Twitter, IFTTT, and Evernote for Taking Notes

At a recent conference, I was teasing a friend between sessions that I didn’t see any tweets from him during the last session. He mentioned that he was too busy taking notes to tweet. I mentioned that my tweets are a main component of my notes during conferences.

I do like to share the information that I am learning at a conference for those who are not lucky enough to attend. I have also found that trying to take notes then tweet is both time consuming and that I can miss something while trying to share my notes. My note-taking process during a conference is using Twitter, Evernote, and an IFTTT recipe.

I always have Evernote open during a conference to take notes because not all content is necessary Twitter worthy, but is necessary for me to know and keep. There also tend to be instances where 140 characters are simply not enough to thoroughly take the notes.

Using an IFTTT recipe (similar to this one) that saves all of my favorite tweets to Evernote, I am able to capture my tweets as notes in Evernote. This recipe is helpful in two ways. The first is that the material that is Twitter worthy gets typed in 140 characters and tweeted without being typed into or copied from Evernote notes. Once the session over, I quickly favorite my own tweets. These tweets are sent as separate notes to my Evernote inbox folder. The second is that I can favorite tweets from either the same session or other sessions going on at the conference and have those tweets go to my Evernote inbox as well. This is great for when people are tweeting apps, ideas, or quotes from other sessions that I want to look into at a later time.

After the conference is over, I tend to debrief with my notes and combine them into one or two master notes with different sections for the main topics. All of my tweets are saved as separate notes and I pull the relevant information into my master notes. In addition, it gives me time to review the tweets that I favorited that I didn’t have time to look into during the conference sessions.

I realize that this may be a little time consuming, but I do like essentially “live” tweeting from conferences and being able to save some time by letting my tweets be my notes.

ACTE Region V Recap

The ACTE Region V Conference is one of my favorite conferences to attend. It is small enough that you can easily network with others and you get to steal/borrow ideas from other states to apply them into your school or state. This year’s conference was no exception as it provided some informative sessions and great chances to talk to fellow educators. Here is a brief recap of the sessions I attended:

  • Leadership 101 – While I attended this one late due to a flight, I still got some great information about advocacy and was able to identify some other state leaders to discuss the benefits/drawbacks of potentially being a unified state later in the conference.
  • First Time Attendee Reception – This is not my first Region V conference, as part of the Membership Committee, I attended this conference and discussed the things I wish I knew at my first conference. That lesson was to network with others and not to be afraid to talk to those who have been attending the conference for years and in some cases decades.
  • Working Together for Success: Core & CTE – This session was led by one of the teachers I work with and I was there for moral support and to answer some logistics questions about how we run school-wide PBL activities.
  • Industry Tour at Harley-Davidson – This was probably the one thing that went really wrong. We showed up 10-15 minutes late (despite leaving on-time) and were refused a tour of the manufacturing plant.
  • ACTEAZ Circle of Distinction – This was a very informative session on how Arizona ACTE utilizes the decision-makers in companies to help them advocate for CTE which they desperately needed this year. It is definitely something that I want to incorporate in Nevada and I also learned that I don’t want to move to Arizona.
  • Introduction to Effective Advocacy Techniques – When it comes to advocacy, you can’t get enough tips and ideas. This was a great session that gave me some ideas and was interesting to see how California CTE has been advocating for such a large state.
  • State of the State – This is the business meeting. I gave Nevada’s state of the state, but it is interesting to hear about the educational climates in other states and how states are dealing with legislators and membership concerns.
  • Leadership Networking – This was an informal meeting that involved adult beverages. It was another chance for state leaders to ask questions of other leaders and to get some advice.

While I couldn’t stay to the end of the conference, I did enjoy my short stay in Kansas and at Region V. Next year, it is in San Diego and it looks like they have some great things planned.

We Have to Stop Pretending – CTE Version

Based on Scott McLeod’s (@mcleod) blog post “We have to stop pretending“, I have decided to create my list of five focused on career and technical education.

We have to stop pretending…

  1. that CTE is only for those students who are not going to college.
  2. that students going to college do not need CTE courses.
  3. that CTE students do not do well on state exams or will not graduate.
  4. that CTE students are taking courses that do not need high skills or technology.
  5. that core academics cannot integrate CTE concepts into their classes.

TCEA15 Conference Review

I spent last week in Austin, Texas at the TCEA15 Conference. While I was not a big fan of the conference format – specifically the premium registration/pre-registration, I did collect some good resources via my notes and favoriting the tweets of others. Since many of my colleagues and Twitter peers could not attend, I have decided to post these resources so you can have access to them.

Here are the notes that I took from the sessions I attended:

In addition to my notes, I favorite almost 100 tweets of information that I thought would be useful later. I have combined the information from those tweets into five separate notes. PLEASE NOTE: I tried to attribute resources to the original presenter, but in many cases, I attributed to the person of whose tweet I favorited. If there is a correction, please let me know and I will correct it.

Apps from Leslie Fisher’s NACTE 2014 Keynote

I plan to post some more information from the NACTE 2014 conference, but I wanted to share the apps that Leslie Fisher (Twitter, Website) presented during her keynote address on Thursday.

Former Students: Please Choose LinkedIn over Facebook

This past week saw another class from Southwest CTA graduate. I have a long-standing policy that I will not be “friends” with students on Facebook until after they graduate. While they are now my former students, I am still teaching them a lesson and maybe a harsh one – Just because you graduated, it doesn’t mean I will automatically click accept on the friend request. Of the requests I have received from former students this year, I have accepted 2 of 16.

To me, the use of social media is like branding and I generally tend to follow my brand. Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn represent my professional brand. I rarely post personal information on any of them unless I am in a conversation with someone. My Facebook account represents my personal life. I rarely post education or work stuff there unless I’m bragging about my school or students.

I try to keep my personal life private to my friends and family and my brand, even though personal, needs protecting. Being a former student and graduating isn’t enough to enter this circle. It takes complete trust and that is hard to give to an 18 year old who I only know from classroom interactions. In simplest terms, the former students who I’m friends with on Facebook, are not sharing and wouldn’t share information I post on Facebook with other former or even current students. They help protect my brand.

I often joke with my students that I am not their friend because their parents don’t pay enough in taxes for me to be their friend. I am their teacher and mentor not their buddy to hang out with. The best way for me to continue to assist and mentor them is through LinkedIn. Regardless of how much I liked or liked a little less than others, I will accept every LinkedIn connection request. Every student has a talent and the easiest way for me to continue to connect them with community partners, internship opportunities, or job openings is through LinkedIn.

The final message that I want to leave my students is this – a friend is someone who can and will help and support you in a time of need. The best way for me to help and support you as a friend is to connect through LinkedIn and not Facebook.

3 Educational Things – Random Act

Career and Technical Related:

Last weekend, one of our teachers and a student participated in the kickoff event for the Congressional App Challenge. I know that more of our students are planning to participate in this event and events similar to this. It is a great opportunity for students to be mentored by industry professionals and to provide a relevant deliverable that will be judged by others.

Educational Technology Related:

Mailbox is an app that I have started to use lately. I hate to see red flags, or badges on my iPhone, iPad, or computer that indicates a new email. I have started to use Mailbox because I can read what is important or basically snooze the emails that I want to look at later when I have more time. This allows me to not worry about every email in my inbox since I know the emails will pop back up later in the day or whatever setting I snoozed the emails to.

In the Classroom:

I didn’t get to see too many classes today because of a visit to our campus and a few meetings that I was in today. I managed to visit one classroom today due to the Random Act of Coyoteness Award that we give to one staff member or student each Monday. The weekly recipient has confetti thrown on them in front of their students or peers and gets a trophy to keep for the week. It is always a great feeling to see the reaction of the person who receives the award knowing that a staff member nominated them to receive the award. It is a great way to start a Monday.

3 Educational Things – White House Film Festival

Career and Technical Related:

Qualifyor – One of my former students wrote this article on filling the gap between education and employment in Las Vegas. Qualifyor is a big supporter of career and technical education in Las Vegas and I am glad to have a community partner who is helping students transition from school to work.

Educational Technology Related:

Penultimate – I am a big Evernote user and I am trying to branch out into new ways of using tools that will sync with Evernote. Despite the fact that it has been installed for a long time, I started using Penultimate today to take my random notes instead of using a dozen post it notes. Hopefully, I will save a tree or two and speed up my inbox processing every night.

In the Classroom:

This is not as much what I saw in the classroom today, but what I saw outside of it. Groups of freshman working on their White House Film Festival entries all around campus filming with iPods, iPhones, and iPads. While this Business Software Applications often gets bogged down in the boredom of learning Microsoft Office, it was nice to see the students away from their computers and using 21st Century technology to create something new.

3 Ed Things – Contact Groups and More

Career and Technical Related:

While not a direct correlation to career and technical education, I read an article on how Broward County schools are incorporating more computer science into their schools. I know that our district is trying to expand the number of schools that are incorporating a computer science program of study because of the high job demand in Las Vegas. The article gave me a little bit more hope that we can get more high schools in Clark County to have four-year programs of study in computer science.

Educational Technology Related:

I read an article on using contact groups in Google to share documents. Each month I share the program leader meeting agenda with the same 18 teachers. After creating my contact group, I think sharing a Google document with the group instead of typing in each teacher’s name will save me a few minutes and every minute counts.

What I saw in a Classroom Today:

I watched a web design and development classroom today while their teacher was recognized at a school student and teacher of the month luncheon. These juniors were working on creating and editing the code for a WordPress site. It was fun to watch them try to find the solutions to their problems with no specific guidance from me. The students shared ideas, trial and error, and the used the occasional swear word under their breath when it didn’t work. Hopefully, I will be able to visit this class when they are closer to completion.

The Start of Three Educational Things

After reading a blog post on Evernote and opening a new tab for each interesting hyperlink, I came across I have a hard time blogging because I can always come up with an excuse not write – not enough time, nothing to write about, and the list could go on. 27 Good Things gave me an idea to post on this site that would not necessarily be time consuming and provide me a forum to provide information to the general public.

I am not going to provide 27 Good Things, but I am going to reduce it down to three educational things. I am going to break this down into three categories:

  • What did I read or see that involves career and technical education today
  • What did I read or see that involves technology education today
  • What did I see in a classroom today

I hope this concept helps me post more frequently and provide relevant information to teachers that they can use inside or outside their classrooms.