OneNote and SharePoint 2010: Online Collaboration and Social Independent Learning (part 1)

First in a series of guest posts from Adrian Edgar, Independent Education Consultant. Director of ICT and SMT at Culford School for 7 Years.

Last week I was lucky enough to be part of the Microsoft Education team at BETT 2012. I spoke on the subject of using OneNote 2010 and SharePoint 2010 MySites. In this blog post, I’d like to recap some of the key points and show some of the great ways we have developed use of the software.


OneNote addresses the three core aspects that underpin effective learning. Pupils can capture their thoughts quickly and record their work. This could be typed notes, pictures, drawings or indeed, written notes. As long as pupils get in to the habit of using their OneNote notebook as their central portfolio, collecting and organising work becomes second nature. Rarely can you say that a piece of software aids organisation in such an effective manner.

Finally, and the most important aspect is the ability to simply share work and collaborate. This could be two or more pupils discussing work, but it is just as likely to involve the other key players in the process. Teachers and Parents can be given rights to read or contribute to the notebook and if you link this to a SharePoint library or SkyDrive share, the opportunities are endless.

Rather than focus on the core aspects of OneNote I’d like to discuss the fantastic way we can integrate the use of SharePoint Libraries, Outlook scheduling and tasks in order to help pupils plan and organise their time.

The first part of the process is to share the notebook and then grant contribute rights. In this example, I’m going to use SharePoint 2010 My Sites.

  • Create a shared library
  • Assign permissions
  • Grant collaboration rights

Create a shared library in SharePoint 2010

First step is to create a new document library under the students My Site pages

1. Start by making sure you are in the My Content section before you begin the process

2. From My Sites, click on Site Actions and Select New Document Library

3. Follow the instructions to complete each section as shown below

4. Click on Create to complete the process. You should see the new library created on the left hand tool bar. The new document library should open and display the library toolbar ribbon

5. It’s at this stage you can assign the correct permissions to the library

Assigning Library Permissions

Now that we have our new homework library, I’m going to make sure the correct people have permission.


Once you have created your new library it should open with the Library Tools ribbon as shown. If not, simply look for the ribbon tab on the left next to Site Actions and click on Library.

1. Look for the Library Permissions icon on the far right. Click on this icon.

2. More than likely, this library will inherit permissions from the level above. Simply click on the Stop Inheriting Permissions button and agree to the dialogue box.


3. Now you can remove all the permissions you don’t need and add your own.

Be careful when you do this. Make sure you keep your permissions to the library. The example below uses a fake student called Lucy Jones.


4. Tick the boxes next to the permissions you want to remove and then click on Remove User Permissions.

5. Now you can add permissions for the teacher to contribute to the library. This will assign permissions to any document uploaded to that library.

Granting Collaboration Rights

The final stage of this section is to assign collaboration rights to the teacher. For this example we are going to use the name, Mrs T Green.

1. With the same Library Permissions ribbon open, confirm that you can see the indicator stating that the library has individual permissions. If not follow step 2 above.


2. Click on Grant Permissions on the Permission Tools ribbon. The dialogue box below will open.


3. In this example I have allocated Contribute permissions to Mrs Teresa Green. I could have also used any of my Active Directory groups and assigned permissions to all staff.

4. Scrolling down the page, I have the opportunity to personalise a message explaining the permission I have granted.


5. Click OK to complete the process. The SharePoint server will email your welcome message.

In the next part of this post I will show you how to go one stage further now and set up a sharing collaboration process between teacher and pupil.

In the meantime, the slides from the OneNote session at BETT 2012 can be viewed/downloaded below.

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