Saturday, October 24, 2015

Google Keep -- save your thoughts from wherever—including iPhones

I heard about Google Keep a Google product for digital sticky notes that is also an App for mobile devices that syncs with Google last spring through twitter colleagues, but never really took the time to check it out, until I heard this month it was available for IOS, to use on my iPhone. During a PD session on Writing last week I started to show a group of teachers how we might want to think about connecting Keep with Google for writing, however this happened to be the Friday afternoon that Google went offline and we didn't have time explore.  Working with a teacher and class the following week I was ready to test out but found although Keep was opened for staff it was blocked for students.  Fast forward to yesterday, it's now open for staff, students along with the Chrome Extension in the App Store .  So, next week I plan to start pitching with staff and students and hope they enjoy Keep as much as we do Google Classroom.   

My approach, send out an email to staff with a link to my blog along with a list of some of the things they can do to get started with Keep in their personal and teaching life and encourage them to show students. 

Here is a quick overview of some useful features of Google Keep:
Information from Google:  Forget fumbling with sticky notes or trying to recall that last item on your to-do list. When you’re trying to capture a moment or remember a task, Google Keep can help. And starting today, the things you love about Keep on the web and Android are now available on iOS: 

  • Find what you need, quickly by searching and filtering your notes by color and type like images, audio and text. You can also add labels to help you organize your thoughts. 
  • Set time or location-based reminders so you won’t forget to swing by the dry cleaners or miss an item on your shopping list. 
  • Do more, together by sharing your notes so you can divvy up the packing list and watch as the items get checked off in real time. 
Learn more about Google Keep see video

A few things that jumped out at me that may immediately benefit students was the reminder feature and Voice Recorder.

When researching new tools I always jump over to Richard Bryne's blog for his take on a tool or an App.  Here is a link to his blog and a review on Google Keep.  The other go to person is Alice Keeler who appears to be the most knowledgeable person on Google that I found on Twitter, here is a link to her take on her blog.

I plan to explore using this new tool over the next few weeks as I think this is going to be a great tool for school and home!

I will also be re-certifying my Google Educators/Trainer Certification by taking the five tests again this month.  I wish Google would focus more on the tools that teachers use and less on calendar and Gmail functions.  Maybe we will see Google Keep added to their list!