) it is a piece of cake.  Here is a hint I use on ALL websites that I sign up for that I’m not sure I really want to sign up for (education or not).  Use an @tempinbox email address.  You can type in anything you want before the @tempinbox.com and it will keep you from getting on lists you don’t want to be on.  To confirm the email just go to www.tempinbox.com, type in the preface you used infront of the tempinbox extension and you can click the confirmation in the email. Here’s the simplest way to vote: 1. Register for a free account at Precision Nutrition: http://on.fb.me/fZBnXk (sign up with that tempinbox.com account if you want) 2. Click the link sent in the confirmation e-mail. (If you used my Tempinbox trick go to www.tempinbox.com to confirm). 3. Scroll to the bottom to click Vote at: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/s2b-winners-2010 4. You will be redirected to the poll where you can vote.  Vote for finalist #8. Toma is only 146 votes out of the lead for the $10K first prize…  I’m pretty sure my powerhouse PLN can make that happen! I’m a big believer in helping each other out in any way we can, it creates some great education karma. Now, for the part of the post where I share a really cool tool:  Toma is the brains behind a new website called How Tru.  You’ll have to take a look at the site to really feel its full impact but I have to say-this could be HUGE for education.  Toma describes it perfectly, everyone has a credit score…none of us had to do anything special (other than borrow money) to get that score. A credit score gives us a way to verify whether we can trust someone financially.  How Tru scores will give us a way to begin to verify a persons veracity online.  The ultimate in digital footprints.  The tool has a few implications for education: 1. It gives students and teachers a way to begin verifying the veracity of content. 2. It gives everyone a way to track their digital footprints and the footprints of those they follow.  Pretty cool!  I’ll write a full post as soon as the site is “officially” launched with my ideas of how it can be used in the classroom. Thank you to all who helped and feel free to spread the word! Now back to our regularly scheduled edutech content

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Evernote as an ePortfolio in a 1-to-1 iPad setting

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Blogs, Classroom Management, Create, Evaluate, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 11-08-2012

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Above is the information sheet I created for using Evernote as an ePortfolio.

At Anastasis, we use a combination of Evernote, Edu 2.0, and Edublogs to keep and share our work.  Evernote has been a fantastic app for our students.  Students can record text, images, and audio directly in Evernote.  Each note can be emailed to teachers and parents.  Evernote notes can also be posted on blogs through the email-to-blog feature.  Better yet? There are SO many apps that have the ability to share with Evernote.  Very handy.  Students do quite a bit of writing directly in Evernote.  This is a good place for all of student writing (even those pieces they don’t want to, or aren’t ready to, share).  Evernote makes it easy to organize all of their notes into notebooks (the learning curve here is teaching students to use some organization).  This year we are keeping learning logs (we call them Tracks) as a table of contents for what is in Evernote. Everything is tracked by a number as part of the Evernote title so it is easy to find and search.

The ability to record audio and take pictures of their work in Evernote is great.  This means that students can capture learning that isn’t natively digital-digitally.  All of those awesome inquiry projects that they construct and build can be captured and reflected on in Evernote.  Another HUGE benefit to the Evernote/iPad combo: it goes with them everywhere.  Recording learning on a field trip? Check. Recording learning at home? Check. Recording learning on the fly? Check. Teachers often send students a PDF instructions for an assignment or a picture to the student’s Evernote account. Parents can login to their child’s Evernote account from any computer or iDevice to see what they are working on.

Edu 2.0 is our education portal.  In Edu 2.0 we can share things as a school community.  Edu 2.0 has a built in e-portfolio (we don’t often use this), a blog, a post feed, calendar, and message system.  Edu 2.0 makes it easy for us to stay connected as a school community.  Because we teach young students, this “walled” community is a safe place for students to share any, and all, of their work and thoughts with others.  Students often write blog posts in Edu 2.0 about their learning.  Other students, parents and teachers can comment on the Edu 2.0 blog posts.  Teachers use Edu 2.0 to send students assignments, make class announcements and communicate quickly with parents in their classroom.  Students can link any content from their Evernote account to their blog in Edu 2.0 to share it with other students, parents or teachers.  The school calendar is updated with all birthdays, learning excursions and school events so that students, parents and teachers are always up-to-date.  The live post feed makes it easy for teachers and administration to make school-wide announcements.  This feed shows up on the home page of every student, parent and teacher.

Each of our teachers has a class Edublog.  This is where the teachers write blog posts about the happenings in their classrooms.  Students can also contribute to the class blogs to get input and comments from a global audience.  Some of our students also have Edublog accounts where they can share their work from Evernote more publicly.  The Edublog is the place for interaction and collaboration with the world.

We have a school YouTube account where students can upload videos and stop motion animations.  The school account has become a nice central place for students to share their work with the world.  I act as administrator on the YouTube channel so that I can moderate comments and videos.  Students can easily link to, or embed, videos they have created in Evernote, on their Edu 2.0 blog or on Edublogs.

This combination of tools has worked well as an ePortfolio for student work. I love that at the end of the school year students have ALL of their work with them.  Because they own their iPads, the Evernote content goes with them.  Even without the iPad, students can access their Evernote account from anywhere and continue using it.  Parents can also easily access and view student ePortfolios using Evernote.

Comments (1)

I enjoy how you incorporated more tech with this site. It allows the students as well as teachers to get motivated to do something like this

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