OneNote Class Notebook allows educators and students to co-curate a digital binder of learning in all formats

Submitted 6 years ago
My Rating

My Take

Overall, OneNote can be an indispensable tool in 1:1 classes as students can create their own digital notebook that includes their understanding, research and progress in a particular class, topic or assignment. In my classes, high school students have been using this technology to curate a their digital notebooks independently. The OneNote Class Notebook allowed for greater sharing between teacher and student (and student to student) as each student has a specific notebook for the course that is shared. The Content Library provides the the opportunity for the educator or curriculum designer to share course content like an Learning Management Software (LMS). In addition, the opportunity exists for greater conversations and sharing between the educator and student on the topic or content explored. The Collaboration Space offer similar opportunities for student-to-students communication and collaboration.
The latest edition (2016) creates a new tab in the software called Class Notebook which adds greater functionality with the opportunity to "push" pages, tabs even the entire Content Library in a student's notebook. In prior editions, students needed to copy pages or tabs over from the Content Library to their own binder in order to edit their version of the page. Another crucial update allows educators to more easily collect student work for marking. These two features allowed me to spend more time assessing student work rather than finding it which was much appreciated. As the years progressed, the sheer volume of pages (admittedly for our keenest students!) became challenging when looking for content. Although the search tab was a good back up. The software could definitely add some kind of notification page (not email) where one could to go to see the latest additions (i.e. assignments completed etc.) to student work. Perhaps a "dropbox" or indicator so that students could let educators know when their work is ready for viewing. Often we did this Face to face but something embedded in the program would helpful. The new Microsoft Classroom LMS system to purported to do this but I am reluctant to introduce when another technology just for "handing in" work. In short, this application is a sophisticated tool that offers a flexible infrastructure that borrows from an LMS (which I used less and less because of this app ), collaborative tools like Google Docs and shared notebooks like Evernote into one package. I use it everyday as an educator as my digital binder to curate content (articles, notes etc.) for my own professional development and potentially share in other capacities (i.e. presentations, email, Twitter, and other social networks etc.)

Useful Links
Cornell Notes -
Visual Notetaking -

How I Use It

Using the new Class Notebook app for OneNote, I created a shared digital binder with my students for each class. The digital notebook included a Content Library which I divided by chapter and included lesson plans, links, questions, activities from textbook, sketches, screenshots, graphics as well as a variety of multi-media. There is also a Collaboration Space which was a good place for students and colleagues to share and collaborate on class notebooks. (Although this section was admitted not as robust and sometimes more error prone than a Google Doc.) The highlight of this technology is that students could create a digital notebook/scrapbook to match their learning and research in the course and I could provide feedback on their progress directly in the page. The ability to embed documents into pages might be my favorite aspect when creating pages as Power Points or other resources can be attached. For more formal assessment, I often shared a copy of my assessment rubrics in a PDF version or a annotated printout in the binder. Often students could complete tasks like annotating forms and questions directly in their digital binder using a variety of great embedded tools including text, graphics and audio which appealed to a variety of learning styles. Adds links means any projects or progress from any site can added to OneNote. This technology is very suitable for our 1:1 school environment as students use Microsoft Surface Pro computers which include a stylus for quick sketches in OneNote. Students in middle and high school levels need lots of examples so templates and examples of note taking (i.e. Cornell or visual notetaking etc.) are so useful for them when beginning with OneNote.

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