Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Google Keep

Teachers are always looking for good ways to "keep" students organized. Google Keep provides a platform by which students can do just that. Looking for a place to take quick notes? Need to import images and jot related ideas? Try Google Keep for those quick notes and checklists.

A couple years ago when Keep was first launched, I enjoyed using it to keep track of lists of tasks. It worked great as it synced directly from my Android phone to my Chrome browser. I also frequently used it for taking notes during a meeting. These notes typically weren't items I was going to keep in the long term. Otherwise I would have just used a regular Google Doc. I really enjoyed the simplicity of Keep since I was already a user of more robust note taking tools (Evernote and OneNote).

Google continues to add to and improve features, but not to the point of the more feature-rich note taking applications out there. Since it has first launched, they have added the ability to add collaborators on notes. This is exciting as collaborative notes are just as live as Google Docs. This would be a fun way for teachers to communicate a list of tasks that need to be communicated on the fly. They could include typed text and images in these notes, and teachers could even set a remind time so that when students need to start working on their list, it pops up automatically in their Chrome browser.

Labels have also been added to help organize notes and lists. When I first started using keep, the only way to organize was to use the color coding system. The problem I always had was that I couldn't remember what color I had assigned for which category. Categorizing colors would be a nice feature for Google to add though (hint, hint). By using labels, users can see all notes related to a specific topic. So as students or teachers are organizing resources for research, labels could be used to keep all the notes related to that specific topic organized.

Here is a quick overview on all the features within Google Keep from your Chrome browser:



I also made a video on how to use Google Keep on Android. The ease by which you can take a picture with your mobile device is the real advantage over the web-based version. In some ways, I feel that Keep is better organized on the Android version. All the features are the same, but some of the functions are in different locations. Here is Keep for Android:


How do you envision students using Google Keep? Feel free to post some comments about your ideas.