Using Evernote and ReadRhythm to build Student Portfolios

ReadRhythm AppIf you are a music teacher with even one iPad in your music room you need to check out the ReadRhythm App! (Web Site) (iTunes Store Link)

BASIC CONCEPT
Their web site does not do enough justice to this little app! The concept is simple – there is a metronome on the left of the screen, a drum pad on the right and a rhythm at the top. Hit the appropriate button and then the metronome starts and then you start tapping the rhythm on the drum pad. When done you are presented with a stack of little green, red or blue dots under the rhythm that indicate if you were in time, early or late.

OPTIONS
There are many different options for you to adjust and many different types of rhythms and different time signatures to pick from. Their web site does lay all of that out for you very well. There are plenty of options to keep any student busy for a long time!

EXCITING PART – OUTSTANDING FEATURES
The exciting part is the way the app scores you. I love the little blue, red and green dots! I also love the fact that the metronome is what the students have to stay with. THEN the part that hammers home the idea that students MUST get the rhythm correct is this….. when the student actually gets a 100% then a magical email icon show up! At this time the students are then able to email their score to me!

Evernote LogoEVERNOTE and PORTFOLIOS
This is where I have the students send that email to EverNote…. the iPad has a “contact” set up with EverNote as the persons first name and Upload as the persons last name and the EverNote Upload email as the persons email. That way all the student has to do is start typing two letters into the “To:” field and that EverNote pops up, they tap on it and they never have to worry about the long and funky email address that the email is actually being sent to.

Step two – the students then need to make sure that in the subject field they type in the magical formula that sends this grade to their notebook that I have setup for them in EverNote. So… they simply type in something like this…. @LastnameF    Of course in EverNote I have already set up a notebook for that student that has the same name as what they just typed in. (I used their Lastname with their a capitalized first initial of their first name) By using that “@” symbol in front of the name of the notebook what ever it is that they are emailing me shows up in their notebook online!- which in this case is a screenshot of the ReadRhythm exercise with a score of 100%.

Step three – Then I have to go keep track of who has completed which exercise and enter that into our school gradebook system.

BENEFITS
This is so easy! I can check very quickly who has what done each day because of the way EverNote is set up. There is no collecting of papers, no sorting through a bunch of emails and it puts responsibility on the students shoulders to learn how to use technology correctly. If they don’t learn it then they don’t get a grade, it’s that simple.

Here is a screen shot of what I see in EverNote. I can also track how long it is taking students to do these exercises. This allows me to pinpoint kids that may need additional help!

Here is a YouTube Video demonstrating how remarkably easy this process is – I think it is simply magical! It takes some setting up but it is worth it!

Grades in EverNote
Grades in EverNote
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8 thoughts on “Using Evernote and ReadRhythm to build Student Portfolios

  1. We have a brand new class set of ipod touches. I have used them to video performance assessments, QR code research worksheets, and playing a blues progression bass line on the virtual keyboard. In order to use Evernote as you suggested we would have to set up the Mail feature, correct? How did you manage this? Should I set up a separate email for each ipod or one email address for the whole set? I would love to hear suggestions on how to manage a class set of ipods. Thanks!

    1. First thing is to find your EverNote email address so you can “email your memories” to the service, as they put it in the account, general settings.

      The other issue is that in order to pull this off the emails all must come from the same email account, the one you set your EverNote account up with.

      Then make sure you set up a contact so that your kids only have to type in something simple like the word EverNote – it can be anything you want though.

      Let us know how it goes!

      1. >>The other issue is that in order to pull this off the emails all must come from the same email account, the one you set your EverNote account up with.>>

        I set up Evernote with my personal email and the school ipods have FHESipod at gmail as the email address. It sounds like this isn’t going to work. I’m not sure I want my personal email on 20 school ipods that can be checked out by others. Perhaps I should set up another Evernote account with the FHESipod address?

  2. Hi Paul – I’m fairly new to your blog and I think it’s great. I also use and love the Read Rhythm App. I’m thinking of using the Evernote App to track my students progress. The details on Evernote state it can connect to other apps. Do you use Evernote to track other apps? Many apps don’t keep and log student progress . . .so I’m assuming Evernote may help with this? I have my own piano studio with 30 students and want to incorporate using iPads for extra lessons to help with theory, reading, composing,etc. . . .I also play in a jazz quartet and started to use my iPad/Garage band with a 61 key remote keyboard controller. . . wanting to use and find other apps for additional sounds to play through the keyboard.

  3. Gary, you are right that not many apps give us the ability to track students progress inside the app!

    I think one answer to this situation right is to simply take a screen shot of whatever the student has just done – I have students do this with the Tenuto app – they see for instance how many notes they can correctly name in one minute – then we take a screen shot and send it to Evernote.

    The secret to this working is in having a folder set up for them in EverNote that you can automatically email that screen shot to. This means less work and follow up on your part! 🙂

    Would love to see videos of you using your iPad with your group! Sounds fun!

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