Teacher’s Toolkit: Improve Organization and Cut Back on Handouts with Evernote

Overview
Evernote is a note-taking software that can be used with iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows, and macOS. While it is not specifically designed for education, teachers and students may find it useful for personal organization as well as for use in the classroom. It is a great way to reduce reliance on paper handouts.

Using the Basic Version
Both students and teachers can download the basic, free version of Evernote with separate logins and sync to two of their devices. The software can support 25 MB of notes per user, enough for basic classroom work. Here are a few of its useful tools:

● Individuals can share notes with each other with the click of a button. Instructors could share partial notes and have students fill in the gaps during a class presentation or discussion. In addition, students with special learning needs can easily obtain full copies of teacher notes.

● Everyone in the classroom can organize their notes the same way, dropping them into virtual notebooks.

● Users can assign tags to notes and then search for them later. For instance, if a teacher is using Evernote for their own personal organization, they could use the software to document individual student progress and then search for that student’s name.

Other Useful Tools

● Evernote allows individuals to upload PDFs, Microsoft Word documents, and other external files and save them as notes so teachers and students can share information they found online or in a book.

● Users can take pictures and save them as notes, or record notes as voice memos.

● This ability makes note-taking more fun and specifically benefits those who struggle with writing.

Features of the Premium Version
The Premium version costs $6 per month, per user. It can be synced across an unlimited number of devices. Additional benefits include more storage space (maximum note size of 200 megabytes) and the ability to upload 10 gigabytes of external documents (versus only 60 megabytes with the basic version).

● Storage is a major reason schools may consider investing in this upgrade. It becomes an important consideration if teachers decide to rely on Evernote in lieu of actual paper.

● It also allows users to annotate PDFs.

● Premium users can forward emails to Evernote, which could help students organize messages from teachers and administrators and quickly refer to them during class. Users can also access notebooks offline with this version.

● It is not recommended that schools pay for one premium account and share a login with students. This could create disciplinary issues if students post inappropriate content to a shared account. It would also defeat the organizational purpose of the software.

Ginger O’Donnell is a senior staff writer for DiversityIS. This article ran in the fall 2019 issue.