Life on the Cloud: Day Four (or The Right Tool for the Job)

The first week of this experiment has seen a wild blend of successes and setbacks, but more importantly, it held a lot of lessons for this Instructional Technology geek.

Today, I’m going to take a minute to sing the praises of Evernote.  If you’re reading this, the odds are that you’ve been using Evernote for a while and know all about its capabilities.  But in case you’re not aware, Evernote is one of the most popular and trusted cloud-based note-taking apps out there.  With Evernote, you install the app to your mobile device(s) (iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile are all supported) and create notes (which can include text, audio, images, or video) on the app then sync the notes to the cloud.  Unlike CloudOn (which for some reason I always want to call OnCloud), Evernote notes can be created, saved, accessed and updated from any practically any mobile device.  Today, I went to a meeting and decided to leave the iPad in the office and use Evernote on my Android phone to take notes.  Once I got back to the office, I opened the app in Google Chrome and lo and behold, there were my notes, organized into my Evernote “workstuff” notebook.    It’s just that simple.

For those of us who remember having to write notes on paper, then try to decipher our handwriting and type the notes into the computer upon our return to the office, this is an amazing innovation indeed.   It’s all about adapting…

The point of the whole Life in the Cloud experiment is to explore ways in which I can change my professional practices to work in the cloud and be productive from anywhere.  Can I live in the cloud?  Certainly.  I’ve worked in all sorts of environments over the years and can quickly adapt to any new technology.  That’s what I do.  The cloud and mobile technologies are simply the latest steps in that journey.  Can I really get used to accessing, editing, updating, deleting, or otherwise working with my files from anywhere?  Sure.  Can these alleged time-saving apps actually save me time?  Sure.  Can I actually use these tools without stepping on the lavafloor?  Well, that’s a little trickier, but I’m doing it. It’s all about changing habits and adapting to new innovations.

The goal of this little experiment is to collect data which will inform our decisions as we develop and implement strategies to help our students and faculty utilize cloud-based tools in online and face-to-face classes.

Ultimately, we want to make the technology as transparent as possible so that the faculty can focus on teaching and the students can focus on learning.

But alas, I’ve begun to ramble… So I’ll stop here and run off to enjoy my weekend.

~Rodney

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