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OneNote, SmartBoard and students with autism


Autism activities K-5Our global Office blog recently published an excellent article from a teacher in the US, sharing their experiences of using OneNote for students with autism. They found it supported their use of tablets and interactive whiteboards in the classroom, with the OneNote notebook allowing students with autism to engage in interactive exercises, and bringing together the learning journey for students and teachers across the different devices.

Alexis Parker, the teacher from Florida, introduces her students briefly before sharing her professional practice:

  I am a special education teacher for kindergarten through 5th-grade students who are highly impacted with autism. While every person with autism has a variety of talents and challenges, many of the students in my classroom face similar challenges—specifically in the areas of behaviour, communication and fine motor skills. Six of my students exhibit behavioural challenges when presented with tasks they don’t want to do. Seven are either non-verbal or have limited verbal skills. A few of my students are beginning to use alternative communication devices. Two of my students are able to reproduce letters of the alphabet, two can copy letters given an example, and three can trace letters.  

By connecting together their specialist software and their SmartBoard resources through OneNote, they were able to help classroom teachers and assistants, their students and also to strengthen the connection with parents:

  In December, I decided to create student portfolios in OneNote. Now all the work my students completed on the interactive whiteboard could be saved in the student portfolio. This solved two problems: it reduced the number of worksheets I was printing and it gave the students the ability to complete the task independently. After the student completes the interactive assignment, we write a grade with the interactive whiteboard’s ink feature, which lets you write in the Internet browser. Next, we screen clip it and send it to a OneNote page pre-named with the assignment name. At the end of the week, I move all the assignments into OneNote folder sections labelled by quarter, then by subject. I share each student notebook with the student, and parents have instructions on how to access their student’s OneNote notebook. Now my students’ parents can see what their students are doing in the classroom.  

In her blog post, Alexis shares some of the classroom activities that her students are now doing, as well as the process that she’s put in place for teachers and classroom assistants to make planning and learning delivery easier.

If you want any more reasons to read the full blog post, then here’s her final paragraph:

  Microsoft OneNote and Windows tablets have had a huge impact on learning and instruction in my classroom. They have given my students a way to demonstrate their knowledge that was previously unavailable to them. They have provided me a way to plan effectively and efficiently. They have also given me the ability to save students work and share it with their parents, so they can see on a daily basis what their child is doing in the classroom and how they are progressing toward their IEP goals.  

Learn MoreRead Alexis Parker's full blog post on the Microsoft Office blog

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