Review by Marianne Rogowski, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2019
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Evernote

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Organize digital content with full-featured web clipper and notebook

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • English Language Arts

Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
6–12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (83 Reviews)
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Pros: Cross-device syncing, voice recording, collaboration, and markup features make this a powerful mobile notebook.

Cons: Accessibility features are somewhat lacking, so students who rely on assistive technology might struggle to use it.

Bottom Line: Students and teachers can learn to better manage their digital lives via this comprehensive organizational tool.

Teachers and students can use this amped-up notebook for a range of tasks. Students can collect research for an upcoming project or paper, and teachers can share assignments, resources, or reading materials. Since Evernote is basically a blank notebook, kids can fill it up almost any way they choose. Get kids to snap a picture of a flower and use Skitch to label the different parts. Let students choose or customize a template to show the differences among rock formations, complete with annotated images of each one. Kids who struggle with writing can record their ideas first as voice memos, or record your own voice memos to email home to students or parents. 

Planning a group project? Let students collaborate by sharing typed or handwritten notes, annotated images, or files. This is especially helpful when kids are absent: They'll have an easier time catching up if they have access to the day's notes. Finally, teach kids who tend to forget things how to create checklists and set reminders for assignments, tasks, or due dates. Strategies like these teach kids organizational and self-help skills that will transfer far beyond the classroom.

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Evernote is a note-taking and productivity tool that offers companion apps for web clipping, drawing, and scanning. Students can create notes, snap images, hand-write notes, make checklists, or record audio on their mobile device and make the information available on other mobile devices or computers. Depending on the plan, content will sync across two or more devices, but the versions sometimes get mixed up. Students can search notes by keyword or by customizable tags for easy retrieval. Multiple notebooks -- basically folders -- appear as Stacks, making it easy to drag and drop content between them. Users can also download companion apps like Scannable and Skitch, which allow them to import documents or annotated images. Premium accounts can be linked automatically, but even in the free version, kids can share links to their notes or information.

The app itself is easy to use, with a simple yet attractive user interface. The help features are plentiful, but there seems to be a lot of dependence on community forums and feature requests from other users -- there's an email option to contact Evernote but no chat support. Additional features, such as offline access and syncing across unlimited devices, are available with the Premium plan.

Like any notebook, kids will get out of Evernote what they put into it. The difference here is the potential for its impact on learning. The interactive features and relative ease with which students can record and organize content promotes a shift in the way kids manage information in school and the way teachers share it. 

Beyond simply allowing students to organize notes into sections, Evernote promotes writing skills through note-taking, graphic organizers, visual or audio content, and more, supporting many different learning needs. And kids can easily search for notes via keyword. This means that even students who struggle with organization will be able to locate their text-based notes and shared documents while they work on developing better habits. The note-sharing feature can help kids learn skills like collaboration and interdependence without having to borrow someone else's paper-based notebook or device to get caught up. Finally, the ability to sync notes across two or more devices means that kids and teachers can easily switch between mobile devices, tablets, laptops, or desktops without losing ground.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Kids will take to Evernote easily, and its companion apps, such as Skitch and Scannable, will add to the novelty.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Students need help organizing both their handwritten and digital content, and Evernote helps with both. With guidance, kids can improve research and organization skills and learn to better manage information.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

In-app help includes developer and community support, a getting started guide, and a tour. There are different language options, but the tool lacks other increasingly common accessibility features.


Common Sense Reviewer
Marianne Rogowski Media specialist/librarian

Teacher Reviews

(See all 83 reviews) (83 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Pat D. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Falcon Creek Middle School
Aurora, United States
Love it and use it!
I love using it. My students always want to know how I managed to clip the article or webpage for them so their is no extra information to cause distractions for them when they research. This feature is especially helpful with students who do struggle with distractions on a webpage.
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Privacy Rating

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