Friday, June 8, 2012

Evernote in Class

Evernote Use in Class

I chose not to use Evernote in class for multiple reasons. On a the most basic level I didn’t use Evernote because it easier for me to take notes in a notebook because that’s where most of my notes were when we first got the iPads. I didn’t feel the need to use a new system when my notebook was already satisfactory. I was also unimpressed on the one occasion I did try to use Evernote. One of the things that really did not appeal to me is that there are no pages like on Word. It makes it hard to judge how much I have written and, in that case, I didn’t realize I was writing way more than I needed. There was also no spell check system that I could find, and I found later when I transferred it to a Word Document that I had a multitude of errors that went unnoticed and that would have cost me. Evernote did not give me an attractive reason to abandon my notebook and I was unimpressed when I tried it, so I did not use it.

There are a couple of ways to potentially improve Evernote. One of the things that Evernote did not have that could be an improvement is some system to show how much has been written. The number of pages you have written is good to know when you plan on printing something. Evernote could also use a more substantial spell check program. Grammatical and spelling accuracy are very important aspects of writing and some form of checking program is useful in maintaining a high level of both. Evernote could also use a functionality with other applications. It would be highly useful to be able to link Evernote with an app such as Dropbox so as to access your information more easily. Those are just a couple of things that could improve Evernote.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

iPads in Class

iPad Use in Class

There were multiple benefits to having the iPads in class this year. One of the biggest benefits was having a digital textbook. We had Huck Finn on the iPad so we could leave the book at home and have the iPad version in class. It was very convenient and it would be great to have that on a more expansive level. We also had access to the Internet which was an invaluable resource. We could use the iPad to work on a project and then send it to ourselves and work on it at home. We were able to define our words and update our blogs through the Internet which saved a lot of time. The iPads were definitely a huge improvement upon the laptops we had at the beginning of the year.

The iPads were very helpful but there were some limitations. The keyboard is definitely not at the same level as a desktop or laptop lacking several important keys such as the tab key. The laptop is missing several important programs that are useful for writing. Alternatives such as Evernote are insufficient compared to programs like word and it is hard to avoid just doing all the typing at home. The iPad also has the autocorrect which causes as many problems as it solves. I have had countless times when I was typing and I had to re-write a word multiple times to get the word I wanted. Autocorrect is definitely not on the same level as spell check on word.

I think the district should definitely try to go to a 1:1 program for students and iPads. It would reduce the need for textbooks as digital ones could be placed on the iPad. Students' lockers would be much cleaner and their backpacks would be lighter. The district could save money on physical text and reduce clutter. Turn in would be easy, students would just hand in one book instead of ten, and because of the how important it is students would be less likely to forget their iPads. Students could also connect to the internet at all times and it would another resource for the class. Students could do work and takes notes on the laptop reducing or completely ending the need for notebooks which would also take up space in lockers and backpacks. If would be better for students, teachers, and the district if there was a 1:1 ratio of students to iPads.