Last week, Microsoft launched a new website dedicated to helping educators master its free OneNote application – informing them about the different ways It can be used to take down notes and how it can enhance the productivity of both themselves and their students. Today, we take a look at how a school has come to adopt OneNote and how it has changed education delivery for the better.
Since the Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart (FRSSH) adopted tablet PC’s back in 2003, they noticed that while digital inking was something that could be used by all their disciplines such as English and Math, simply taking down notes just wasn’t enough.
“The novelty of inking was enticing, but it still wasn’t quite what we needed in an educational environment. We needed more than just the ink capabilities— we needed organization, structure, flexibility and simplicity.” – FRSSH
Once the school started using OneNote, everything changed; the note-taking tool was adopted rapidly particularly by the math and science division, as it made taking down complex symbols, formulas, and drawing a lot easier than using a keyboard or special software add-ins. OneNote also introduced automatic backup, word processing, graphing tools, audio/video recording capabilities, and more – it was the complete package.
The only thing missing was a way to efficiently collaborate with each other because, as you can imagine, a school could have dozens of teachers and hundreds of students, each with his or her own OneNote account, which could have countless notebooks and sections, thus sharing notes was a cumbersome experience. Microsoft heard the need for easy collaboration and launched the OneNote Class Notebook Creator which makes it seamless to teachers and their students to share need notes.
“Now with our current shared notebook setup, the teacher places the information in their OneNote notebook, it shows up automatically in the students’ notebooks. The students add their responses and it’s viewable by the teachers in their own notebooks in a matter of seconds!” – FRSSH
The OneNote Class Notebook Creator has also opened the door to individualized learning, where a school can create its own digital textbooks by gathering information from up-to-date sources and organizing them in a OneNote notebook shared to students. Students can then open these digital textbooks and take notes in them, highlight, color, circle and, annotate, something that students aren’t usually encouraged to do with physical textbooks.
“As we were deploying a notebook in a high school math class, a senior stopped me as I walked by her desk and said, “thank you… you just made my life easier.” In context of a rigorous academic college-prep program, this is high praise indeed, especially from a senior!” – FRSSH
In schools that have adopted it, OneNote has effectively changed the lives of both teachers and students, making for a more productive and personalized learning experience. Teachers interested in trying out and implementing OneNote in their schools are encouraged to head over to OneNoteforTeachers.com for more information. OneNote is available for free on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.Further reading: Education, Microsoft, Office, OneNote