"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."
—John Phillips, Director of Educational Technology, Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart
Laptops have been part of the classroom experience at Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart since 1996. Nevertheless, teachers were still using traditional, time-consuming methods for creating lesson plans, organizing paperwork, giving quizzes, and grading homework. Students spent the majority of their class time taking notes rather than engaging in the lessons at hand. Forest Ridge wanted to provide its students and teachers with an interactive tool that would help them excel at their work by streamlining teaching processes, enhancing organizational capabilities, and creating more dynamic opportunities for collaboration between students and teachers.
When Microsoft released the 2007 Office system, Forest Ridge upgraded all 500 of its laptops. Math Teacher Palie Cantu launched an experimental class using the Microsoft® Office OneNote® 2007 note-taking program, and word quickly spread about how her students were using its dynamic, interactive capabilities. “With OneNote, you can get kids involved really quickly,” says Math Teacher Chris Pesce. “You can change colors and highlight key ideas on the fly. This really brings the material to life for the kids.” Note taking, homework, and quizzes have become animated, engaging activities, rather than mundane, time-consuming chores.
Students aren’t the only ones excited about Office OneNote 2007. “I use OneNote to present notes to my class,” says Pesce, “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,” Pesce says. “That, to me, is invaluable.”
With Office OneNote, students are exposed to a variety of teaching styles, organizational tools, and interactive lessons so they have more opportunities to succeed at learning. “As a teacher I want to reach learners who have different styles,” says Pesce. “That’s why I like the ability to capture images, audio, and video all in one place. OneNote makes it all really seamless.”
Teachers and students can organize information to suit their own needs. “It’s great to have any piece of information you need at your fingertips,” says Pesce. “I never have to open and close documents,” Cantu adds, “so document management is really fast and straightforward.”
Teachers streamline their classroom time through collaboration and information sharing. “One of the big benefits of OneNote is that I’m able to get more done in a lesson,” says Cantu. “I give my students a frame-work for notes so they don’t have to spend all of their time writing down every single thing that I put on the board.”
Seventh grade student Sydney adds, “We use the Live Sharing Sessions in OneNote. Miss Cantu will have most of the notes already taken, and we’ll fill out the problems that she’s written down. It’s just very easy.”