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Using Evernote to record evidence and monitoring assessment

15:15 JEcomputing 2 Comments Category : , , ,

I first came across Evernote after reading this fantastic blog, a few years ago by David Andrews and have used it ever since. Most recently, I have used it as a guided reading activity, after coming across this blog some time ago, in which the students used it as a way of monitoring and peer assessing their reading fluency. One of the great things about using Evernote, is that the pupils can tag the notes they make, which then makes it much easier for you to search for specific content. I first came across this idea after reading Simon Haughton's blog, in which he talked about using it as an EYFS observation tool - a fantastic, free (albeit slightly more time consuming) alternative to using 2build a profile. I have since used it as a way for children to evidence when they have achieved their maths non - negotiable targets, which has worked really well also.

The basic idea behind Evernote is that it allows you to take notes, sync files across devices, save webpages, capture inspiration, and share ideas. This could be across all subjects or specific curriculum areas (such as guided reading or maths non - negotiables, as previously mentioned). In my current role of supporting schools in developing their Computing provision I am keen to use Evernote as an integral part of my work, particularly in the delivery of this exciting project, that I'm offering to schools.

How to use Evernote as part of assessment in Computing.

Due to a lack of storage space, I would only use the free version for no more than one class, as you will soon run out of space (you get 60mb of data per month). The first thing you will need to do is register for an Evernote account (this is an email address and password). Once you have done this you can set up a unique username, which the children can then use along with the password, when they log on their iPads (or computers). 

Once you have an account set up for your class, the next thing to do is to create folders. My preferred method, has always been to set up individual folders for each child in the class. This way children can access each others folders too and this gives them opportunities to leave audio or typed feedback for their peers. 

The next thing to do is to create some tags. For my Computing scheme of work, there are 6 topics/units. So for this particular class (year 3), I have created six separate tags for each child (one tag for each unit). You can see this below:

Once all tags and folders are set up, the pupil's can login in and start to record evidence as they are completing their work in each unit.

This could be photographic evidence of a piece of work produced (e.g. a hand drawn diagram of how the Internet works), an audio recording or a typed note with a web-link to an online game they have produced (e.g. a link to a specific blog page they have written or perhaps a Scratch game they have made) - basically anything that demonstrates evidence towards achievement of the objectives within that particular unit.

When the child has added a note, they then need to assign this note to a tag, as below...

...and then select the tag which corresponds with their initial and the name of the unit they are working on.

At the end of each unit

Once a unit is completed, teachers will probably want to assess pupil outcomes and probably assign each child to a particular level, perhaps by using an assessment grid like this progression pathways document by Matthew Dorling or this framework for assessing computing document by Miles Berry. For teachers taking part in the Project Live scheme of work this will mainly be based on the students final, submitted project. However, a range of evidence recorded in Evernote, will also be taken into consideration. To do this teachers and myself will fill in the Project Live assessment sheet and look at the evidence within each children's notebook folders to help us come up with a colour of badge or attainment level for each child. To make this quicker and more efficient, the easiest way will be to search by tags. So at the end of Unit 3.1 for example, we can search for unit 3.1 tag and this will bring up all the individual pupils folders for unit 3.1

Of course, there are lots of different ways you can organise your notebooks and tags within Evernote and this is just one possible way of doing it. If you are a teacher and you use Evernote with your class, please get in touch and share your ideas.

If you would like support in setting up and using Evernote (or other similar free note taking/evidence recording software), you can find more details here

If you are a school that hasn't got an up to date Computing curriculum, then you might be interested in Project Live - an exciting, innovative, pupil - led, scheme of work, written by myself and available to subscribe to from my website.



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