A Collaborative Class Notebook That Empowers Students

Submitted 3 months ago
Laura H.
Laura H.
Loyola Blakefield
Towson MD, US
My Rating

My Take

Before OneNote, my students had much less access to our materials. I could post things in our LMS or email them out, but often I ended up printing things so my students could annotate. Now, they can access anything from class, including our shared notes, annotated text, and assignments, 24/7 on their devices. Unless your school's internet and your classroom management skills are phenomenal, be careful with the collaboration space. Otherwise, this is the perfect place to put all of your materials, procedures, readings, and lesson plans. Students are so empowered when all their resources are in one place!

How I Use It

I have notebooks for each class section. I sort our materials into tabs: Syllabus, Skills, Assignments, Journal Prompts, Vocabulary, and Readings. Skills has how-to procedures for Harkness discussions, close-reading and annotation, grammatical skills, and MLA citations. Assignments has assignment descriptions and guidelines, prompts, rubrics, and sample work. Vocabulary has copies or links for any worksheets, presentations, or Quizlets/Kahoots. Readings has copies of supplemental texts and links to digital and/or audio versions of our texts. I take class notes and annotate as we go here, as well. Students copy anything they want to edit into their own individual sections, which is also where they keep their daily journals and weekly vocabulary work. We do group projects and presentations in the collaboration space--this is great for jigsaws, "expert groups," and in-class presentations. My only tiff is that the collaboration space cannot support many students working simultaneously--we often having syncing problems. Similarly, because any student can "edit" int he collaboration space, they can delete (accidentally or on purpose) and graffiti ("Brett rules, Bennett drools") each other's work. I encourage my students to write everything up in a shard Microsoft or Google doc if more than 3 students need to simultaneously edit a document, and then to post their work in the collaboration space when they're finished.