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Posts Tagged ‘Evernote’

Term papers today are easier than when I was in high school.  That was back in the days of electric typewriters.

The following are the new essential skills and tools for term papers.

  1. Search Engines. Besides googling, you need to know how to evaluate what’s accurate, current, and verified. Wikepedia is a good to skim but is not a good research reference. Can you research on social media too?
  2. Library Websites. The Evansville Public Library website (my local library) is a treasure trove with good web sources and databases as well as books. You should be able to dance the jitterbug around your library’s website and know how to request an inter-library loan.
  3. NoodleTools. This is the best research tool I have found for students.  It costs $8 per year for an individual account, and I require it of every student I teach to write term papers.  Students take virtual notecards with NoodleTools, and it generates bibliographies. Noodletools teaches students to self-evaluate their research and intuitively know when and where to dig deeper.
  4. Evernote or OneNote. These are programs to take notes. Evernote has a free version. OneNote is part of Office. Both have mobile apps. These help you take notes on the go.
  5. Word processors.  Word is the gold standard. There is a student license for Office. If you are on a budget, you could use Google Docs or Open Office. I recommend Google Docs because it’s easier to share your work and have access to your documents wherever you are. If you need bells & whistles, go Office. The same recommendations hold if your research requires statistical analysis.
  6. Presentation software. Your choices here include PowerPoint, Google Docs, or Prezi. Some prefer Prezi because the results can be flashier. There is a free version if you share your work and a paid if you want it private. If you create a presentation, make sure you know how to use the program well. Further, know how to effectively use the presentation as a tool and not a crutch. Can you give your presentation without the slideshow?
  7. Go 2.0.  The paper and the presentation should not just be a static assignment – that’s 1.0 20th century work. Welcome to the new world. Share your work on Slideshare plus written and video blogs.

I used to worry about typing my term paper. The 2.0 research model offers opportunities to develop critical thinking – and critical sharing skills – instead.

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I’m too old for bleeding edge tech innovations but love how the following made my life easier this year.  Most, but not all, are apps on my Droid Smartphone. They are all things I began using this year:

  1. Wool cycle on my Whirlpool Duet washer – Much easier, faster, and cleaner than my former handwash days.
  2. Netflix – it’s convenient, with instant download for movies I want to see.
  3. Hootsuite – it’s like social media on streamlined steroids, and I love the phone app too.
  4. #Tristatewx – a Twitter hashtag – Easily see weather changes in the Tri-State area, from weather professionals and locals. Love to see a whole community collaborate with it.
  5. Bump – phone app – Quickly exchange business card information with other iPhone and Droid users who use it.
  6. GStrings – phone app – when my kids carry their violin or guitar places to play, they can quickly and accurately tune their instruments.
  7. Maps – phone app – though I struggle sometimes reading the map, it has saved my bacon while travelling. Though it’s a little hinky sometimes, I like the voice Navigator that helps me get to new destinations.
  8. Voice to Text – phone app – I can ask my phone to search Google, Tweet, or update my Facebook status. Though it struggles with my southern drawl, it saves time.
  9. Barcode Scanner – phone app – I can scan bar codes and compare prices while I shop. QR codes will use this to make 2011 a different kind of year.
  10. Smart Protractor – phone app – helped my kids with their math when we couldn’t find a real protractor in the house.
  11. Evernote – phone app – Thanks to Dan Sully of the Social Media Club of Evansville for introducing this new super organizer tool for those of us who organize better by computer than by way of real paper.
  12. Color Flashlight – phone app
  13. Air Horn – loud horns. When a friend was in a touchy situation alone one evening last year, she downloaded this with her phone on highest volume.
  14. Rosary – phone app
  15. Contacts – My Outlook contacts are synced to my phone, along with my Facebook phone directory.  

The Android LightSaber app did not make the list because they still have no female Jedi, so I have to fight like a guy.  The whoopie cushion app can provide fun laughs, but my more mature, saner half would hate it if I listed it.

Watch in 2011: the Holiday World phone app which promotes a whole community of cool places.

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