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OneNote 2013

OneNote has been around for quite some time. It is a powerful note-taking resource provided for free by Microsoft. I will be posting multiple times on the topic of OneNote as the amount of uses is vast and can feel overwhelming. These posts will give a quick overview of how to navigate and get started. I will also chat a bit about different ways it can be implemented in the classroom.

This post will completely focus on OneNote 2013 for a Windows machine. It integrates very well with the rest of Microsoft Office and can provide an easy way to store and organize important bits of information on any topic you like. The key is just getting started. As you tinker around with OneNote, start with something small. Try using it to organize emails on a specific topic or person. Since you can make multiple notebooks for various purposes, there is no harm done if you decide you want to start fresh after practicing and finding a purpose.

Signing In and Creating Notebooks

When you open OneNote 2013, you'll need to sign into your Microsoft account. If this is your first time utilizing OneNote, it will automatically create a default general notebook for you. You may want to create a new notebook just so that you can practice and get a feel for how the program work. 

Creating Sections, Pages, and Sub-pages

When you start using OneNote, it can feel a little overwhelming as to how you want to organize everything. Think of OneNote as a virtual binder. Within a binder, you have tabs that stick out of the top that you typically label. Those are the colored sections that will help you organize the pages that fit underneath that tab. As you create pages of information, a user can also create subpages to continue a topic started on one page. So if you are a teacher and you are documenting Tommy's timed addition tests, he may need multiple attempts on one particular set of facts. Each attempt could be placed in a subpage. 

Importing Items

OneNote is much more than just a note-taking tool, you can also import other various file types such as Word documents, PDFs, images, and audio. This becomes extremely handy as you collect information and want to organize it to fit a specific topic. Images files are extremely helpful as a teacher may take pictures of classwork and want to document a specific student's progress or even create a digital portfolio of the teacher's accomplishments. Audio files are equally handy as a teacher can document a student's fluency using OneNote. The passage the student is reading and the audio recording of the session can both be on the same page. 

Outlook Export

Want to push an email to OneNote? This is extremely easy with Outlook 2013. After a user clicks on an email, the option to export to Outlook appears on the ribbon. This is handy if the teacher needs to collect an email from a parent or if a student email's his/her work to the teacher. It could even be used to organize important emails that you want to be saved for later as all of OneNote is searchable. 

Screen Clipper

Another handy tool is the "screen clipper" that is a part of OneNote 2013. With it, you can clip a section of your computer screen into an image format. After you clip the screen, it will prompt you to organize your image into the note of your choice. (Snagit users should be aware that this piece is unnecessary. Snagit has a direct export to OneNote in the "share" tab.)

Copying and Moving Notes

As a OneNote user, you are bound to misplace a note from time to time. It is handy to know that you can move the note to a different section or notebook at any time. There are also times where a note fits in two different locations. A note can easily be copied to another section. 

Sharing and Exporting

A great feature of OneNote is the sharing portion. Teachers can give other colleagues or students access to an entire notebook. The shared notebook can be for the purposes of viewing or collaborating depending upon your end goal. If you don't want to share an entire notebook but need to distribute important information from OneNote, a teacher can export just a section or page as an attachment in an email. 

Applications for the Classroom

  • Documentation of student work/progress
  • Organization of email
  • Shared class notes
  • Student data notebooks
  • Student digital portfolios
  • Student research projects
  • Behavior notes among staff
  • Collaborative spacesd