Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Evernote - new and improved and a great app for Education (and more)


I am a huge Evernote user and fan. I started using Evernote back in 2009, have been an Evernote trainer, used the beta of Evernote for Education with my students in 2011, and am an Evernote Expert. I use Evernote everyday for work and personal use and it has made me more organized, productive and efficient.

Evernote relaunched a couple of years ago with a whole new code-base to make it easier and faster to deploy to multiple platforms and provide updates. They also added some great new tools and features that help you be more efficient, organized and productive.

Evernote is more than just a note-taking tool - it can be used as your second brain, task list, project management, class notes - including text, audio, attachments, and handwritten notes, going paperless and so much more. It is available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and the Web (which I use most of the time).

Why Evernote

Evernote gives you everything you need to keep life organized—great note taking, project planning, and easy ways to find what you need, when you need it.

Here are some of the new features and use cases:


Home is your dashboard. In fact, many users used to create their own notes as a dashboard and Evernote did a contest for the best one. This led them to develop Home.

Home brings all of your information to one place. Notes and Notebooks, recent notes, shortcuts, tasks, scratch pad and much more. You can customize what you see on your Home with a variety of widgets.  Home is a brand-new way to start your day in Evernote; a one-stop dashboard that puts the information you need front and center—neatly organized and instantly available—so you can stay on top of your day without feeling overwhelmed. 

I have Evernote web open to Home when I log into my Chromebook and I can see my schedule and tasks and access all of my frequently used notes. Start my day already organized!

Tasks is another new feature. You could always create task lists with checklists and checkboxes, but they were only in the note you created them in. Tasks lets you set reminders and due dates, tags and even assign to someone, and see all of your tasks in one place, no matter what note the task lives in.

There is also a Tasks widget for Home so you can see your tasks in one place. 

You can also Connect Evernote and Google Calendar to make your day even more organized and efficient. There is a widget for Home to see your Google calendar, and you can set it so Evernote prompts you to create a note for your calendar events - great for meeting notes. You can link notes with calendar events so ideas and decisions stay connected to the people, places, and activities that sparked them.

Other great features include:

  • Web Clipper - clip anything from the web, including PDFs, into Evernote and organize them. Can clip full page, selection, bookmark, or simplified view (getting rid of ads and other distractions). Save the important things you find online. Clip web pages, articles, or PDFs and keep them in Evernote—ad-free, searchable, and stored forever.
  • Document scanner - go paperless. Use the built in scanner tool to scan anything into Evernote.
  • Templates - use pre-made templates, or make your own, to make it easier to create notes for meetings, class, project management and more. 
  • Search - powerful search to find anything, including text in attachments and even handwritten notes. 
  • Email to Evernote - you can send emails into Evernote to save and organize them better. Attachments are also captured. Save the email and attachments and then add your own notes. 
  • Integrations - Evernote works with other systems to make your life even more organized. Google Calendar, Gmail, Drive, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Salesforce integrations and add-ons.
  • Spaces - for teams using Evernote. Have a centralized space for everyone’s ideas and work. Maintain information continuity across time and team. Even when team members change, your dedicated space helps new colleagues get quickly up to speed.
  • Annotate PDFs and images - Easily annotate images and PDFs with text, lines, shapes, arrows, and more.
  • Internal Links - you can link other notes inside of notes so you can always find what you need. 
And your notes are saved in the cloud and synced across your devices. Windows, Mac, iOS and Android also have the ability to sync notes offline for access anywhere. (for Chromebook users, install the Android app for offline access). 

Evernote is a great tool for students, educators and administrators as well.

  • take notes in class, link other resources, calendar reminders, tasks and more
  • lesson plans, resources, attachments
  • project planning, teacher evaluations, notes and resources
  • organize everything. 
  • Organize coursework -Track tasks and deadlines, take and share notes, even scan your handwriting. Keep everything linked to related handouts, research, and whiteboard pictures—all in one place.
  • Learn anywhere - Always forget where you save things? Search tags, text, and calendar details like place and attendees, and sync all your study materials across your devices—even offline.
  • Study with Drive - Save Google Drive files in Evernote to keep your course content and your ideas in one spot. You can also connect your primary Google Calendar and set task deadlines so nothing falls through the cracks.
  • Take a picture of handouts, the whiteboard and more and save into Evernote. It can search for text in these images!
  • Take audio recordings in your note. 

Here is a page I created years ago on Evernote in Education with some great tips, ideas and resources. Some of it is outdated with the new version of Evernote, but the ideas are still the same. 

Evernote Tips and Tricks Series 

Some other resources for Evernote in Education:

Evernote also provides plenty of resources and support to get you started, and organized.

Evernote Plans - there are 3 plans for users with different features depending on your use cases and needs. 

I use the Professional Plan which is only $9.99/month paid monthly, or $99.99 per year if paid yearly. This has every feature except Spaces. For the cost of 2 Starbucks coffees, I have an amazing tool that helps me be organized, efficient and productive. 

There is a free version as well.

Looking for help with using Evernote? I'm a certified Evernote Expert. Contact me for help: daveandcori at gmail dot com. 

Get started with Evernote: Evernote Quick Start Guide. 


Monday, March 21, 2022

45 Next Generation Learning Tools That Kids Will Love


45 Next Generation Learning Tools That Kids Will Love

This is a great resource I just found out about. It has 45 great resources for teachers to use with their students. There’s a wide range of tools designed to support curriculum and help teachers and students achieve their goals. These are the top picks for school students of every age, due to their impressive functionality and simple integration into the classroom.

Resources are organized by grade level, and have apps such as Minecraft, Google Arts and Culture, Flipgrid and many more. 

They also have a few tips to ensure success when using technology in the classroom.

Take a look and try out some of them. 



Monday, September 20, 2021

September is National Preparedness Month - “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”


September is National Preparedness Month, which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and visit.

The 2021 theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.”

For the first time in its history, the Ready Campaign, in partnership with the Ad Council, identified the Hispanic community as a key audience, and will launch a series of Public Service Advertisements specifically designed to encourage preparedness within the underserved demographic.

Weekly Themes

Each week in September, the campaign will focus on a different aspect of preparedness for individuals, families and communities.

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Week 1 September 1-4: Make A Plan

Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations due to the Coronavirus.

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Week 2 September 5-11: Build A Kit

Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.

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Week 3 September 12-18: Low-Cost, No-Cost Preparedness

Natural disasters don’t wait for a convenient time. Preparing for them shouldn’t wait either. Start today by signing up for alerts, safe-guarding important documents, and taking other low cost and no cost preparedness actions to lessen the impact of disasters and emergencies for you and your family.

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Week 4 September 19-25: Teach Youth About Preparedness

Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.

There are mobile apps from FEMA, the American Red Cross, and others all for emergency preparedness. Make sure you have emergency alerts setup on your phone as well and subscribe to alerts from your town and state. Also make sure you have charged battery packs to keep your phone powered during power outages. This article from Android Central has more tips on using your phone for emergency preparedness and response. 

Each household, business, and school should have an emergency plan, emergency kits and people trained in emergency preparedness and response.

I started my training in emergency preparedness while on my trail to Eagle ScoutEmergency Preparedness is a required merit badge and the Boy Scouts emphasize emergency preparedness among the scouts. I am a retired Paramedic, Special Operations Paramedic and FEMA trained in Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Management. I've responded to many disasters including 9/11 in NYC, hurricanes, blizzards, and mass casualty events and been incident command or staff at many of them.

Here are some of my favorite resources for learning about Emergency Preparedness.

Take time to learn lifesaving skills − such as CPR and first aid, check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face, such as flood, earthquakes, and tornado's. Make sure to consider the costs associated with disasters and save for an emergency. Also, know how to take practical safety steps like shutting off water and gas.

The devastating hurricanes and wildfires of the last few years reminded the nation of the importance of preparing for disasters. Often, we will be the first ones in our communities to take action after a disaster strikes and before first responders arrive, so it is important to prepare in advance to help yourself and your community.

It is important to consider three scenarios when planning for an emergency: 1) an escape route and meeting point if everyone is in the house; 2) what to do during a school day; and 3) how to handle an emergency during the weekend, when family members might be scattered.

The American Red Cross website also has information for creating an emergency plan and how to prepare for different emergencies. They also sell emergency kits (they are very good and a decent price). You can always make your own using their lists though. There is a full section on preparing schools and students. The Preparedness Fast Facts page is an excellent, one stop resource. They also have some great apps for both iOS and Android to help keep you informed and prepared - First Aid, Emergency (monitor conditions and find info ), Tornado, Earthquake, Pet First Aid, Hurricane, Flood and more. They also have kits and supplies. 

Although many people are familiar with the concept of developing a family plan for emergencies, most fail to take the time to sit down and actually come up with one. One great resource is the FEMA-sponsored website: Check out their kids section too:

Schools need to be prepared themselves, as well as teach their staff and students how to be prepared. (more info for schools below)

Is your school district prepared for a natural disaster?

Emergency Management Institute Logo

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
Emergency Management Insitute
The FEMA EMI offers free, online courses for anyone to take. The courses are well done and there are plenty of downloadable materials to help you. If you pass the test at the end, you even get a certificate.

Image result for emergency planning for schools

Here are a list of the courses that I think all educators should take: (I've taken these, and more)

IS-36 Multihazard Planning for Childcare
IS-100.c Introduction to the Incident Command System
IS-362.a Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools

Education Administrators should also be involved in community emergency planning because schools are on the top of the list as emergency shelters and field hospitals and the building administrators know their buildings.

Here is another great resource for schools from the US Dept of Ed - REMS - Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools. This site includes materials, resources and training (including free, on-site training) to help schools start assessing the safety, security, accessibility, and emergency preparedness of their  buildings and grounds.

REMS has an Emergency Management Virtual Toolkit to help schools build capacity in Emergency Management and Preparedness.

Ready.Gov also has Materials for Educators - Emergency preparedness curriculum for grades 1-12 that teach kids what to do before, during, and after an emergency while fostering critical 21st-century skills such as problem solving, teamwork, creativity, leadership, and communication.
Youth Emergency Preparedness Curriculum (4 PDFs)

American Medical Response, the EMS agency I worked for as a paramedic, also has some great resources for safety and preparedness, including bike safety, cold weather, hurricane, winter driving and much more. is the US Government's web site for information and resources on emergency preparedness and response. There are resources for making a plan, an emergency kit, and how to stay informed. Information is included for individuals and businesses.

The Boy Scouts of America, who train all their Scouts and Adults in Emergency Preparedness, has partnered with the Department of Homeland Security to provide resources for the public on getting prepared. The site has planning resources, how to make an emergency kit, and other resources.

CERT teams practice life saving skills

You can even join your local Community Emergency Response Team. These are teams of citizens that are specially trained to help out in major emergencies, sort of like the reserves. Find out more here. Here is a list of CERT's by State:

Emergency Preparedness is everyone's responsibility.  Share these resources with your students, colleagues, and family.

More Emergency Preparedness resources.


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

September 11th, 20 Years Later. Never Forget. Take a moment. Do a good deed


September 11th, 20 Years Later. Never Forget. Take a moment. Do a good deed

I was in EMS for 22 years before retiring due to a back injury. One of my most memorable experiences was responding to New York City as a Paramedic in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. I will never forget that experience. What I saw and did are still with me, as is a type of asthma from breathing the dust. My Experience as a Paramedic on 9-11-01

We lost over 3,000 American's that day, including 8 EMS Providers, 60 Police Officers and 343 Firefighters in NYC. Many EMTs and paramedics have died and continue to die each year since September 11, 2001 due to their exposure working at the site.

Since that day, over 400 FDNY Firefighters, EMS and other responders have died from 9/11 related illnesses, and hundreds of others are sick, including EMS, PD and civilians. There is a new area at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in NYC for these individuals who are sick. 

As time passes, people seem to forget what happened and the toll it has taken. We need to make sure we never forget and educate our children about what happened. Talk to them about it, tell them how you felt and what the experience was. Take them to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in NYC. It is an amazing, somber experience going there. My 8 year old daughter has been to ground zero and the park, but not into the museum. That will come later.

I still vividly remember where I was (engineer at Sikorsky Aircraft) when it happened, responding down there as a paramedic, the sights, the smells, the people. I was at Ground Zero for the last part of my shift down there on 9/12. It was sobering to see the pile, knowing there were people in there.

As the years have gone by, we have lost first responders to 9/11 related diseases, many struggle with PTSD or other medical issues. The current generation doesn't know this as anything but history. The worst part for many of us was not being able to save people and the many days and weeks hoping against all odds that we would find people alive.

I went to the 9/11 Memorial Museum in NYC in 2012. It was an amazing, heartbreaking experience. I recommend that every American go there and see it, remember those who were lost, and pray something like this never happens again.

9/11 still haunts me to this day, as it does most of us who responded. But we persevere and move on, not letting the terrorists win.

The anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has become a very important National Day of Service and Remembrance in America, known as “9/11 Day”.

9/11 Day is a time when Americans are asked to join together in unity, remember those lost on 9/11, and if possible, perform good deeds or other acts of service as a positive tribute to the 9/11 victims, as well as first responders and military personnel who rose in service in response to the terrorist attacks.

This year, the organizers of 9/11 Day are asking all of us to participate virtually through a special program called “Take a moment. Do a good deed”, There is no cost or required donation involved. The goal is to inspire one million acts of kindness that participants are able to do from home.

Here’s how:


20 years after 9/11, we’re remembering the outreach, love and support that emerged in response to the tragedy. Let’s keep that togetherness alive. Join us in turning 9/11 into a global day of doing good.

They also have Toolkits and Lesson Plans around 9/11 and #911day. 

So please share a message of support for 9/11 Day, about your deed, using #911day

Nothing could be more important right now than joining together in unity and to pay tribute by helping those most in need. Never forget what we are capable of doing together. Thank you!

I'm also very proud that my company, CDW, is a sponsor of 911day and supports the military, first responders, and all affected by 9/11.