Organize, Collaborate, and Save Yourself Energy with Google Keep!
As a teaching tool, I think Google Keep is a fantastic resource to assist students with organization and collaboration. Whether they are working collaboratively or individually, there are many useful features. I especially like the ability to share across devices and have changes automatically saved, especially since students tend to use multiple devices depending on where they are working. I also love the archive feature because when students accidentally (or on purpose) delete their notes, they are easily recovered. As a teacher, this tool is a lifesaver for me. I have used it to track and organize ideas, keep my many different to do lists, save interesting articles and resources for later, and collaborate with other teachers on projects. I also love the color coding feature because I can easily see what is work related and what is personal. As far as I can tell, there are unlimited labels as well, and I like being able to tag notes using multiple labels. Final note - all of the teachers I have convinced to try this tool have come back to me to tell me how much they love it!
How I Use It
Google Keep is a great tool for curating and organizing student and teacher resources. With one click access, students can save web resources using their share buttons, copy to and from Google Docs, record voice memos as text, convert handwritten notes to text, and organize their digital lives. I use this to allow students to collaborate on notes and to do lists, which is especially useful when doing group projects. Students can share and track resources in the form of links, pictures, and text for collaborative projects, create custom labels so that their information is easily accessible to all, and even color code their notes. All notes can be easily copied into Google Docs, which is a huge benefit when the initial planning stages are complete, and students are ready to move forward with their research and writing. The voice to text feature is especially helpful for low literacy and special needs students as it allows them to participate in the note taking process without the worrying about spelling, grammar, and mechanics. Additionally, students who prefer to take hand written notes can take a picture of their notes and have them converted into text instantly so that everyone in the group can benefit. For the to-do list portion, students can asynchronously add what needs to be done and check things off as they are completed in order to maximize efficiency and promote accountability. The mobile site does not have as many features as the desktop site, but as mobile apps go, it is pretty user friendly. The only other down side is like with any digital notebook, Keep can get easily cluttered if students do not delete items they no longer need. It would be nice if there was an auto archive feature that would archive notes after a period of time,