Today’s post on OneNote for Education was written by Jerry Bradford, director of technology at Washington County Career Center, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert.
When adverse weather affects Ohio’s schools, often closing is the only option. The Ohio Department of Education permits five calamity days per year before schools are required to make up additional missed days. On top of the five calamity days, schools can also implement up to three blizzard bag days. Blizzard bags are online assignments delivered by individual schools. Teachers post blizzard bag assignments to a school portal and students must submit their assignments no later than 10 days after returning to school. Blizzard bags must contain content relevant to each class on a student’s schedule and meet the same academic expectations and rigor as a normal school day.
For students at the Washington County Career Center, a vocational school in southeast Ohio, blizzard bag assignments must contain enough material to cover 160-minutes of program specific class time as well as two 80-minute academic courses for each student. Many teachers at the Washington County Career Center are successfully using the OneNote Class Notebook to manage their blizzard bag content and assignments. The OneNote Class Notebook enables teachers to build and share interactive lessons relevant to the class and provide interactive guidance both in and outside of the classroom for all participating students.
Teachers can write custom lessons and assignments or print existing assignments directly to OneNote, which are then shared “automagically” with their students. Students can log in to OneNote on any of their personal devices at home and complete their work just as they would in the classroom. Because of the cloud-ready nature of the OneNote Class Notebook, assignments are readily available and instantly updated for both the student and the teacher. Teachers save time and no longer have to carry papers to and from school just to grade assignments, and students can see feedback as soon as it is available. For students, teachers and school administrators, OneNote is a win-win-win.