19 Things for Hamden Hall

Week 5: Productivity

Posted on: May 19, 2011

This is the second-to-last 19 Things post. This week is about getting organized and being productive. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information out there (including all of the stuff I’ve been telling you about on this blog), then these tools may help you sort through it. You’ll learn how to save and share links, access documents anywhere, and keep notes on anything you want, from grocery lists to thoughts on new textbooks to resources you learn about in a workshop. So here goes…

Thing 15: Diigo

What is it?

Watch this video about the main features of Diigo. It explains the many features of this tool.

For extra help, choose one of the videos on this page to view.

How can I use it?

Diigo has an education portal with tools for teachers. There, you can set up protected class Diigo accounts so that your students can share resources with each other.

Your students can use Diigo to keep track of their research, highlight work they are reading online, and save web pages for later viewing.

Try it out!

To start, explore the education groups in Diigo to see how others are sharing resources with each other.

Then, you might want to sign up for a Diigo account. Once you do, join the Hamden Hall Diigo group.

If you think you would like to use Diigo on your classroom computer, let me know and I will show you how to use the toolbar.

Thing 16: Dropbox

What is it?

Watch this short video on Dropbox in Plain English.

How can I use it?

Dropbox is a great tool for YOU to use if you work on the same documents at work and at home. We can install it for you on your H drive.

As for students:

  • Here are some lesson plans for K-12 classrooms that incorporate Dropbox (you may have to scroll down to see them)
  • Learn how students can all share the same Dropbox, and how that could help with organizing group project, here.
  • Students can turn in their papers to your Dropbox.

Try it out!

Sign up for a Dropbox account here. To start, just explore the online part of Dropbox. This can be accessed from any computer, even if Dropbox is not installed on that computer.

Or, visit my public Dropbox folder here. Everyone has one public folder that is available to anyone, but you can also have numerous private folders that can be shared with only select people (or no one at all).

Thing 17: Evernote

What is it?

Start with this quick introduction to Evernote.

How can I use it?

Evernote can be a great tool for you to keep track of notes, both personal and professional, as well as information found online. You can install it on any computer that you use, as well as a smart phone. Here are 7 reasons why you should love Evernote.

Here’s how Evernote can be used with students:

  • Start with this blog post, which shares practical ideas for using Evernote (scroll down past the introduction).
  • Here are ten great ways that students can use Evernote.

Try it out!

Start by signing up for an Evernote account online. Then play around with the online version – once you have decided you like Evernote, you can download it. Start by clicking the “new note” button.


13 Responses to "Week 5: Productivity"

I don’t think I would use these tools for organizing.

They’re not for everyone, that’s for sure! I use some of them and can’t imagine life without them, but I also swear by my tried-and-true handwritten to-do list.

I have been using diigo since January. I find it invaluable for being able to access and organize “favorites” from any computer I am working on.

Martha- Are you a member of the HH Diigo group?

I have not used Dropbox, but I have learned to use the dropbox feature on NoodleTools – a great tool for student organization of research resources and notes. The ability to share work with a teacher and receive teacher comments as you go along is invaluable. NoodleTools has been introduced to Grade 5 and up at Hamden Hall.

Diigo was an amazing tool for my students when they were doing research for the Mathematician Fake Facebook Wall project. http://lorricarroll.wordpress.com/2011/02/26/myfakewall-diigo-project/ It allowed them to organize their research at home and at school (in one place). They didn’t have to email links back and forth in a Word Document and could even share them (and comment) with the class. Here is the follow up post to it: http://lorricarroll.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/i-cant-find-blaise-pascals-friends/ Here is a link to my class group: http://groups.diigo.com/group/algebra1b

and my public Diigo Library: http://www.diigo.com/user/lcarroll94

For this week’s topic of productivity, I found all three tools quite interesting.

Diigo has a lot of possibilities for personal use…I may try it out for keeping track of my own links. How many times have you had trouble finding something you’ve seen on the web and meant to keep track of!?! It also sounds very helpful for students doing a research project. Although my history students don’t do a big research project, I’ll probably introduce them to the tool so they can access it for other subjects.

Dropbox is also a good tool for students to use. I can’t tell you how many times students don’t have their homework because it’s on the home computer and they couldn’t print it. This would be an easy solution. I would suggest that students make a habit of saving work in Dropbox so they can access, print, or modify it from home or school. This would also save attachments from filling up their in-boxes (and mine!).

Evernote seemed like it would be great for people who live their whole lives digitally (I don’t count myself among them, though). I can imagine that it would be great for those who use a smart phone as personal organizer, and it would be great for syncing all electronics together. I wonder if this might help some of our less organized students get organized? Could this be their academic “home base” in the same way that an old fashioned planner is for others? It could be truly interactive as a planner system, where kids could even upload and store memos, appointments, syllabi, deadlines, homework, and other info. Would love to know if it could help a student who struggles with organization?

Let’s talk about using Diigo with your kids next year. I noticed one of your students in Civ I using it. I really like the idea of setting up groups so that all of the students in a class can share resources with each other.

I’ve been wanting to introduce Evernote to students for a while. I worry that it might be overwhelming because there are so many resources. I think older students might like it, but by then they’re used to their “system”… or lack thereof. We need to find some early adopters to try it out!

T. Porto 5/19
The sites are very interesting.
I am going to look at http://www.diigo.com as well as web connections as listed under bookmarks.
Already using dropbox.
Evernote seemed to directed at a much higher age group.
However, I would like to learn how to organize my personal preferences.

Evernote is definitely for older students, though you may find it useful for yourself! At our next tech byte, let me know what you’d like to do with organizing your preferences.

I looked at Diigo again. I do have many links to favorites which are not well organized. Diigo tags could help me be better organized.

I use Dropbox all the time. Beth told me about it. When we had snow days, it was very helpful to transfer documents via dropbox from my home computer to my school one.

My summer goal is to use two of these new tools to become a better teacher.


I have a hard time organizing my favorites. They’re all over the place – on my work PC, my personal laptop, in Diigo… I need to just take the time to organize them, which is boring but will be helpful in the long run.

I have just started using dropbox. It (folder) fills up fast and $ is required past a certain point. I also fear that these tech companies will “fly by night” and data will be lost forever. I had this happen with Ofoto back in 2000 and lost many memories of the kids. I guess it is like anything else “back it up”.

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