Constantly pushing on the pull door of life

I’ve been trying out OneNote…

I decided at the start of this academic year that I wanted to try one new tech thing with one class and try to do it really well: I was going to use OneNote Class Notebook with my National 5 maths class. I’m lucky enough that all my students have access to an iPad but one benefit of using OneNote is that it is easily accessible across a range of platforms.

Student work area

I wanted to use the Notebook as a place to store class notes, a workbook for students and a place where students can track their learning. Every student in the class has access to their own area of the Notebook where they can complete homework, tracking and any questions set during a lesson – essentially setting up a virtual jotter which I can check in real time.

Area where I can write our class notes

When teaching I am able to use the smartboard to write and draw directly into the class section of the Notebook. Using the tabs and pages this helps me create notes which students have access to right away. This means that students don’t need to worry about missing part of a note given in class. However, students can still annotate their own notes to add extra content if they wish.

I’m also able to include Success Criteria and make parts of the note standout using personalised ‘tags’. For example lessons aims have a star next to them and key questions have a question mark.

For each section I include an introduction page – following subpages make up the lessons we go through. In these I include information about the topic and try to clearly state what the students will be learning in that topic.

Some students in the class asked if it would be possible to include a space where they could track their learning using ‘I can statements’. We’d be using paper copies of these in class, but these were easily lost and rarely taken out by students to use. I’d hoped that by placing these into OneNote students would use them more. I asked students to track their ‘I can statements’ by traffic lighting and indicating how they can improve their learning.

Introduction Tracking statements


Any work which pupils complete in their jotter but want included in their personal space they can easily upload and I can give them feedback.

Comments from students about using OneNote:

“It’s better for revising and note taking and you can do your homework in one area and it allows you to draw directly on to the app.”

“I like it because it tracks what I do well and what I need to work on.”

“The benefits are it’s better for revising and no paper. Learning is easy – you don’t need to use your jotter.”

As we move forward I’d like to start using the collaboration space more with students.

(Cross posted with The Edinburgh Digital Learning Team )


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This entry was posted on September 29, 2015 by in teaching, technology and tagged , , .
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