Full disclosure here: these online Organizers are really neat, but I am not a fast typist. Using an online program or sending a lengthy email gets frustrating at times because the program will freeze or the email will time out because I take too long to type. Even as I am writing this, I am typing this blog entry into a word document before I copy/paste everything into my blog. I am sometimes bad about not checking my email, so I think I would find it difficult to check in daily (or multiple times a day) with these programs so that I could check on things to do or things that are due. I think that instead of these tools organizing my life, they would waste a good chunk of it.
Another major no-no for me is loss of privacy. Ever since the breach from the government on the Privacy Act, I am doubly cautious about opening accounts to sites that will have and use certain private information. Some of these tools, such as Pinterest and Wunderlist are social sites with options to add friends and contacts. I know it’s how you use everything that keeps your life private, but I still worry. As I have mentioned before, I love Twitter, but I try to minimize the sharing of my personal data on there as much as I can. I have to be honest and say that I don’t like leaving my little footprints all over the Internet. Before starting my MLS classes, I could Google my name and nothing would come up. Now I Google my name and I get more than a few hits and the info is all about me. It can feel a bit scary when you first see it. As a librarian, I will have to maintain a library web page and I will also choose to start a blog, but I hope by then to find a happy medium in this digital world.
Going back to the consistency and dedication, I don’t think I have it to the extent that is needed to commit to using one of these Organizers for work or school. That is NOT to say that I don’t see the benefit of these tools for use in the classroom because I definitely do. If you look at each section, I created a brief description from each website and some definitions from Wikipedia. I also included all the features that I could find for each Organizer when I researched it. I added my opinion, which includes pros and cons, about each tool. My opinions mostly include the benefits or drawbacks to using these tools in the classroom.
Wunderlist: “the only way to organize your life and business”
Things you are able to do on Wunderlist:
- tool to create to-do and other lists
- can get tool on Web, Mac and Windows
- quick look at all you have on Wunderlist at the Activity Center Page
- daily notifications/ calendar/reminders
- create assignments
- by installing extension: Add to Wunderlist/save content from the web/wish lists/Tweets
- add friends
- work on assignments together
- delegate tasks
- apps for Android, iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire
This is a very user-friendly tool. I think that the extension that allows you to automatically add something to Wunderlist is very useful and handy. I can see middle school and high school students using this tool in the classroom to get assignments from the teacher and work on research projects together. The apps available on different devices are also a plus for the Wunderlist user. In fact, since I own a Kindle Fire, I almost downloaded the app for it. If you look further on my side note, you’ll see why I decided against it. I teach 1st grade, so I think that this tool is a bit advanced to use with my little ones.
Side note: I always look for reviews on Amazon before I purchase anything. I looked at the reviews for the Wunderlist app for Kindle Fire before choosing to download it. From Amazon.com reviews on Wunderlist App (“I was very hesitant when the installation stated that the app would have access to lots of private information such as my contacts etc…”). You know what I thought after reading that review? <¡Ojo, mucho ojo!> A Spanish expression that means “watch out” or “keep an eye out.” What do you think I did? Yep, you guessed it, I didn’t download the app. It would have only been useful if I was going to be using it. Even though I was tempted to get it because it was free, the loss of privacy it hints at is not worth it for me.
Remember the Milk: “the best way to manage your tasks”
Things you are able to do on Remember the Milk:
- task manager tool
- create tasks as reminders - different ways to remind yourself
- can be organized under different lists
- sort by priority
- apps for Android, iPhone, iPad, Siri, Blackberry 10
- web, Gmail, Twitter, Microsoft Outlook, use Remember The Milk to manage your Evernote Reminders, Google Calendar, Quick Add Bookmarklet
I really liked the name of this tool. So adorable! It won my heart. I think college students and moms would really benefit from using this tool. In the classroom, I think 5th graders and 6th-12th graders would also like this Organizer. It certainly has a catchy name and is user friendly. I think that the apps available for Remember the Milk would entice 5th-12th graders. Unfortunately, I also think this tool is a little advanced for my 1st graders.
Workflowy: “organizing your brain”
Things you are able to do on Workflowy:
- productivity tool that allows you to collaborate on large team projects, take notes, write research papers, keep a journal, and more
- emails from Evernote can be sent to Workflowy to get it done
- to-do lists
- brainstorming tool
- processing work - things you work on actively like projects, things you do at home (areas of focus)
- apps for iTunes, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
I think this Organizer is my favorite one. Being that it is more of a journal type of organizer it seemed more attractive to me. It is EXTREMELY easy to start and set up. It also has a very simple look to it, which I like. The most taxing thing to do on there to add tasks is to press the tab key. How easy is that? I like the zoom in and zoom out feature because it doesn’t make all the tasks you enter seem overwhelming. I think this is one of the tools I could use with my 1st graders. I can see myself maybe putting in tasks or things to-do on a Class Workflowy for each month. I am going to talk to our tech teacher to see if we can make it happen. [I LOVE to journal my tasks, thoughts and to-dos, so I really liked this tool!!]
Things you are able to do on Evernote:
- to use for Mac or PC, browser plugins, web clipper extension
- captures reference material that you want to save for a later date
- ability to email directly into the Inbox in Evernote since you have an address attached to account, then tag it and save
- atlas feature to store geo locations notes from your travels
- capture information from document camera
- Benefits for educators: send notes or notebooks by email, share publicly - share class notes with students, as well as PDFs, documents, blog posts, Audiofiles, images, and web links
- apps for iPhone, blackberry, iPad, voice recognition to record notes on the app for Samsung 4s
I believe this is the most advanced example of the Organizers. I believe that middle school and high school students would really benefit from such a tool in the classroom. This is one Organizer I hear constantly about on Twitter that gets a lot of use in the classroom. I believe that it’s because it has so many features for interaction. I really liked the voice recognition feature from the app for the Samsung 4s. I think that this tool would be too difficult to use with my 1st graders.
| || |
Pinterest: “...collecting and
organizing things you love”
Pinterest is a sort of social pin board (similar in a way to Glogster). I have never, ever gone to the Pinterest site. Even from seeing others use it and hearing people rave about it during trainings, I was never very much interested in it. So, for this class I opened a Pinterest account for the very first time and created a board. It’s a very simple pin board with a few pins about education, bilingual education, libraries and quotes. Like I said, it’s nothing fancy but I did enjoy making it. Just like Twitter, I could see why some people have mentioned that it can be addictive. Pinterest has so much useful and adorable stuff out there. I can definitely see myself using this with my 1st graders. Maybe pre-creating some very simple pin boards for them in the beginning so they can get used to clicking on the pictures and links. From there we could create a class Pinterest pin board. For the older students, I think it would serve as a communication tool, as an assignment/project tool, and as a social tool. [I humbly include my link to my Pinterest pin board here.]
My Pinterest board and link:
My own personal favorite Organizer? Workflowy
Which one would be best to use with students? Pinterest - at least for my 1st graders
How could students use these tools? As I mentioned above, I think they could be used for communication (especially with the app options), assignments, to work on projects, make to-do lists, and as a class project (for younger kiddos).
What will you use Evernote for with students? I personally would not use Evernote with my 1st graders. It’s too complicated and my kiddos respond to simplicity and visuals. But it’s a definite keeper for the older students.
How can students use Pinterest to assist with their assignments and projects? As mentioned above, I think it would be a great tool for middle school and high school students to use to create, communicate, and collaborate. Their assignments and projects will be highly visual and they will get a lot of research done while pinning. It is also a great tool that even my 1st graders can use. Working in a dual-language classroom, it is a standard ELA (English Language Acquisition) strategy to use visuals and Pinterest provides that.
If I were to commit to using one of these Organizers for my personal use, it would have to be Workflowy. I really liked the look of it and it was very easy to use. I think perhaps Workflowy is the most user-friendly tool of the bunch. Some features that I saw from each of the tools made me recall the bookmarking simplicity of Diigo. I still use my Diigolet button to bookmark sites and Tweets to view and organize later. All these tools are highly interactive and for that very reason I consider them a goldmine in their usefulness in the classroom. The other benefit to some of these Organizers is that you can set notifications or reminders about just about everything you have a task for. 21st Century learners have different needs and we have to be prepared to meet those needs.
Amazon.com. (1996-2014). Wunderlist - To-do & Task List. Retrieved on January 30, 2014 from http://www.amazon.com/gp/product /B004TMPJP6
Flickrcc.net. (n.d.). Images. Retrieved January 30, 2014 from http://flickrcc.bluemountains.net/flickrCC/index.php
Remember the Milk. (2014). Logo image. Retrieved on January 30, 2014 from http://www.rememberthemilk.com/
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Evernote. Retrieved on January 30, 2014 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evernote
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Pinterest. Retrieved on January 30, 2014 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinterest
Workflowy. (n.d.). Snapshot image. Retrieved on January 30, 2014 from https://workflowy.com/