Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Nothing to facilitate learning like agreeing to "bone up" to present the intermediate version of an app that I've been using in "beginner" fashion. But the more I learn about Evernote, the more I like it.

Mostly I just type lots of notes -- short and long -- things I want to remember and have accessible from any device. Books and movies people recommend. Notes about students to have on hand if I talk to parents. Agenda items for meetings. I haven't been interested in saving website articles that way, because I find Diigo to work quite well for the volume of links I save.

But with the iPad and the ability to take photos and record audio, more possibilities are opened up. I'm pretty impressed at how well the search function works, even finding words within photos of text or of my worst handwriting. Perhaps I will be finding new uses for Evernote.

Decisions, decisions

As we move from PC to iPad in our school, I have some things to figure out in terms of organization. I've been using One Note for all of my meetings and Evernote for just about every other note I type. I think there's a way to keep using One Note, and to sync it to all my devices. Should I learn that, or just stick everything in Evernote now?

We will be storing in the cloud, and Dropbox is the place that's been hyped around here so far. But Google just came out with Google Drive, and we're doing lots more Google. Would it be simpler to keep it in the family, so to speak?

I'll be making decisions about calendars. We have recently added a school Google calendar, and that's where my class calendars will go in the fall. If I keep the separate one I have in my personal (already existing) account, will I risk double-booking myself? I've already done that once, and we've barely begun. It's easy to switch from one calendar to another, but will I remember to do that? Maybe it's just as well to keep everything in one place.

It's going to be an interesting year, on many levels.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Moodle rubrics

I have mentioned before that I am glad to see the introduction of rubrics to our Moodle experience. I am experimenting now with a couple of sets of essay papers.

I have had to learn some of the quirks. It is not possible to edit a rubric once it has been attached to an assignment. So, if there is a mistake, take it off the assignment first before trying to make changes.

Unfortunately, our version only offers two rubric choices, and neither fits what I really want. I am using a "checklist" type, and it requires me to check many boxes, which can get tedious. I would like to set it up so that only the highest applicable box needs to be checked.

Because of that tedium, I tried using the iPad, figuring it would be faster to just tap. The problem there was getting from the rubric to the paper and back efficiently. There might be a way, but I don't know it since the iPad experience is still fairly new for me. I tried using both the iPad and my PC at the same time, but didn't work, either.

So, back to the computer. After about ten papers, I think this method is at least as good as what I had been doing before, copying the grading criteria to each grading box and entering points for each one. I'm just not sure yet if it's better.