Saturday, January 6, 2018

Thing 26: Note-Taking Tools

Notes, notes, notes. I am a prolific note-taker and list-writer. It seems to be the only way to keep my life organized and on-track! My tools of choice: pen and paper. I like tangible visuals.

Students often have difficulty learning note-taking skills; it involves higher-order thinking skills as students need to analyze and evaluate what is important. I jumped into Thing 26 hoping to find some new tips and tricks to help my classes. Some Excellent Note-Taking Tips for Students has some concrete advice that would help students along the right path. The nine guidelines listed were validating (I did them as a student!) and valuable. A hard-copy would be an essential tool for students to have, and the list could be posted in classrooms/library as well. I found pen vs. keyboard interesting as well. I have always favored pen and paper over electronic notes and lists.Part of it is because, as the article states, writing helps me retain information. Graphic organizers are a key component in helping students handle information  (although I never wanted/needed to use them when I was a student).

Note Taking Tips for Different Learning Styles was terrific, as it speaks to differentiation (although the article's title was a bit of a misnomer, as it really pertains to study tips.) However, it would help students identify their own learning style and make a study plan accordingly; another great resource to share with them.

Our District uses a Google learning environment and I am a big fan of the Google apps, so I decided to focus on Keep. I was surprised that there is no tutorial embedded in the app (if there is, I cannot find it.) However, with just a bit of exploring, I found Keep to be easy to use, with one exception. I love that lists can be shared and emailed, making collaboration easy. So much fun adding photos to my grocery list, drawing my to-do list and changing background colors! (Just too tempting to play around with it!) I love, absolutely love, the fact that I can add check boxes to my lists and mark off the things that I have accomplished. So satisfying! Students can use Keep to keep track of assignments and due dates. (Our older students have paper agendas for this purpose, but those can be lost or left behind at home or school.) Committee members working on a project, or teachers collaborating on a lesson, can easily track what has been done and what still needs to be accomplished.

I wanted to experiment with the web clipper tool, so I searched Keep for it. My grocery list came up as the only hit. Where is that tutorial??? Polly, can you help this befuddled person? I searched Google for how to use the web clipper but I still cannot get it to work. (Maybe I've been looking at this for too long and need to step away.) I will keep (hah hah) trying, because without the web clipper, some of the value of this app is lost. (On my computer Keep comes up as a Google app; I also see it referred to as an extension.Some cognitive dissonance taking place!)


  1. I've had some trouble with the Keep web clipper too, I figured it was just me! :( Darn. I'll try to find some answers. I did find a great overview of Keep itself: - just added it to the lesson.

  2. And of course, my google keep clipper extension just started working! I had to highlight some text on a web page and then click on the keep icon. It saved that text. And from there it worked fine, whether I highlighted text or just clicked on the icon to save the URL to the page. I wonder if it will still be behaving tomorrow.....