Monday, August 29, 2011


I'm blogging from my cricket rocker in my very dark front living room. This space is so relaxing and this time of day is amazingly quiet. The only sound is a few crickets outside, and my fingers hitting the keyboard. I spend a lot of time in this space. One night about a month ago I could not sleep, so I came to this spot to clear my mind. I rocked in my chair, but school "things" kept going through my mind. I ended up being up until 2 a.m. for the next several nights figuring out an application called Evernote.

Evernote had been in the top 10 free apps, and I had read about it on the CESA 3 ITASC wiki, so I decided to download it. It had been on the iPad for about a month before it kept me up for hours. When I finally decided to learn about the applications functions, I was blown away by the possibilities. In a nutshell, Evernote is an app the boasts about being better than your memory. It allows you to make notes (both audio, visual, and typed), organize those notes into notebooks. The individual notes can also be date, time, AND LOCATION stamped. Finally, everything in stored in the cloud so they can be accessed from anywhere! I have a notebook for each of my children, all the subjects I teach in school, and a random notebook for those pieces of life that are really better being left in chaos. Evernote allows you to share notes and notebooks too. WOW!

The best thing about Evernote is that it can be anywhere you are. I have Evernote on my home computer, the iPad, my school computer, AND my cell phone! All of my info is synched, and all I have to do is log into Evernote to access a note or notebook. Hence the reason I titled this NO MORE FLASHDRIVES! Yes, Evernote allows you to link Word docs, PowerPoints, Keynotes, etc.

The title also says NO MORE CORDS! Let me explain...I HATE connecting cords from my cell phone and camera to my computer to download my pictures only for me to then upload them to a developing place. With Evernote, you no longer need the cord AND the picture you take with your really awesome cell phone is available to you from any device! Isn't that wild?!? Here's the simple directions:
1. Open Evernote on your phone (assuming you have already downloaded Evernote on your phone)
2. Click snapshot
3. Snap picture
4. Title and Save your picture
5. the pic is in your camera roll or gallery on your device AND Evernote which can be access from anywhere!

You can even annotate your photo with voice recordings, but I don't want to overwhelm you. I'll save that for another day. For now, download Evernote on all your devices, and go to and watch their videos. It is simply AMAZING!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Finally a KEYBOARD!

Earlier this summer, I decided I wanted to blog. My friend Julie was a huge inspiration; I live to read her blog. When my husband hears me laugh abruptly while I'm sitting in my rocking chair in the front room, he knows Julie has brightened my day. I also watched Julie and Julia this summer (must be something about that name), and although I'm still too scared to commit to blogging 365 days straight, I decided I should try to blog spontaneously throughout the school year and highlight some of the techie things I teach that make life easier.

That was a great idea, but it is now the end of the summer, and I'm just getting started. See, I created a problem. I had gotten an iPad from school to use with one of my summer school students, and in my quest to learn the technology, I was juggling my laptop and the iPad. Well unfortunately, I was never a great juggler, and I dropped one. My laptop survived except for the screen. I learned this by plugging in my monitor from the desktop, and worked. Problem? Yes, the desktop is just not convenient or portable, so I've maybe logged onto my computer twice since the juggling accident. Problem? Not really because I had the iPad which is absolutely amazing! But, it was somewhat difficult to compose on the built in keyboard. My keyboarding teachers did such a great job that now I feel totally guilty when I'm not using proper finger movements.

Well today I was getting some items for school at Walmart, and I decided to ask if they had a wireless keyboard for the iPad. Woot woot! They did! Now I can start my blogging. Summer goal number 50 accomplished. Please don't ask about goals 1-49.

So, what's the purpose? Why am I so committed to blogging? I plan to use this blog to teach people about using technology to make life easier. I'm a teacher, so lots of things may deal with classroom implementation, but I hope to teach my non-educator friends and family a few things too.

Lesson 1: Get a keyboard for the iPad! Now you can do anything!