Microsoft One Note has become one of my favourite classroom tools, from the simple tasks of not needing to run to the office for new whiteboard markers to the difficult tasks of differentiating a lesson and here’s why:

OneNote for windows 10 at first glance:

One Note lends itself to the classroom in many ways; the OneNote for windows 10 app makes the organisation of content and topics easily accessible for both teachers and students. Students can access class content inside and outside of the classroom in their class notebook created by their teacher, which offers them the opportunity to revise or keep track of work missed due to absence. Students can access the One Note app on a phone, tablet or laptop.

Example of class notebook layout

Planning & Collaborating with Colleagues:

One Note is also the perfect tool for planning and collaborating with your colleagues. A shared notebook for your department allows for easy sharing of documents or one note pages that can be edited and used as resources by anyone with access to the notebook. It’s also the ideal space for planning. Units of learning and yearly schemes can be shared and edited, allowing for planning without needing to meet in person.

In the classroom:

The benefits of using One Note in the classroom are endless. The students I teach have one to one devices, which has brought blended learning to a whole new level. One Note allows students to use digital inking to write on their devices or type their work as they would a copy. This has been a game changer for students with poor organisation skills or students with SEN that find spelling or writing to be a challenge.

The ability to distribute pages to students as a group or individually eliminates printing (no more queuing for the printer!) but also allows for differentiation without students even realising it’s happening.  

Digital Inking allows teachers to use the class notebook as a whiteboard, with the added bonus of the content not being erased at the end of the lesson! Allowing students to revisit the lesson for revision.

When we think of 1st years, we immediately associate them with heavy bags and sore backs. Using notebooks for each of their classes can eliminate the need to carry their books into school.

One Note allows students to collaborate in the collaboration space showing the author beside their work. This is a great way to complete a task as a whole class group or share the results of pair work with their class.

Assessment & Feedback:

I regularly use OneNote as an assessment tool. There is no need to carry around endless bundles of tests. The notebook page can be set for timed distribution and locked once the test is complete, meaning students cannot go back and edit it after the test. Feedback can be given in many forms, including voice recordings that can be listened to by individual students. It is also easy to create a rubric to reuse for every student. I have been a big fan of digital inking since I started using One Note so that is my usual go to.

Using digital inking to give student feedback

OneNote for windows 10 has become an essential in my everyday teaching, it is a great tool to promote innovation and collaboration in all aspects of teaching and learning!

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