One of the major aspects of teaching is planning. Making the learning as engaging and personalised for the students as possible, allowing them to demonstrate progress towards the intended outcomes is more effective if the students can be involved in the process. I need a tool that will allow me to gather student voice, record plans, and have flexibility to be modified in the moment of teaching. As an advocate of formative assessment and visible learning I also need the students to be able to evaluate the plans and give feedback so that the subsequent plan really hits the mark for them. The added bonus is that if the students are recording this information, I don’t have to; I don’t have to assume what worked well, or what they are struggling with. They tell me what they learned, what evidence they have to demonstrate their learning, what went well for them and what needs to be done again, or done differently, and what the next steps are. I no longer need to rely on a feel for the group progress but have explicit individual feedback. By involving the students in the planning, as well as the delivery, students are taking ownership of their learning. This can only have a positive impact on motivation!
Because of the ubiquitous nature of OneNote students can go back and check what the intended learning was, and where it fits in with the bigger picture. They can add resources that they think are worthy of sharing to aid the learning of others in the group. Suddenly it’s not me spending Sunday evening searching for tedtalks or youtube clips. Accessing the resources in the plan occurs at the click of a button (literally). Gone are the days where I have to rewrite URLs on the board, only to be typed in incorrectly by students, causing a tuneless chorus of “it’s not working.”
I’m sure there are more reasons I could share as to why I love the OneNote tool for planning, but the most effective way to find out about its potential is to try it for yourself.
(Deputy Principal, Opaheke School)