Ask most people what's in the Office suite, and they'll be able to tell you about Word, Excel and PowerPoint. And at a push, they'll mention Access, or Publisher. But most people haven't even heard of OneNote, or even tried it. And yet, of all of the Office programmes, it is the one with most untapped potential for education.
It's a little scary to start with - for me, with my logical mind, it was a bit of a shock to realise that I could put the cursor anywhere and start writing. When you've always worked on word processors, you get used to the structure which starts at the top left of the page, and you work down and right from that. Structured. Logical. Nice. Whereas with OneNote you can start anywhere, and then move things around, and you can type or handwrite, or draw, and then drag in multimedia objects - pictures, video, weblinks, screen clippings. Which means that it is ideal for students and teachers to collate information, structure ideas, keep notes etc
I've just finished watching a video, from a school in the US, who talk about using OneNote in their lessons.
John Phillips, Director of Educational Technology, Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart says
"There’s a relationship, a synergy, that develops between teacher and student with OneNote … and because of this, we’re seeing some exciting things in the classroom that we never would have expected."
And Maths Teacher, Palie Cantu says
“I use OneNote to present notes to my class, and it also allows me to keep my own work organized. When I’m done teaching, my work is already filed, organized, and preserved.” When it’s time to prepare for a different class, “it’s literally the click of a mouse and I jump from one classroom set of materials to another. That, to me, is invaluable.”
Enough from me. You can read their mini-case study, and I'd recommend watching the video to see how they are using it in lessons.
And you can read more about OneNote, and download a free trial, on the Office website.