Before I describe how to use Evernote to send audio feedback to students, please allow me a moment to crow. I just recently (and possibly temporarily) passed the 2000 followers mark on Twitter, (@joanvinallcox). I don’t play “get followers” games; I mostly use Twitter for professional development and a little friendly curiosity. I follow-back accounts that look like real people who are interested in the same things I am, and/or might have helpful information for my PD. And I tweet and/or re-tweet what interests me. So 2000 followers feels pretty good.
My excuse for the previous paragraph is that it was on Twitter that I first heard about Evernote, and about using it for giving feedback to students in an audio format. A lot of what I’ve learned about the web and social media has been driven by what I can use in my teaching, and as soon as I saw the reference (sorry I can’t remember who posted the tweet) I knew I had to try it out. After all, I was teaching a course that had students composing and posting audio files online; I needed to be a good model for my students. So my quest began!
I have three (synced) versions of Evernote, – on my iPad, on the web, and an app on my MacBook Air. After trials and tribulations I found the pattern that works for me. I have OS X 10.8.2, and that means I have an app store available on the Launchpad icon on my laptop dock, and I have the Evernote app there (among others).
When I open the app and add a new Note, I see
The arrow points to the mic. Sometimes the mic doesn’t appear, and then I go to the Menu Bar, and go to File / New Audio Note to get the mic. After clicking on the mic, clicking on Record and speaking, I see that the Record button has become red and says Save. When I’ve finished speaking, I click on Save, which then becomes blue and says, Play. My audio feedback is ready as soon as I click on Done.
It is very helpful to add tags, especially the student’s last name. See below where it says “click to add tags”; add as many as are helpful.
But how do I email it? Again, many trials, and I finally arrived at this process. (Please let me know if you have a more efficient one.) I open my email Contacts, and open the Group that lists the email addresses of my students. I arrange my desktop so I can easily click from my class email list to my Evernote app.
Then I click on the curved arrow on the Evernote app to set up the email -
Up pops the the email form. Note especially that “CC me on this message” is checked. By checking it, you will save these emails in your Sent Mail. (I like to keep a record of what I send to students.)
I click on my Contacts / Class Group list on my browser, copy the student’s email address, click back on the Evernote App, and paste in the address.
It is time-consuming, but I think not as much as writing out and emailing individual feedback. It is especially useful for assignments that you can’t write on before returning, such as audio, video, or even PowerPoint.
If you have a smoother, more efficient way to send audio feedback to individual students, I’d love to hear about it.