I have had this question rumbling around in my mind lately. “How can I use Simplenote for classroom instruction?” I have scratched my head again and again during the last few days. Then I decided to get more brains involved.
I asked my family to help me with this question. First, I described the Simplenote program to them. I told them the following information about Simplenote:
- Simplenote is a place where you can keep your notes online.
- Simplenote is also available in app form for iPhones, iPads, etc.
- Automatic synchronization occurs whether you are entering notes on your PC or mobile device.
- Simplenote is free.
The brainstorming session that followed really encouraged me. My family and I had a discussion about the technology involved with Simplenote, and a wonderful list of ideas sprang up. We assumed hypothetically that a teacher would have a Simplenote account opened and displayed on the screen, and that the students in the class would have the SAME Simplenote account opened on their laptops or mobile device. Here is the list of lesson ideas:
- a KWL chart generated by the students – they type in the note, and they see the synchronization results on the screen, since they are using the same account as the teacher
- the math teacher poses a math question, and students type in their answer, which then displays on the screen
- mental math contests
- collaborative research – example: students are studying Abe Lincoln, and they are each given a different aspect of his life to research. They type in the results of their research, and a class discussion follows
- vocabulary review – the teacher asks for the meaning of a word, and the students type what they think
- students annotate a poem or other piece of literature – this way, other students benefit from their thoughts
- students type in what they did this weekend, summer, etc.
- cloze passages – students type in what they think goes in each blank
- somebody, wanted, but, so, then
- flash card answers
- multiple choice assessments
- test review
- quizzes – teachers would turn of projector for this one
- prewriting ideas
- teaching outlining
- teaching note-taking – students get to see other people’s notes
I am hopeful that Simplenote can be used profitably in the classroom. I know there are also many more ways to use this technology in education. Let me know if you use it, and please share your ideas.