Game Changer - Microsoft's OneNote Class Notebook Creator

How often does something come by that blows your socks off way beyond the ‘wow’ factor?  Not very often. I am not talking about the latest ‘shiny thing’ I am talking about a phenomenal resource which allows students and teachers to build their own curriculum collaboratively. The name of this resource is OneNote Class Notebook Creator and can be found in the suite of apps in Office365 for business.

OneNote Class Notebook Creator made its formal debut in the fall of 2014 and has quickly become quite the buzz.  For those of you who were at ISTE, each of the Microsoft OneNote sessions was turning away attendees after filling the room to its 150 person capacity.  On the exhibit floor, the Microsoft staff were followed like rock stars. Attendees were standing in line to chat with the experts who patiently listened and answered everyone’s questions. I was very impressed with the staff on the floor and their deep knowledge who wanted to see Microsoft products and services through the educator’s lens.  I was even able to sit with one of the OneNote developers on the floor to discuss desired functionality to further support the classroom. Impressively, he recorded my comments and reached out to continue our dialogue after ISTE through email.

So…why am I so excited about sharing this resource with you?  It is because it is a true game changer. Each teacher is now able to create a digital notebook for each student that contains a section for collaboration with the students within the class, a content library containing resources and assessments for students and a private notebook for each student that is shared between the teacher and said student. The notebooks provide opportunities for students to personalize their learning by creating visual spaces with content, images infographics, and annotations using digital inking. The OneNote space can be a free form canvas or take on more of a traditional look through templates. 

Teachers are excited with the ability to look into their students’ digital notebooks to provide a running dialogue with their students using digital inking, video or audio comments that align with inked comments. Since OneNote is a component of Office365, students and teachers are able to access their files from any device and any platform. Amazing!

 If you haven’t taken a look at OneNote Class Notebook Creator, please visit, http://onenoteforteachers.com/ for interactive tutorials and start your teachers on their journey to build their interactive textbooks along with their students.

My next post will share our OneNote Class Notebook Creator journey. How do your educators create their content along with their students?


Marianthe Williams has been a district level administrator supporting teaching and learning with technology and professional learning for the past 15 years. Most recently, she has supported the River Dell Regional School District in the implementation of their one-to-one computing initiative which is about to enter its ninth year at the high school. In addition, she supports technology infusion into the middle school’s learner-centered environment. Williams created an elite team of technology turnkey teacher trainers within each discipline who provide ongoing, personalized options through face- to-face, on-demand and flipped professional learning opportunities to their colleagues. She is active in several state and local technology director associations and she currently serves on the technology committee for the New Jersey Association of School Administrators.

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