— Anita Thiernian (@athier24) October 24, 2012
Many who know me also know that I’m a huge fan of Evernote. I will, in fact, admit to being an unashamed Evernote evangelist and am happy to demonstrate all the ways that I use it if anyone so much as hints at wanting to know. I type meeting notes directly into Evernote, document work-related tasks and collect all manner of bits from the web, including articles, blog posts, and reviews. I create to-do lists and shopping lists for work and home. I use Evernote to brain-storm ideas and to write drafts.
In the interest of eliminating paper, I’ll snap shots of meeting handouts using Evernote’s camera feature. Adding photos is also a handy feature when shopping. In less time than it takes for me to dig for paper and pen, I can grab my phone and take a picture of whatever it is that caught my eye. Did I mention that you can put Evernote on iPads, phones (Android and iOS), and computers, in addition to accessing your account from any web-enabled device? I digress. As fond as I am of the camera feature, however, it has it’s glitches.
My iPhone wants to take very nice pictures. Very nice pictures translates into big files, and one of my few quibbles with Evernote (there, I said it) is that it doesn’t allow you to resize images within a note. Adding multiple pictures within a note would sometimes cause Evernote to respond with less than stellar results. So I was very happy when I heard about FastEver Snap ($1.99) for the iPhone (and, before you ask, it will work on the iPad as well). The app is designed specifically for use with Evernote and provides Evernote’s missing ability to resize images. Onscreen icons give you the option to quickly choose which notebook you want your photo in and to assign the appropriate tags. I also like that there’s a setting where I can turn off having the photos I take with FastEver Snap automatically saved to the camera roll.
Another Evernote-related tip I learned about recently was a quick way to search for unchecked check boxes. Up until now I had been periodically reviewing older lists looking for the tell-tale empty box that meant, at the very least, I’d simply forgotten to check something off, or worse, I’d missed a task on a to-do list or project list. Following up on my lists this way was inefficient at best. I was thrilled when I came across this tweet by Fraser Speirs. I had to try it immediately and, oh joy, it’s a simple thing to do and it works.
Evernote tip: a saved search for “todo:false” produces every note with an un-checked checkbox. Powerful.
— Fraser Speirs (@fraserspeirs) September 14, 2012
Are you an Evernote user? Have an Android or iOS tip to share? Leave a comment and tell us about it.
The students are back! Ok, we knew that. I have a pretty good view out of my office window and get to witness a variety of it’s-a-new-semester behaviors. There are the freshman who are clearly still figuring out the neighborhood interspersed with “old timers” sauntering about. The occasional sprinter flits past, in a hurry to somewhere. Some students travel in gaggles while others stroll past in pairs or alone. Most are bedecked with some variety of gadgets and bags. Most seem either comfortable or, perhaps, expectant, or some blending between.
But lest you think I do nothing but stare out the window, I have put together a somewhat diverse list of resources (hence the “This and That”) for starting off the semester.
Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips
If grammar is your thing, both the web site and the accompanying podcast are made for you (or your students). The podcasts are brief and to the point and have written transcripts for each topic. Recent offerings have tackled the “serial comma kerfuffle” and “Portmanteaus.” Visit Grammar Girls’ website or download the audio podcast directly from iTunes. (This one’s a regular on my iPod.)
Think you know all there is about search strategies? This ProfHacker post might surprise you. Also find links to Google resources on how to use little known features, as well as, lessons to adapt for students.
62 things you can do with Dropbox
If you’re a Dropbox fan or just considering it, you might want to skim over this article by MacWorld. Not sure what Dropbox is? Check out this video created by Commoncraft.
Using a Blog in an Independent Study
Whether you’ve been using blogs for a while or are new to them, this ProfHacker post offers useful tips on using blogs with students.
Learning Through Digital Media—Experiments in Technology and Pedagogy
If you’ve ever given even a passing thought about the hows and whys of using a social media tool like Twitter with your students, read David Parry”s article describing why he chose to use Twitter, it’s benefits and limitations, and how he uses it with his students.
Seven free iOS apps to help you out in the lab
If you are inclined to include phrases such as restriction enzymes or molarity calculations in your conversation, or if you have need of a PCR mastermix calculator you’ll definitely want to have a look at these apps.
Ins and Outs of Using Gadgetry
Want to know what the “half-press trick” is for your point-and-shoot camera, or the quickest ways to select text in Word? This article by tech writer David Pogue has answers to an assortment of basic tech-related questions.
InTech Loaner Equipment
Need to borrow a camcorder for a class project? Check out the list of loaner equipment available from for Faculty, Staff, and students.
Know Your Copy Rights
Go here for a downloadable brochure that highlights “What You CAN Do” when it comes to using copyrighted materials in your class. Visit the InTech web pages for more copyright resources, including links for royalty-free images and video. Feel free to share this information with your students.