Dec 11 2012

Remember Everything! Every time! Access Everywhere!- With Evernote!



Let me apologize ahead of time- I get real excited about Evernote. You may even call me an Evernote evangelist of sorts.

I have not blogged about Evernote before now for a couple reasons:

  1. There aren’t enough words to do this justice.
  2. Hasn’t everyone already heard of Evernote?

There are only a few programs that I launch daily that I cannot live without- and Evernote is one of them. What is it and why do I need it? Those are the hardest questions of all so let me see if I can summarize it:

  • A platform to let you remember and access all of your information when you and where you need it
  • Your digital life coach and manager
  • Your lifesaver in time of need
  • Your agent of change- start leading a “paperless” life

Evernote works on the concept of “Notes.” You add a note to your account using a device (computer, tablet, phone, etc.). The note can contain text, of course, but can also contain a photo, a link, a file, almost anything digital. You can then access that note at anytime once it is synced to the server. You can also share that note with others when you want!

Rather than be bore you with the details, here are some practical ways I use Evernote:

  • Post-it note replacement- Instead of writing something down on a little note, I just whip out my phone and make a quick note within Evernote. I then can access that note later.
  • Son’s football practice schedule- I take a picture of the printed football schedule (called a “snapshot” in Evernote). Then that text in the photo is searchable. Let me repeat that- any text in any image is searchable (sort of like the way scanners use OCR). This works even for handwritten text within an image!
  • Take a picture of a PPT slide during a presentation
  • Take snapshots of business cards, then trash the card itself
  • Take snapshots of receipts- I inevitably will misplace paper receipts. Taking a snapshot makes them searchable and can show them to the store so they can get the information they need for exchanges and refunds!
  • Take a snapshot of a diagram or poster on a bulletin board, etc.
  • Take a snapshot of a book I’d like to read or buy later (since I won’t remember the title or author on my own) Continue reading

Oct 14 2012

ScribbleMaps- Draw on top of Google Maps

ScribbleMaps is an awesome way to simply annotate and draw on top of Google maps. The toolbar includes options to create placemarks, draw shapes, fill, erase, etc.
Like all Google Maps, it can display street maps, satellite views, or a hybrid of both. This can be very useful in many ways. Google Maps itself is an awesome tool. But this cool website adds another dimension to its usefulness. Here’s a quick map I created outlining the Washington D.C. mall area. Notice that this is a live widget!

This has some potential for classroom uses! In the past, we have used Google Earth for these purposes- but this is so much easier!

Mar 29 2010


Today I received an email from the folks at (along with everyone else who attended CA CUE I guess!) telling about their Web 2.0 product. I decided to check it out, and really enjoyed working with it.

The idea is to select a photograph from their collection, then use the suggested words to write a sentence, a poem, a haiku, or whatever about the photograph. There is wide variety of photographs and each one has a range of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs specific to the photograph, as well as an assortment of universal words such as a, the, has, my, etc. Think of it as refrigerator poetry on steroids! Continue reading

Jan 30 2010

Jog the Web- my kind of running!


Taking someone (say, students) on a tour of websites has never been easier. With this cool annotation tool, you add and sequence pages to be visited in the tour. The page opens in a frame with your typed message in the side frame. It’s better if you just take a look. I created this jog- a tour of 5 pages that provide free image resources for students and teachers.


Users advance to the next stop in the track by clicking on the Next (right arrow) button. The page will load within the given frame, keeping the navigation controls visible in a separate (left frame).

Just imagine the possibilities- take students on a self-paced tour through websites of your choosing. With your annotations, highlight important parts of the page or pose questions for students to answer with the information on each page.

Nov 10 2009

Voki: Talking Avatars


Talking avatars are a really great way to get your students’ attention really quickly. A Voki can be created by a teacher to introduce material or to give directions, or better yet, created by a student to share information. Students can let their Voki give a character description, a science vocabulary word, or the reasoning behind a math solution. There’s no limit to what a Voki can do!

Click the play button to hear my Voki! Continue reading

Aug 8 2009

Read it! Read it! Don’t you make me repeat it!


Need a new gimmick to get students excited about summarizing concepts? Try this great website- Read the Words! In simple terms, you choose an avatar, customize it if you want, and make it speak. Pretty simple right? Try playing this one below- and move your mouse around to see how she follows with her creepy eyes.

The free version allows three concurrent files- none of which can be longer than 30 seconds. Thirty seconds? Any longer and that wouldn’t be much of a summarization would it?


  • Logins are required
  • Can create up to 3 avatar files concurrently
  • 30 second limit
  • Freemium model- can upgrade for more features