Most educators spend countless numbers of hours on lesson programming. Each plan has a list of criteria to meet, special needs to consider, and must be approved by an executive in a timely manner. For some teachers, this means rummaging through messes of USB sticks, shared folders, and printed copies looking for exactly what they need to bring the best learning program they can to their students.
Lynette Barker understood that spending all of that valuable time on searching instead of collaborating wasn’t doing anyone good. Starting as a librarian at St. Therese’s Primary School in New Lambton, Australia, she has set on a journey to integrate an easier means of helping teachers, executives, and classroom assistants collaborate creatively through the use of OneNote.
According to the guest blog she wrote for the OneNote Team, Lynette felt that it was the natural tool of choice. Calling the project ‘Grade Book,’ she and a few other staff members began to deconstruct the lesson programming by bringing it down to basics. Adding information over time through the contribution of other teachers, the OneNote program allowed all of the teachers to begin assessing how they approach their time in the classroom.
As the tool progressed, it included the ability to invite executive staff members in as mentors, bridging the communication gap. Teachers could add outcomes of their lesson plans in real time, search for withdrawn resources, and take advantage of the Insert Audio feature to include verbal feedback. Moving forward, the EPIC Planning initiative hopes to teach other educators through workshops how to use OneNote and encourage them to actively participate in creative planning.
"We are at the beginning of our journey, and staff attitude will be crucial to the success of this project. I have been honest with the staff, telling them that initially some will struggle with OneNote and this new way of programming. However, I assure them that once their skills and confidence develop, they will love this EPIC Planning process and will become true OneNote Avengers!"
Lynette isn’t the only educator that has been able to build bridges with the Microsoft OneNote. Mrs. Petreska from Kicevo, Macedonia helped used the tool to make learning fun and efficient for her students. With the Office 365 and OneNote Staff Notebooks made easily available for educators, Microsoft has drastically changed the environment that students learn in.