OneNote in Schools
- Keeps all of your class notes together in one place. I have my actual teaching notebooks for the last 3 years easily available if I want to refer back to how I did something.
- Your OneNote pages can be saved as .pdf files for students who do not have OneNote.
- Connected to a data projector, this becomes similar to an interactive whiteboard. Students would manipulate your tablet rather than the board.
- Other files can be embedded into a OneNote page as attachments. You can pre-load all the required documents into your pages and have them in one place. You can then distribute those pages to your students and they will also have copies of the documents. Any changes made to the documents are saved within the OneNote page.
- Combined with Cam Studio, OneNote is a great way to make screencasts.
- Small groups (we’ve had problems with groups larger than about 6) can live share a section of a notebook. Live sharing is exactly what it sounds like: we are working on the same pieces of ‘paper’ simultaneously. At the end of the session, all participants have a copy of the work. For example:
- Each student is assigned one math problem on the page. They benefit from ‘watching’ the others being solved as they try to figure out how to solve their own. At the end, they’ve each done one problem but have 5 or 6 solutions to study from.
- Students can edit a document (a poem? An exemplar essay?) together.
- Notebooks can be shared on the network between teachers to facilitate co-planning. Notebooks are synced every few minutes.
- The clipping tool allows you to capture screenshots and easily insert them into your page. It even includes a hyperlink to the original source.
- Templates can be created for lesson/unit planning.
- Students download a pre-made notebook (Grade 10 Math Student Notebook) with all the start of the year info. This also serves to give their notebooks structure, particularly important for younger grades.
- Students can embed record voice or video files. This is can then be sent easily via email (if you use Outlook too) to teachers for a check of understanding. A good tool to use in Second or Foreign Language classes.
- OneNote Notebooks are searchable. It even searches the text in screenclipped images (using OCR) and can also search audio and video files for words (if you index them).
- Students can share pages easily via email. This is great for students who were absent or who take poor notes.
- Tags can be used by students to help with their revision. As a math teacher, I helped my students create custom tags. As we encountered interesting/difficult problems, the students tagged them as possible test questions. When it came time to study for the test, they only had to search for that tag and all of those questions were found. At the end of the year, they could search the entire Notebook for that tag and they instantly created a cumulative review sheet.
- OneNote plays very nicely with Outlook. Tasks that are assigned in OneNote show up in your Outlook task list as well. Emails and appointments can be sent to OneNote, where it is easier to take notes.
- A lot (most?) of the things on this list are just new salt on an old cracker. Yes, it might make me more efficient and it is definitely cool, but I am still looking for some truly transformative ways to use this in the classroom.
- I would be interested to see how it works when teamed up with an IWB. It was actually on my “Geek Things To Do” list: use Johnny Lee’s Wii-mote hack to create an IWB for my classroom. But then I changed jobs.
- I created a “Getting to Know You” scavenger hunt type activity to be used with teachers and students to introduce them to what I feel are some of the key features of OneNote. Feel free to have a play and adapt it for your staff/students. (Warning: Some of the links may not work because they point to locations on our intranet. But you get the idea.)
Okay people. Your turn: how do YOU use OneNote at your school?