Friday, January 16, 2015

Using Evernote to Create a Teacher Evaluation Portfolio

I am a HUGE fan of Evernote!  In the past couple of years, I have “digitally organized” myself both at school and at home.  The uses for this lovely program are never ending.  If you are not familiar with Evernote, in the interest of time, let me share the Wikipedia definition with you:

“Evernote is a suite of software and services, designed for note taking and archiving. A "note" can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten "ink" note. Notes can also have file attachments.”

You can group Notes into Notebooks and all of this information is accessible on your computer, tablet and smart phone. There are tons of great tutorials already online explaining how to use Evernote far better than I would, 
(such as here and here ) so I will not go into it, but don't worry - it is very easy to pick up!

My favorite new use for Evernote is my Teacher Evaluation Portfolio.  In Iowa we have 8 Teaching Standards with a variety of criteria listed for each one. In my school we fill out this Portfolio Reflection Sheet (which I just copied and pasted into its own note so I could use it over and over again.)

and attach artifacts (photos, scanned student examples, etc.) as evidence.  In the past, all of these artifacts and reflections (at least 2 listed under each standard, with a list of all the criteria it represents included) were put in a thick binder and turned in to my principal.  The longer you teach, the bigger this binder gets, as we add to it every third year.  

ENTER EVERNOTE!  No unwieldy binders, no papers, sheet protectors and file dividers, etc, etc!  

When I am done with my portfolio, all I have to do is click the "share" button and put in my principal's email address.  Evernote sends him a link and he can see (only) my Teaching Portfolio Notebook.

Here is an example of a Portfolio Reflection filled out and the accompanying photo (screenshots):

And a screenshot of my portfolio (in progress - I'm not done!):

I am also excited to get my students started using this program to create and maintain a portfolio of their artwork and all of its other excellent uses for students (more on this later!) I encourage you to give it a try - it is awesome!  
Happy Evernoting!