Reflection: Organizational Systems Testing the Thesis: Completing Preliminary Research with Online Databases - Section 2: Introduction

 

The first time I ever saw Evernote in use, it was when my administrator and mentor for my Educational Leadership M.A. was using it to organize his evaluation materials.  Cautiously peeking over his desk, I asked what it was he was using and why he chose it, and several weeks later I was doing something completely unrelated to school when one thought, "Evernote for the research paper!" popped into my brain.  (I would argue that teaching is probably one of a very few professions that are so profoundly changed by what appear to be out-of-the-blue, but are probably percolating-in-the-brain-for-weeks ideas that come to us at random times!)  I started playing around with it, and I immediately realized that this technology application could help me overcome many of the issues I've had with the research process for years.  Evernote allows teachers to see where students are with gathering credible research and taking notecards at any time.  Additionally, my disorganized students who would lose piles of notecards and take zeros for those grades can NEVER lose anything in Evernote.  My IEP students have done SO MUCH BETTER with the research paper, because it helps them to stay organized and allows their materials to be always-accessible by their Special Education teachers as well.  Evernote even allows students to generate a view-only link to their notebook to give to their parents, which helps them stay in the loop and see real-time progress on their child's research paper.  This ability alone has allowed me to improve parent communication and classroom transparency to achieve higher student mastery levels!  As I continue to show you how I use Evernote for research, you'll also see that I use student-created "tags" which improve organization and require critical thought and evaluation of sources.

After I fell in love with the platform, I shared it with my colleagues in the high school English department.  I also presented it at tech conferences for our district, and a presentation for one of those conferences is attached here.  Since last year, the entire high school English department uses Evernote to organize research, the Special Education department uses Evernote to organize their students better, and other content areas also use the tool to maintain notes and research projects.  Students have reported that they prefer the research process this way as well, so I think it's a winning idea all around.  I hope that you find the same value in this application, and if you think of anything to improve it, please let me know!

  Organizational Systems: Evernote & Doing Research BETTER in an Evolving District
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Testing the Thesis: Completing Preliminary Research with Online Databases

Unit 6: Multitasking with Modernism & Research Skills
Lesson 4 of 9

Objective: SWBAT locate and evaluate the credibility of sources they discover supporting and refuting their proposed research topic by using three academic online databases.

Big Idea: Forget microfiche...Boolean searching, online academic databases, & Evernote make research a dream. If these kids only knew “the old days…”

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