Supporting Transliteracy with Evernote: Evernote for Every Literacy

Transliteracy is the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks.

Today I am excited to finally introduce Evernote to my 10th grade students who are part of the Media 21 project.  I feel this social bookmarking and notetaking tool will be a powerful tool for supporting their multigenre research into veterans’ issues. In this new project, students are engaging in multiple ways of discovering, creating, and sharing information and knowledge:

  • Creating a traditional text narrative in the I-Search format
  • Creating individual Netvibes information portals that reflect the information sources and learning tools they are using to support their research of their selected veterans’ issues
  • Creating four multigenre artifacts that tap into many formats of knowledge representation, including art, music, digital creations
  • Blogging their lit circle reading journals (see below)
  • Blogging their research reflections
  • Maintaining a learning portfolio using Google Sites (5th period and 7th period)
  • Students will once again engage in our presentation zen style presentations on their topics
  • Creating videos to tell the story of their overall research experience (late April/early May), including how they have used their learning tools to create and cultivate a meaningful personal learning environment.

Information sources we are using in our research and learning how to better evaluate as authoritative sources include:

  • Interviews With Veterans or Experts On a Veterans’ Issue: this may be done face to face, via Skype, or via email with guided assistance from Ms. Lester and/or me.
  • Database Resources: may include journal articles, news articles, magazine articles, reference articles, podcasts, images, and/or videos.
  • Video Resources:  from established news outlet video channels or YouTube
  • Social  Media Resources: Twitter feeds or blogs
  • Books: print, ebooks, or digital (Google Books)

In addition to the research, students are working in small literature circles reading fiction or nonfiction texts related to specific wars or books that share the experiences of veterans.  Students are blogging their reading journals as well as commenting their lit circle teammates’ blog posts.

As you can see, students are indeed using a range of platforms for accessing information as well as recreating and interpreting it and the knowledge they are gleaning from their learning experiences.

Please check out my slidedeck below that outlines just a few of the ways Evernote can support transliteracy in your library and instruction:

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Creating and Sharing Collection Development Lists with Evernote

Evernote is a web-based service that allows you to bookmark your favorite resources and organize those resources into a notebook about a particular topic.   What makes Evernote unique is that you can also import documents, scans, and photos; you can even download the mobile phone app and import photos, text notes, or voice memos.  Like other social bookmarking services, you can add tags and organize your “notes” to your heart’s desire.

While Evernote is not new and many people have found clever and innovative uses for it, I have been half-heartedly fumbling with it for a few months.  I finally decided a week ago to commit more time to playing with it and exploring it so I could decide if this would be a tool not only to add to my personal information management arsenal, but also to decide how I might pilot it with students via library instruction.

My first major project I started this evening is using Evernote for organizing and sharing my Spring-Summer 2010 collection development wish list.  Although I will probably not know until late May or early June what next year’s budget will be (if there is any money from the state), I thought it would be fun and useful to use Evernote to start collecting “clippings” on items I’d like to purchase over the summer.  While I primarily order print materials through Titlewave, those lists are available for public sharing at this time; in addition, I thought it would be cool to use a tool like Evernote not only to share the library “wish” list for print books, but for other purchases as well, such as more Flip video cameras.  By choosing to make my list public, I can share the list via a link or grab the RSS feed and embed that feed in my library blog or Libguides page! [see screenshots below]

Another advantage to Evernote is that I could use my mobile phone app to capture requests on the fly.  For example, I can snap photos of the latest and best-selling titles in the teen section at places like Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, or Target and import those book photos into my collection wish list notebook.  It would also be fun to scan in hand-written student requests or even record voice memos from teachers and students for items they might like the library to purchase over the summer.  I hope to hit a bookstore this weekend; if I do, I will make a video and post it here on the blog so you can see me Evernoting away as I add materials I’d like for next year to my list using my Evernote iPhone app.

Of course, what would be super-cool is if there could be a way to import the Evernote notebook into my Titlewave account.  At this time, I don’t think this cloud computing fantasy can come true, but I can always suggest it as an enhancement to both vendors!

I have created a brief 6 minute screencast on how I can use my Google Chrome Evernote extension (this extension is available for other browsers, too) to “clip” webpages and to share my lists publicly.

If you are interested in learning more about Evernote, I recommend their video tutorials page–here you will find helpful and easy to follow tutorials on how to use Evernote.  I’m looking forward to exploring and playing more with Evernote!

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New Layers for the Media 21 Capstone Project

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Used with permission under a Creative Commons license from http://www.flickr.com/photos/fooey/441194594/sizes/m/

Here are some new possible layers/options I am thinking about adding to my Media 21 Capstone Project for 2009-10:

  • After reading Wendy Drexler’s blog post, “Crowd Re(Sourcing)”, I am thinking about introducing Zotero to our students.   I’m trying to figure out where, if at all, Zotero might fit into our class wiki, class Diigo account, and possibly a course delicious account.  I’m also wondering how it might complement NoodleTools.  I like the idea everything would be transparent in one place.  I would need to test to see if students would have rights to fully use it; right now, they do not have access to Firefox (sniff!).
  • New Twitter friendhttp://twitter.com/mrgunn also suggested I check out Mendeley as well.
  • Evernote is also an option still on the table.

Clearly, Mrs. Lester and I have some playing around to do and decision making to do in a few weeks.  If any of you have experience in using these with high school students, I welcome your feedback!

Two other new ideas:

  • I am thinking Susan and I should each blog the whole process of working through this unit to chronicle our ups, downs, challenges, and insights from our experiences.  They might be helpful to anyone else who decides to approach information literacy in this manner.
  • I would like for students to present their projects—not just the content, but to also share their insights as to how all the research tools and social media we’re going to be using worked or did not work for them.

What do you all think about these two additional layers?  Suggestions?  Other ideas?