Picture ePortfolios with @Evernote and @Postachio

“Margarita,” asks Ms. Nuñez, third grade bilingual teacher, “cual de estos te gustaría compartir con el mundo hoy? What work would you like to share with the world today?” Margarita smiles and holds up her Día de Los Muertos poster. Ms. Nuñez snaps a picture with her iPad’s Evernote app. Then, she taps on the microphone logo and asks Margarita to explain her poster. She records the audio of Margarita’s explanation, then saves both the picture and audio recording to the Evernote notebook entitled, Unit2-SocialStudies. The notebook’s contents are set to automatically share work online using Postach.io.

Ever wished that you could quickly capture students’ work, organize it according to contents according to topic, then instantly share it with the world? You can do so with Evernote and Postach.io Education solution. This is a great solution for parents, too! Imagine how easy it is to capture student work these days and keep it organized.

Note: Not included are the steps on how to connect your Evernote Notebook to Postach.io. You will want to refer to these instructions. This post concludes my series on Evernote and Postach.io to impact teaching, learning and leading. If you decide to get an Evernote Premium account, I hope you use this referral link.

Let’s review the steps on how to do that:

Step #1 - Grab your iPad, iPhone or Android device.
Although you may not be aware of it, you have everything you need to begin capturing your students’ work—or, your children if you are a parent—and sharing it with a world of viewers and listeners. All you need to get started is your smartphone, provided it has a built-in camera and is able to run the Evernote app. Even if you have a more simple phone that can only send email, you can easily email photos to Evernote then view them on a computer like a netbook, Chromebook, or desktop computer.

Step #2 - Prepare Evernote for Sharing.

As you might imagine, this step is as simple as creating a space in Evernote where you will be sharing. You can do that by creating a Notebook in Evernote for a specific project (e.g. Unit2-SocialStudies) that will allow you to place ALL notes featuring students’ work. For example, your Notebook would have 1 note per student, each note containing a picture of that student’s work and, if you like, an audio explanation of what they have created.

If you are able to run Evernote on your computer, you can begin by going to the Evernote Notebook you have created, and then choosing to add a new note in that Notebook. Title the note with the child’s name (e.g. Margarita-10/2014) and then you are ready for the next step.

Step #3 - Take a picture of the student’s work.
This could be an easy way to capture student work that you want to celebrate or that best epitomizes the principles design of a student product. Note that you should already have permission from parents to share students’ work online.

When you take the picture, you will want to hold your phone normally (rather than sideways) if you are using the Evernote app. Or, you can use the built-in camera app to take the picture (turn your phone sideways) then add the picture to the Evernote Notebook Note for that student.

Step #4 - Save the picture. 
Saving the picture is a pretty easy step. As you can see in the screenshot below, simply click on the checkmark in the top right hand corner. Once you’ve done that, you can choose to add audio. Tap on the checkmark—which appears in the top right corner of the picture below--after taking the photo, then tap on the microphone button. This will enable you to record audio until you stop. The audio will be automatically included in the student’s Note in the special Notebook you created in Evernote.

Step #5 - Sharing Student Work on the Web
Now that you have a picture and audio for each of your students—you can also choose to capture cooperative group work in this manner—you are ready for the next step, which is to mark it ready for publication. Consider adding a quick note at the top of each student’s note (copy-n-paste works just fine for this) that says something along the lines of, “Below, please find an example of student work developed in Ms. Guhlin’s class at Rayburn Elementary School. Click on the audio link to hear the student share about the picture.”

Once you have everything ready to go, you are ready to add a tag to each students’ note. You can do this one at a time, as shown below…

...or do them in bulk by holding down the Ctrl-key and clicking on more than one Note at a time. A window will pop up on the right side of your screen (in the web view of Evernote). Then, add the relevant tag, as shown below:

In the hustle and bustle of the school day, you can change the tag on your mobile device, or, you can change it later via the web version of Evernote or your desktop/laptop computer. Whatever works best for you.

The power of student voices cannot be underestimated. Nothing is more powerful than listening to a child elaborate on their own work, especially at the younger grades. As a teacher of students, or a parent documenting their own child’s cognitive processes over the years, Evernote and Postach.io can make that process much easier. Using your own mobile device, give it a try with your own students or children. Your understanding of their work will never be the same again as they record, day by day, their thoughts about the work they are doing.

About the Author
As a lead learner of learners in K-12 public schools, Miguel Guhlin (Twitter: @mguhlin) encourages adult learners to engage in reflection on teaching, learning and leading in educational settings. He is most happy when helping others cross the digital divide via transformative, technology-based experiences. You can read more about those experiences at his blog, Around the Corner-MGuhlin.org - www.mguhlin.org

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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