Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Teachers plan for 2017 using OneNote Online – keep everything well-organised and accessible on any device

Submitted by Fiona Beal
Have you explored Microsoft’s free digital notebook – OneNote? Basically OneNote takes the place of paper notebooks. It can be used for everything you need to remember at school. Your learners can also use OneNote in place of their classroom notebooks. It’s an amazing program – a must for any teacher, I feel.

Introducing OneNote in its full functionality
There's so much you can do with OneNote. You can type, write or draw as though you were using pen to paper. OneNote lets you add photos, files, text, ink, recordings, and tables wherever you want. You can even take handwritten notes and convert them to typed text later. You can highlight what's important and express your ideas using colours or shapes. You can search and clip from the web to save your findings. Best is that it’s easy to pull up your content from anywhere as OneNote works on any device or platform. 


Where you will find OneNote
There are different versions of OneNote, some with full functionality and other with less functionality. OneNote is free for everyone and can be obtained in several ways:
  1. Our school has subscribed to Microsoft for their Office products but we do not have Office 365. However OneNote is available on our Windows desktops. If it is OneNote2013 or OneNote2016 it has full functionality. 
  2. OneNote can be downloaded from OneNote.com
  3. If your school subscribes to Office 365 you will find OneNote with some additional advnatges. 
  4. If you create a Microsoft account and sign in to Microsoft OneDrive https://onedrive.live.com/ you’ll find a free Office Suite plus OneNote Online available to you.( OneDrive is Microsoft's service for hosting files in the "cloud", that's available for free to all the owners of a Microsoft account.)  I use OneNote Online with my Grade 6s and 7s.
I thought I would explain how I plan to use OneNote Online at school this year. This post highlights some of my ideas.

Sign in to OneNote Online
Go to OneNote online https://www.onenote.com/. You’ll need to create a Microsoft account to access OneNote online which, as mentioned, is part of OneDrive.  If your school has subscribed to Office 365 you'll use the option 'Sign in with a work or school account'. Otherwise use the option shown below 'Sign in with a Microsoft account'. 


Create your Notebooks
Once you’ve created your Microsoft account and you sign in to OneNote, you’ll notice how OneNote is constructed. OneNote uses Notebooks. The first thing you’ll come across is the blank Notebook section. You’ll need to decide how many you would like to have. You can have as many of these as you like. These are just like physical notebooks. They consist of a collection of note pages. For example you can create a Personal Notebook, a School Notebook and maybe a Professional Development Notebook. Everything will be in one place and easily accessible on every device you use.
Notebook examples
Start by creating a Notebook of your choice, then build from there. This year I have created three Notebooks - Planning 2017, Professional Development 2017 and Personal 2017.
School Planning 2017:
This is where I keep a record the following items for school:
  • My year plan 
  • My Term plan
  • My daily plan
  • My classroom timetable
  • The school calendar
  • Additional school information
  • Assessment plans 
  • and more…
Professional Development 2017:
This is where I record the following:
  • Planned school professional development session with notes
  • Notes from webinars that I listen to
  • Conference notes
  • Ideas from books and e-books
  • Ideas from web articles that I read.
  • and more…
Personal 2017:
I put most the information I want to keep for future here, and that includes:
  • Ideas that come into my mind
  • Links that I am interested in, or those I want to read later
  • Book lists for reading
  • Goals
  • Recipes
  • My TO DO list
  • and more...
You'll notice that any Notebooks that have been shared with you are also listed with your Notebooks. Notebooks are displayed in alphabetical order.


Create Sections in your Notebooks
Once you get going, you may find the need to create topical breakdowns for better organisation. OneNote uses the word ‘Sections’ for these breakdowns. Sections help you arrange ideas by topic or a range of dates. You'll notice some of my Sections in my School Planning 2017 Notebook in the image below: The Sections appear on the left and this keeps everything very orderly.


Create Pages within your sectionsThe next step will be to create your Pages within each Section. The Pages appear in the middle column of the OneNote. You can have as many named Pages as you like for each Section. For example under the Year Plan Section I plan to add a summary of the four terms of the year in a table format.


I’ll then add a detailed plan for each Term with links where necessary.


In the Daily Plan Section I will have a page for each day.


Reorganize your Sections and your Pages
One of the great things about OneNote  is that you can reorganize your Sections and Pages in the order you would like them to appear.


No saving is necessary
You don’t have to save your notes as OneNote does it automatically. It’s only when you need to save a Notebook, Page, or Section, under a different name, you need to use the Save As function.

Share Notebooks
Once your Notebook is completed you can share it with others. All your OneNote Notebooks can be located in your OneDrive account where you can rename them if desired. (If you want to share your Notebook it might be an idea to add your name to it as well.) 


In conclusion, I am sure you'll agree that OneNote is a great way to plan for your year at school this year. You might have a different idea to mine for setting out your year. Perhaps you would prefer to just have one Notebook called School 2017?   Why not give OneNote a try?

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