Teacher Review For Microsoft OneNote

OneNote to Organize Them All!

Keith G.
Technology coordinator
Montgomery, AL
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
My Subjects Social Studies
EdTech Mentor
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 4
Pedagogy 3
Support 5
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned No
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Individual
Student-driven work
How I Use It
OneNote is a great notetaking app that allows students to quickly create notes on a variety of digital platforms. My students have used OneNote to create notes for many classes. They organize their notes into notebooks and while I prompted them to use it for a single course, many of them quickly realized that they could create additional notebooks for their other classes. I used OneNote as a replacement for student created interactive notebooks. Students created a notebook and then created multiple tabs for the different sections of the notebooks. Students then added a variety of things to the notebook. This includes traditional lecture notes, but also lab observations, pictures, and hand drawn charts. The ability to add audio notes has been used by a few students as well. One of the best features of OneNote is its availability on a variety of platforms and devices. This makes it great because students can pick up any device and be able to add to their notebooks. However, it can be a challenge since the limitations of some devices necessitate that not all features are available on all devices. For instances, users with only a Chromebook cannot easily add hand drawn notes.
My Take
I love OneNote and use it for my teaching as well as using it with students. It is a wonderful tool for keeping organized. I think students appreciate having all of their data in one place. If you work with them and really get them dedicated to utilizing it to keep themselves organized, the benefits will be great. This may be especially true with struggling students, although it can be challenging to get these students to complete the necessary tasks of entering complete data into the notebook that will help them reap these benefits. I would like to see a set of icons included that could be used on notebook covers to help students differentiate their notebooks more quickly than just having different colors. Although I haven't been able to take full advantage of this, schools that have completely adopted Office 365 can also set up Class Notebooks. This allows teachers to create notebook templates that can be distributed to students for them to complete.