My latest at ProfHacker: Using Evernote in the Classroom

Cat reading in Evernote on an iPadLast week, Jason asked readers how they work with their tablets. In the comments section, I noted that one of the ways I use it is for keeping my class notes. I keep those in Evernote.

(Yes, we’ve mentioned that app a few times in this space. I also use Evernote for storing information I might want to retrieve later; I recently reorganized my notebooks and notes after reading about Michael Hyatt’s setup, and I’ve found that approach really helpful).

Once my class notes are in Evernote, it’s very easy for me to access my notes from my iPad, so I don’t need to bring bits of paper with me to class, nor do I need to be tied to the podium computer at the front of the classroom. I’ve even tried using presentation mode (a premium feature, I’m afraid) a couple of times; I haven’t decided yet how well that’s working for me. I need to give it more time.

I’m sure there are other ways I might put it to use. Raul Pacheco-Vega wrote a post back in August about an assignment he uses that involves Evernote. He’s also shared his public notebook of resources and ideas for using Evernote in academia. I’m looking forward to reading through some of the ideas there during my college’s fall break.

What about you? Are there ways you’re using Evernote (or a similar application, such as OneNote) for your teaching, research, or other work? Please share your ideas in the comments!

Creative Commons licensed photo by Flickr user Becky Stern.

from ProfHacker » Amy CavenderProfHacker – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education

My latest at ProfHacker: Open Thread: Thoughts on Providing Documentation?

A librarian doing bibliographic instruction in a computer labMany of us have had a lot of practice in planning courses and specific classes. We’re experienced at designing assignments, too.

But as more of us experiment with blogging assignments and electronic portfolios, we often find ourselves asking students to do things with tools that they may not be familiar with. They’ll need some instruction in how to use those tools, and they’re likely to appreciate some reference material, even if we devote some class time to hands-on practice.

What kind of reference materials should we provide? Especially if there’s existing documentation provided by the tool’s makers (e.g. Zotero, WordPress, etc.), do we simply point students to that, or do we provide additional documentation of our own? If we provide our own, why — and what kind(s) of documentation should we provide?

Let us know what you think!

CC-licensed image by Flickr user Cofrin Library.

from ProfHacker » Amy CavenderProfHacker – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education

My latest at ProfHacker: Open Thread Wednesday: Trying Anything New in Your Teaching?

By now, most of us are at least a week — if not two or three — into the new academic year. If we’re experimenting with anything new in our courses, by this point we might have at least an initial sense of whether the change is having the effect we’d hoped.

So let’s hear from you: Are you doing anything new in your classes this term? If so, what, why, and how’s it working out thus far?

[CC-licensed photo by Flickr user Lokesh Dhakar]

from ProfHacker » Amy CavenderProfHacker – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education

My latest at ProfHacker: Suggested Edits in Google Docs

Suggesting edits in Google DocsSince ProfHacker first launched (can it really be five years ago?), we’ve written numerous posts referencing Google Docs. One of my own earliest posts dealt with using Google Docs in my writing course when portfolio readers might still need paper copies of students’ work, and Ryan’s written about using it to run a peer-review writing workshop.

Google Docs remains an excellent tool for working with students on their writing skills, and in late June, Google added a new feature that makes it even more useful: “Suggested Edits,” which I first learned about from an article PCWorld ran about a month later.

Suggesting edits will likely look familiar to those accustomed to Microsoft Word’s “track changes.” To use the feature, anyone looking at the document who has sufficient privileges to comment on it can choose “Suggesting” from the dropdown menu at the far right of the toolbar. When that’s selected, any edits made appear as suggestions, but without altering the original text. The suggestions will also appear as an explanatory comment in the margin. The document’s owner can then decide whether to accept or reject the suggestions.

I see this as a potentially powerful tool to use in helping students improve their writing. I plan to start using it in my writing classroom, and will of course continue to use the commenting and revision history features.

Have you tried the suggested edits feature in Google Docs? Have you found it useful? Let us know in the comments.

[CC-licensed image by the author.]

from ProfHacker » Amy CavenderProfHacker – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education