Evernote has been hit and miss as far as its adoption by teachers in the classroom. I have been using it for personal use since it’s first release for the Mac six years ago, but I have not pushed it in to any of our classrooms as of yet. This is partially because we have Google Apps and also because we normally don’t create accounts in which students need to register with an email address. However, I did find a way to utilize Evernote in a way that supports reading instruction and practice that will only require a single teacher created account.
One of the hard things about monitoring reading fluency with students is that you either have to be there physically and listening and taking notes or if they record it you have to have access to those recordings. When all students are using the same device to do the recording, the teacher can listen back on the one device. It is a bigger challenge when every student has a device and the recordings are housed on it or if students are sharing multiple devices. The teacher would physically need to review each device to listen back to the recordings. I’m sure there are other solutions out there that people have discovered or apps that may share sound recordings easily, but using Evernote as a simple and free solution was the one that I came up when asked by a kindergarten teacher about a way to capture fluency reading easily on the iPad.
Setting up Evernote for a class to do this only takes one account created by the teacher. Each student will need to have the app on the iPad or other device they are using, but can all login with the account the teacher created. The teacher will set up a notebook for each student in the class on the Evernote account.
Create notebooks for each student in the class.
When a student is ready to record they would click on the notebook on their device that has their name on it and they could record a sample of the reading. Since Evernote handles recording of audio on a note this would be an easy way to have students all be able to share their recordings easily with the teacher. Students could also put the date and the story that they read in the title so the teacher has has the ability to track it more easily. For kindergartners this might be a challenge, having a parent around to help students with putting their name on the note at the beginning of the year would be helpful. The teacher could also do this ahead of time, which would just leave the student to click on the microphone icon to start recording.
Precreate the notes for students that will have a hard time naming it themselves.
After students record their reading, the teacher can access all of the recordings right from their computer or iPad. Just select the folder of the student you want to listen to, select the note and click on the audio file. Over the course of the year you will be able to listen back to students growth in reading at any time. Students can also listen to themselves reading as well.