Evernote is an online tool for storing and organizing information. This data can be saved in various forms: text, audio, images. There is a web version as well as an application for cellphones. You will be able to collect, share and have access to your ideas, thoughts or information whenever you want and no matter where you are.

The main advantage of using this tool is that it makes the students’ written pieces easily accessible for both teacher and classmates to read. Besides, images, videos and their own recordings can be integrated: by doing so, other skills apart from writing are included (such as ‘speaking’). Besides, it fosters collaboration, one of the key elements that Nik Peachey has mentioned in “Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers.”

Moreover, it caters for Multiple Intelligences (term coined by Howard Gardner) as it gives room for: visual students to add images to aid retention and aural learners to include audio files they themselves have recorded (or not).

Steps to follow:

1) Create an account on www.evernote.com, entering your e-mail account and a password. Next, you can download the App for Android in Google Play if you wish to have Evernote with you everywhere.

2) Create notebooks to divide all your data into categories.
Untitled 1.jpg

3) Within the notebook, you can add as many notes as you want by clicking on the “+” button on the top left margin:
Untitled 2.jpg

4) Notes do not necessarily have to include only text. These are some of the features you can take into account:

A. Add images, links, videos or change the format of the text (depending on your needs) by clicking on the buttons on the toolbar.
Untitled 3.jpg
B. In the portable application you can also make audio notes, and even include them within an existing written note.

5) Both notes and complete notebooks can be shared with others. You can even create a public link that provides access to your notebook.
Untitled 4.jpgUntitled 5.jpg

Sample Activity:

Age group: 17-18 (last year of secondary school)
Level: upper intermediate/advanced
Type of project: research assignment
Topic: current social problematics in Argentina.
Grammar focus: modal verbs

The SS will be divided in 4 or 5 groups. On the very first class, the T will write up on the board different problematics which will be chosen by the different groups. Some examples are:
  • Poverty
  • Lack of education
  • Drug abuse

The teacher will encourage SS to add any other social conflicts they can think of. After this stage, the groups will choose one topic to research on and discuss.
When all the groups have chosen the topics, the teach will ask them to make hypotheses on why they think these social conflicts are happening, e.g. “There may drug abuse among teenagers in Argentina because they haven't been taught the dangers”. Once they have finished, they will share their hypotheses with the other groups so that everybody knows what the other groups will be researching on.

In the minutes left, the teach will show students how to use Evernote to take down notes, add URLs, photos, videos, use the work chat, etc, through a tutorial. The students will then divide the different roles they will each take to finish off their reports. For example, one student will be in charge of looking up photos, another one will redact the report, another student will design some posters, add videos, etc.

The teacher will ask them to download this app onto their mobile phones or computers and start using it to conduct their researches. He/she will remind them to set their notebooks on Evernote to ‘Shared’ to share it with the teacher via E-mail, so that he/she can monitor what they have been doing.

In the second class, the students will gather to discuss what they have found. With this information, they will either accept or reject their hypotheses, and the teacher will provide any help if necessary. The students will start preparing their final report by selecting the information, drawing any charts, transcribing the notes they have recorded on Evernote, etc. If necessary, the teacher will add an extra class so that they can finish their reports or rehearse how to present them in front of the class for the other groups to learn.

The idea is that the students also share their personal opinions on the topic, and then come up with a group conclusion. To do so, the teacher will suggest that the students record audios on Evernote as they discuss, so that they don’t forget the main ideas and can retrieve them later on for the writing of the conclusion.

In their last class, the different groups will show to the class what they have been doing from the very beginning: how they conducted their research, the hypotheses they tested, and the creation of their final conclusion.

Untitled 1.jpg

Evaluation criteria:
The teacher will evaluate the following:

*Research skills
*Group work (sharing responsibility, etc.)
*Good use of the tool
*Correct grammar and spelling in their Evernote notes.
*Correct grammar and pronunciation during delivery (oral presentation).
*Consideration of the audience (oral presentation).