The note-taking portion included research on note-taking best practices as well as survey results from our staff on the topic of note-taking (e.g. how often students take notes a week and what type of notes teachers encourage).
While students may take notes by hand, many of them also use digital tools for note-taking, drafting papers, and projects. In the olden days, students were taught to organize a binder and prepare it with tabs and they didn’t need wifi to access their notes or binder. While digital tools offer affordances like back-ups, speech to text, and searches, students also need to be cognizant about how they organize their digital binder, what tools they use for what purpose, and how to ensure these digital tools are organized and content will not be lost.
Honestly, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this. Everyone uses different apps and has a different process… but being aware of how you organize your content and having a system is really half the battle.
- Notes: I use Notes for quick stuff. If you update to iOS 11, you can also use it to scan PDF’s. It has a collaborative element… which is nice… if you wanted to create a shared checklist while working with a group. It also has a drawing feature.
- Notability: Every secondary student has access to the Notability app. We shared info with Freshman on how to organize notes into folders for easier access. Notability allows you to create multimedia notes as well as to annotate PDF’s. It also has a built in recording feature which is great for recording a lecture. It accepts text as well as handwriting. One main thing for students to remember is to back up Notability to Google Drive (see pic below) so if Notability ever crashes or they have to swap out their iPad, then all of their notes will still be available. Google Docs: Google Docs has fantastic word processing and collaborative features. The main thing to remember is that you will have to make certain documents available offline if you need to access them when you don’t have wifi. If you have a Senior, it is suggested that in the spring, they start sharing their documents with a personal gmail account so they don’t lose access to them after they graduate.
- Evernote: Evernote is used by a fair number of college students and industry professionals. It is suggested to have students sign in to it with a personal email account as if they leave the district (prior to 12th grade and/or after graduation) then they will still have access to their notes. Evernote also has an audio recording feature and OCR (Optical Character Recognition).
- Paper by 53: Paper by 53 is a great tool for those that like to create mind-maps or sketchnotes. It also has backgrounds and graphic organizers.
Thanks and Stay Healthy, Chaps!
Guest Blogger -
Lisa Johnson M. Ed.
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Apple Distinguished Educator 2013
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