Why? It’s just easier. And it’s colorful. And it works on phones and computers (like everything else, I guess). And you don’t need to sign up for anything extra if you already have a Google account. Compared with Evernote, it’s just quicker. (Sure, it doesn’t do as many things, but most students don’t need Evernote.)
Google Keep’s tag line is “Save what’s on your mind.” You can save notes, photos, and audio. You can save to-do lists. It’s pretty simple.
Here’s a quick video:
For students, this means a lot of things. I can see students using Keep to:
- Write down homework,
- Take (brief) notes,
- Take pictures of assignments or important information on the board,
- Record think-alouds or other assignments involving speaking,
- Jot down URLs of key websites they want to remember,
- The most important thing: Not lose things.
The only problem with Keep right now is that there’s not a clipper where you can capture content from the Internet. (There used to be an extension, but it’s no longer.) You can’t, say, highlight a piece of text or save a picture from a website. Of course, Evernote lets you do everything, but my sense is that very few students are going to use Evernote unless teachers really push it.
(The teachers I coach use Google Drive instead, which is of course different from Evernote, but it just makes sense to keep things simple and stay mostly with the Google suite unless necessary.)
One of the biggest challenges is that very few people know about Keep, and like all Google products, there’s no guarantee that Google will keep it.
But if you’re a teacher who has Chromebooks in your classroom, or if you’re at a school that allows smartphone use, give Keep a try and let me know what you and your students think.
Side note: I originally posted about Google Keep in March 2013, when I declared that it wasn’t “an Evernote killer.” Well, I still don’t think it is, but I do think it’s a good thing for students.