How to use Google Keep in the Classroom (1)

How to Use Google Keep in the Classroom

Today Crystal Koenig talks about Google Keep. She uses it to organize her students, clubs, and so many things. She'll share her tips and tricks and even when she decides to use Evernote instead. Learn all about this tool that has educators talking (especially those with Chromebooks.)

How to use Google Keep in the Classroom (2)

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In today's show, Crystal Koenig shares how she uses Google Keep in the classroom:

  • Letting students personalize the classroom by requesting topics to be taught
  • Integrating Google Keep and Google Docs
  • Differences between Google Keep and Evernote
  • Photo recognition in Google Keep
  • Location reminders in Google Keep

I hope you enjoy this episode with Crystal Koenig!

Want to hear another episode on productivity and organizing? Listen to Aaron Sams talk about 5 Ways to Master Tech and Not Be Its Slave.

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Full Bio As Submitted

Crystal KoenigCrystal Koenig

Crystal is a certified gifted education facilitator, eMINTS trainer, Professional Learning Community Leader, educational instructional and technology coach, and behavior specialist. She as worked in the education field for the last 15 years at Perry County School District #32 in Perryville, Missouri. She also sponsors National Junior Honor Society, yearbook, and scholar bowl. She is an advocate for gifted education students as a director on the board of the Gifted Association of Missouri. She is an avid reader, a life long learner and a bibliophile.

She is the author of the Supermotivator's Blog, providing motivation, inspiration, as well as technology tips and tricks. Ms. Koenig's classroom is based on inquiry, problem and project based learning.

Transcript for this episode

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[Recording starts 0:00:00]

Hey, this is episode 72. Today we’re talking about using Google Keep and Evernote to collaborate and organize in your classroom.

The Ten-minute Teacher podcast with Vicki Davis. Every week day you’ll learn powerful practical ways to be a more remarkable teacher today.

VICKI:               Happy Ed Tech Tool Tuesday. We’re talking to Crystal Koenig @Supermtvtr  from Missouri and she works with 2nd through 8th graders in a gifted program. And Crystal, for Ed tech tool Tuesday, what tool did you pick for us to talk about today and why?

CYRSTAL:    Hey Vicki, I picked Google Keep for Educators.  It is an amazing app and I love it and it has so many things that you can utilize in the classroom and even at home as well you can find applications for both. And I use it for both. And I absolutely love it and I share it with anybody and everybody who will listen.

VICKI:          Okay. Crystal, but I use Evernote. But help me understand, how do you use Google Keep and how do you students use it?

CYRSTAL:    I use it for many different things but some of the things that I use with my student specifically is if we have a specific lessons that they want to learn , we have a shared type of sticky note and it’s labeled, “Lessons you want to Learn” and they can add lessons to that sticky notes the things that they want to learn in the future.

And I actually have my second graders from second all the way to 8th so I have them for 7 years in a row and I can never repeat a lesson. So a lot of times I’ll gear lessons towards what they want to learn. I’m a sponsor for many different clubs so I would share that document with sticky notes, is what I call with the students and they can add things, they can complete task that we have on there and check them off. And if they check it, it’ll go to the bottom so they know it has been completed.


VICKI:          Okay. So you’re kind of using it, sounds like for task management and for personalizing learning and that sort of thing. So is it mostly just checklist or do you keep notes in there too?

CYRSTAL:    You can keep notes as well. I have a really cool system for when I see something on the internet. You can actually screenshot it and paste it into the Google Keep app or the Google Keep extension because you have it on any device or your computer. And it will actually read it as a checklist. So let’s say you have a recipe the kids want to make or you have a list of things that you want do. It will put it in whatever format you want it to be in but I can be check boxes. And you can check them so that you know that you’ve picked that up or you have them.

And it’s pretty awesome that it can just pick that up form a picture and it reads those words and turns it into actual editable words that you can type in and look at.

VICKI:          So it sounds like you have hundreds of things in there now. How do you find it? I could just picture a whole wall full of sticky notes. How would I find what I want? I mean, I know how I find the stuff in Evernote but how on earth do you find it in Keep?

CYRSTAL:    So the very top when you open up Google Keep, there is a search bar and you can search for anything. And it will pick up not only words that you’ve typed in there, but it will pick up words from that picture. So let’s say that I screenshot the picture and put it into Google keep, it will actually read the words on that picture as well as well as long as it can read it. It doesn’t always work as well on handwritten notes, but it can read those handwritten notes if it’s neat.

All you have to do is type in the search bar and it will find anything that you want and bring it to you.

VICKI:          Okay. So Crystal, what is the thing that just made you go “aha?” Like you could do this before, it was not possible, what was your “aha” thing?

CYRSTAL:    My “aha” thing is actually what I decide because I like taking notes, I write down everything in meetings and I write down everything for classes that I take or things that my students are talking about.


                    When I used to write that down it was in a notebook and I’d have to go back through and search, and search, and search until I found that note or found the thing that somebody asked me about or talked about or talked about. And all I have to do is type in the search bar and it just pops right up and it is awesome because I have it right there at my fingertips.

The other thing is that I also help teachers. I teach teachers so I’m a trainer. And I get stopped in the hallway a lot and teachers will have a question about something. And I don’t have answer right then and there or I don’t have time to help them with it right then and there but I can grab Google Keep app on my phone and I can add what they talked about and I can go back and find that and so easy. Because you can have it on any device and you can have it on your laptop. So it’s an awesome app that you can use for just about anything and anywhere.

VICKI:          Okay. So let me ask you this. Are these little note cards that you have your kids editing in Google Keep, can you edit it the same time like you can with the Google Doc or if two people –

CYRSTAL:    Absolutely.

VICKI:          You can, huh?

CYRSTAL:    Yes.

VICKI:          Interesting.

CYRSTAL:    And it integrates seamlessly with Google Docs. So let’s say your notes get a little too big – because I do that, I have notes that get extensive – you can actually just transfer it to your Google Doc as well. And there’s a thing in Google Docs that allow you just to transfer writing.

VICKI:          Wow. So it grows, it gets too big and then boom, it becomes a Google Doc. But can you still find it in Keep or you just have to search in Docs?

CYRSTAL:    Yeah. You can Keep it there, exactly, definitely.

VICKI:          So the link is still there.

CYRSTAL:    Yes.

VICKI:          Wow. Cool. So do you think this is a great thing for people who are using Chromebooks to kind of move their notes and that sort of thing? I mean, is it enough room to take a lot of notes in there? Like, a whole class?

CYRSTAL:    I have tons and tons of different things. Conferences, trips that I have a checklist for what I need to take to conferences I help with stuff to buy so I have a checklist for stuff to buy and everything that I need to do on that.


                    We have NJHS, National Junior Honos Society ceremony and I have a list of every single thing I have to do on there and I can just go on and on and on the list I have in it. It’s very extensive.

VICKI:          And I’m actually a National Honors Society advisor and I know how much you can take for that.

CYRSTAL:    Yes.

VICKI:          So what is Google Keep not good for?

CYRSTAL:    We talked a little bit about how you liked Evernote and I do too. That one is like much bigger than what Google Keep is for. So you can actually use Evernote by dates and organize things in certain ways, whereas Google Keep is like sticky notes. I do use both. I use them as quick things that I can share with people that we can edit and use in a quick fast way because it is so fast, it’s superfast and they love that.

VICKI:          Okay. So you choose Google Keep for quick and fast and then you choose Evernote for what?

CYRSTAL:    More deeper things, more bigger, bigger notes, usually. And I also use it for photos because Evernote has an amazing picture ability that you can take pictures of just any photo and any photo or any document and it comes across crystal clear. And you can send those documents to people. I use that all the time for my sponsorships when we go on a field trip and I have to fax them something. I take a picture with Evernote and I shoot that out to that person via email or share it as a picture and it’s perfect. So I love that about it.

And you can add pictures to Google Keep but you will need a really good phone or really good camera to be able to take perfect pictures like that.

VICKI:          So we’ve actually covered two tools and fascinated because I’m thinking, I do use Evernote for something but there are other tools that I’ve been using for what it sounds like you’re using Google Keep for. Because I’m using reminders, I’m using Alexa on my Amazon device.


                    I’m just using lots of different things but I’m wondering if all of those – I mean, what did Google Keep get rid of, is our last question?

CYRSTAL:    Okay. So let me not even mention those apps and just tell you, GPS location reminder. I can set that I need to remember to bring my drill to school because the kids need it for a project. And I can say remind me when I get home and it will remind me when I get home to do that. Also, if you have the Google Keep extension on your laptop, you can save websites that you want to look at later on.

And you can do voice notes, you can do just about anything you can with all those other apps. You can do it with Google Keep which is just amazing. You can actually hand-write notes or doodles, you can write and then you can transfer those doodles or those notes to a document. Let’s say you’re working on a research project and you have a picture that you drew for a certain info graphic or something and you wanted to just pull it from the Google Keep app that you doodled it on, you can in Google Docs and pull it in and just organize it right there into your research paper.

VICKI:          I think educators, we have a lot of remarkable tools and I have to admit that i was so mad at Google when they got rid of Google Notebook and Google Reader. And I still love Google but I was kind of like, “Do I want to try Google Keep?” But Crystal, you’re actually the fourth person who told me that they really like Google Keep so I think I’m going to have to play with it and tinker around.

Hello Remarkable Teachers, would you please help me do something? I’m trying to help more people find out about the Ten Minute Teacher Show. To do that, if you just could take some time to go to iTunes or to Stitcher or to leave a review. It really does help. Thank you so much.

Thank you for listening to the Ten-minute Teacher Podcast. You can download the show notes and see the archive at Never stop learning.


[End of Audio 0:10:06]


[Transcription created by Some additional editing has been done to add grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. Every attempt has been made to correct spelling. For permissions, please email]


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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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