Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Twitter, Evernote and Skitch In the 21st Century Classroom

As technology has progressed, so has the classroom. It has become much more then knowing more about students brains and how they learn, now it has become adapting to different learning styles and incorporating all of the latest technology and trends. The 21st century classroom has evolved into keeping our students motivated by stimulating them through the modern norms of being surrounded by technology. A great video that shows the evolution of technology and how important it has become in modern day society is Did You Know 2.0, and although its dates go to 2006, the states it makes are beyond mind blowing. 21st Century Classrooms engage students in learning that is natural and makes sense to them, and the success of these students will be major. Moving past the technology such as interactive websites, and resources teachers can use inside the classroom, the main focus in todays classroom is the connection of these technologies and how we can find and use them. Using social networking site such as Twitter, and note taking achievement software such as Evernote and its counterpart Skitch, is what really can make the connection for students to become better learners.

Twitter, is a social networking site which lets people share short 140 character “blog” posts called tweets. By becoming a registered user, you can “follow” other users and share your tweets and repost (retweet) other users tweets. Not only can a user follow friends and family, but the true connection with the social part about Twitter is that you can follow a vast variety of accounts such as news, magazines, blogs, organization, and many more. Being not only connected to fellow colleagues but to also find resources through other organizations which they think is current enough to post is one of the easiest and most convenient ways of staying connected as an educator. Twitter is not only about sharing ones thoughts, but to be able to connect with what others want to share.

In my experience, Twitter has open new outlets to stay current in todays busy society. Twitter has made it easier to read and share about current events, and to also see public options but following hashtags. Not only is Twitter a great use to stay connect and current, there are many ways to use it in the classroom to keep the classroom as a whole connected and current. Twitter has made it easier for teachers to send out information before or after a class, create direct communication with teachers for students, to share resources, create discussions, and make students follow other organizations and accounts. These are only a few examples of how Twitter has become apart of the educational experience I have gone through. A great website to further the use of Twitter in the classroom, and will help further my experience with Twitter for eduction is 21st Century Fluency Project – 60 ways to use Twitter in the Classroom.

EverNote, is a software and service for creating and taking notes. However, it is much more technology savvy then just typing and taking notes the old fashioned way. “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. Notes can be sorted into folders, then tagged, annotated, edited, given comments, searched and exported as part of a notebook.” (Wiki, 2013) This software is not only on the web, but also available on apps for computers and iPads. The best part about this software, is that once you create an account, no matter what source you are using to use Evernote, it will sync it to your general account and so the next time you are on another source, it will be there. The counterpart or subset of EverNote is Skitch, is the image version of Evernote. Skitch uses pictures or screenshots to help further “take notes” on by drawing and or adding certain tools to it. Both programs are user friendly and easy to share with other users.

My experience using EverNote and Skitch have been amazing with all of my classes. Not only does it help me take notes, but with using so many websites and resources and photos, it allows me to take notes in the format I want or the same format my teacher is using. The best part about this great software to take notes is it’s sharing and how I can add more detail later. Sharing my notes to fellow classmates if they have missed a class or missed a certain key point in the class is wonderful. Not only have my experience using EverNote and Skitch helped me as being a student, it has given me great ideas on how to use it in my future classroom. Creating folders with Evernote notes and Skitch photos to share with students for their homework, classwork, assignments, or projects is going to be convenient and less confusing for the students. Creating all these tools that can be put together in one organizational place is wonderful and will only make using it in the classroom so much easier.

Making connections to classroom activities by using technology is a major concept that teacher can not forget when teaching in todays 21st century classroom. However, it is making a connection with these tools to the students by using something they are familiar with, is how we will strongly make the impact in their education and success academically. By using technology as in different softwares and social networking such as EverNote, Skitch, and Twitter, we can keep the students more aware, connected, and intrigued in what they are learning in todays classroom.

EverNote Elephant. Retrieved on October 10, 2013, from: http://osx.wdfiles.com/local--files/icon:47e8a-evernote-icon-256/47e8a-Evernote-Icon-256.jpg

EverNote Wikipedia. Retrieved on October 10, 2013, from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evernote

Jukes, Ian. 2013, June 18. 60 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom by Category. Retrieved on October 10, 2013, from: http://fluency21.com/blog/2013/06/18/60-ways-to-use-twitter-in-the-classroom-by-category/

Twitter Bird. Retrieved on October 9, 2013, from: http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/design/2012/6/new_twitter_logo.jpg

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