If you’re a teacher and you haven’t yet discovered Microsoft OneNote, you are missing out! OneNote has been around for years but, for some reason, is Microsoft’s best kept secret. Essentially OneNote can be thought of as an electronic binder sorted into Section Groups, Sections (tabs), and Pages. This “binder” can store text, digital ink, images, web links, and files including pictures, PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, audio, video, etc. It literally can replace your entire paper binder of course material (and hold all the internet stuff your paper binder can’t hold). It can do the same thing for your STUDENTS. They can take notes, insert pictures onto the page directly from their digital device, add ink notes, add links to useful resources – powerful, right!?
But that’s not all – if you save your OneNote Notebooks in the cloud (in OneDrive, for example), then you can have your Notebooks (binders) sync to all your various devices – you can access and edit your Notebooks on your phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc and all changes will appear in all locations. AND you can SHARE your Notebooks with other people and give them viewership rights OR editing rights (co-teachers, students, parents). Think of the options – an online binder that can be co-constructed by teachers and students alike.
When I first learned about the sharing capabilities of OneNote my mind started racing with all the possibilities. You could have students collaborate within one OneNote Notebook and your whole class could easily contribute in real time in one space – it’s amazing. But then I got thinking it would be great if you could share specific sections of the Notebook with individual students – then students could complete their own work, I (the teacher) could pop in to have a look to provide some feedback and the comments would not be publicly viewable by the whole class. But alas it wasn’t possible unless I wanted to create a new Notebook for each of my students (ie. nearly 100 Notebooks for the average high school teacher).
ENTER the OneNote Class Notebook Creator – in 2015, this SharePoint App provided a OneNote Notebook with:
- Collaboration Space – a Section Group where the teacher and all students have editing rights;
- Content Library – a Section Group where the teacher has editing rights and students have viewership rights (but can copy content);
- Student Notebooks – a Section Group for each student in the class where the teacher has editing rights and each individual student has editing rights, but only in their own Section Group (and they are invisible to other students in the class).
Think of the possibilities! Did I mention that you can “Insert Audio” on any page through your device microphone – consider the implications for providing fast, easy, immediate feedback to your students while reading through their work.
If you’re a teacher in Grand Erie, the OneNote Class Notebook Creator has now been added to our Office 365 apps. Just login to Office 365, select the App Launcher (waffle menu) in the top left corner, then OneNote Class Notebook and follow the wizard. For additional details, check out the OneNote Class Notebook Interactive Guide.
Note: when entering students’ names in the wizard, start with last names and the wizard will automatically show students in Grand Erie with that surname.