Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of meeting teachers from across Longford and Westmeath ETB at their annual TeachMeet. After their keynote presentation from Declan Coyle, author of The Green Platform, cluster groups of teachers moved from room-to-room to fifteen minute workshops or presentation. I was invited to speak about Microsoft OneNote – OneNote in 15 minutes meant I had to sit down and think of my absolute favourite features, of which there are just so many!
So my presentation began by giving a snapshot of what OneNote actually is, how it really is a dynamic and clever workspace with a superior level of functionality for the education context and finishing out with a bang; by a bang I meant Learning Tools. I have blogged about Learning Tools in the past but I am not sure I gave it the justice it deserves. My audience were awed that the Learning Tools add-in is free given schools often have had to pay sizeable sums for such software packages in the past.
So what can Learning Tools do for teachers and students ?
- First the add-in allows users to change the background and font colours for better readability. Schools and their learning support departments often purchase the physical form of coloured overlays to support students with reading challenges. Now they can use the free digital version of these type of coloured overlays through the Learning Tools Immersive Reader.
- Have text read aloud at your desired speed and voice. This can be a huge support for students who face challenges with reading and interpreting text.
- Take advantage of a variety of comprehension tools to break down words into syllables and identify verbs, nouns and adjectives in the text.
- For any modern foreign language teachers, you can have the above features work in languages such as French, German and Spanish once you add the desidered language pack to your computer’s Region and Language settings.
- The dication feature is excellent for changing speech to typed text.
I think it is clear to see why Learning tools had to make the cut for my OneNote in fifteen minutes presentation. Some educators commented that they would have imagined this type of software costs big money and were very excited to install and test it out for themselves. For more information visit https://www.onenote.com/learningtools or feel free to tweet me @aedamar_frawley.