I am taking a quick break from my #ScrapNotes series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 are linked here) to share a few posts from events that have occurred this semester that I think might be pertinent/helpful.
Note taking Skills 101
The first is a Note-taking/Study Skills session we offered to all of our Freshman students. I should also mention that I work in a K-12 1:1 iPad school district. While students have access to the technology and are using the applications, I find that they still need support with digital organization so that is where this session filled a need.
- WHO: I co-presented this with our resident Academic Interventionist.
- HOW: It lasted 20 minutes and we taught it 16 times to ensure each class got to see it in a smaller and more interactive setting. Students were pulled from their English classes.
- WHAT: The session included 10 tips for Study Skills and a portion on note-taking (which was the one that I developed). The note-taking portion included research on note-taking best practices as well as survey results from our staff on the topic of note-taking (e.g. how often students take notes a week, what type of notes teachers encourage, and if teachers provide recorded versions of their lectures). If you are interested in creating a similar survey, I have included the sample here. I shared the survey results as well as the general research on note-taking with students during the presentation.
Note taking Styles 102
For the remainder of the session, I tried to focus mostly on note-taking skills that were agnostic (e.g. not tied to a device or a way of taking notes… digital or analog). This part included highlighting 4 types of notes and when it was most appropriate to use each.
Digital Binder 103
The very end of the presentation highlighted note-taking apps. While the vast majority of our students may take notes by hand, many of them also use digital tools for note-taking, drafting papers, and projects. In the olden days, students were taught to organize a binder and prepare it with tabs and they didn’t need wifi to unlock their notes or binder. While digital tools offer affordances like back-ups, speech to text, and searches, students also need to be cognizant about how they organize their digital binder, what tools they use for what purpose, and how to ensure these digital tools are organized and content will not be lost.
Honestly, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this. Everyone uses different apps and has a different process… but being aware of how you organize your content and having a system is really half the battle. I shared the info below with students and again restated that this was simply my process and they should develop a method or digital organization workflow that made sense for them.
Again… the chart above is how I organize my digital tools. It is not meant to be prescriptive… just an example of a process:
- NOTES: I use Notes for quick stuff. If you update to iOS 11, you can also use it to scan PDF’s. It has a collaborative element… which is nice… if you wanted to create a shared checklist while working with a group. It also has a drawing feature.
- NOTABILITY: Every secondary student has access to the Notability app. We shared info with Freshman on how to organize notes into folders for easier access. Notability allows you to create multimedia notes as well as to annotate PDF’s. It also has a built in recording feature which is great for recording a lecture. It accepts text as well as handwriting. One main thing for students to remember is to back up Notability to Google Drive so if Notability ever crashes or they have to swap out their iPad, then all of their notes will still be available.
- GOOGLE DOCS: Google Docs has fantastic word processing and collaborative features. The main thing to remember is that students will have to make certain documents available offline if they need to access them when they don’t have wifi. If they are a Senior, it is suggested that in the spring, they start sharing their documents with a personal gmail account so they don’t lose access to them after they graduate.
- EVERNOTE: Evernote is used by a fair number of college students and industry professionals. I suggest to students to sign in to it with a personal email account as if they leave the district (prior to 12th grade and/or after graduation) then they will still have access to their notes (and they won’t have to swap out the accounts). Evernote also has an audio recording feature and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) which is great if students want to search pictures of notes as well.
- PAPER by 53: Paper by 53 is a great tool for those that like to create mind-maps or sketchnotes. It also has backgrounds and graphic organizers.
If you are delivering similar professional development to students or find there are specific needs students have, I would love to hear about them. Please share links in the comments!
As I stated at the beginning of the post, I am pausing my #ScrapNotes series to share some initiatives I have been working on:
- iPad Base Camps for Students
- Note-taking Skills for Students
- Presentation Skills for Students
- Managing their Digital Lives: Tips for Students
- 5+ Ways to Deliver PD to Students
Stay tuned for more… !
WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?
If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And… Check out her latest creation… the book “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.”