Creating a Portfolio
I was recently introduced to a fantastic FREE tool for unschoolers who want or need to keep records of their children’s learning. Evernote is a free application that helps you keep track not only of all your online activity (websites, games, videos), but also personal notes, photos, sound clips, text documents, etc. I think Evernote can be the entire portfolio–you can even scan documents (drawings, writings, etc…).
After you download the program, create “notebooks” to hold the information you gather from websites, games, interesting online videos, etc. Put Evernote on all your computers and smart phones, that way if your partner is out with the kids and someone asks a question, and your partner can looks up the answer, that info can be sent directly to the appropriate “notebook”-same with photos or notes that are made.
Because I’m required to keep subject-specific documentation, I created notebooks for each state-required subject, but you can create/organize notebooks any way you want: one for each child, maybe.
When Noor asks a question and I look something up, I click on the Evernote button added to my browser bar–it sends the page, or the parts of the page I’ve chosen (highlighted and copied), to the appropriate folder saving the data, images and web address (time-stamped!); you can add your own notes/text to the entry if you choose. If we’re out and about and I look something up or snap a photo, I send the website or data to my Evernote account through email. It is like a running time-stamped annotated bibliography–I’m in Heaven! You can also create a text document, like a journal, that you add to from wherever you are–no more scraps of paper scattered throughout bags, pockets, the car!
I figured out how to share a notebook, so here is ours for science.
We visited these websites because Noor asked a question while going about her life–I sent the info we came across to the notebook, sometimes including notes and photos, as you’ll see.
Record-keeping just got a whole lot easier! Evernote has some great tutorials to get you started.