Anybody out there a big fan of OneNote?! Personally, it is one of my favourite Office 365 applications. As somebody who likes to stay as organised as possible, OneNote is something I have welcomed with open arms, and I can only imagine how much I would have gained from it as a student.
Some of you might be aware that a couple of weeks ago ACS hosted its first Education Cloud Academy at Denbigh School in Milton Keynes. Speaking on behalf of the school, Assistant Headteacher, Simon Goodall, demonstrated and discussed just how instrumental OneNote has been in developing the school's modern learning culture. It was great to see the positive impact that this tool can have when used to it's advantage.
Back in February, Microsoft released a preview launch of it's new OneNote Class Notebook APIs, which as you would expect, has received a lot of interest and feedback from IT administrators and educators throughout the UK. The new APIs have given admins and teachers the ability to automate certain workloads, secure sections of their Class Notebook's, and improve their classroom efficiencies tenfold.
Here is what's new if you didn't already know:
The Teacher only section
You might have guessed from the name, but this section is private and is designed so that only the teacher can view what is inside. After many requests from teachers and schools, this API has received great approval. The Teacher Only section groups can be provisioned by the new Class Notebook API, or you can add a Teacher Only section group to existing Class Notebooks.
Collaboration space lockdown
Another big request from educators was to have the ability to make any collaborative spaces within Class Notebook read-only, to discourage students from editing. The read-only status can be added and removed very easily by an admin and is a great way for teachers to monitor student work without changes being made.
Permission groups with the collaboration space
Teachers can now create specific sections in the collaboration spaces of notebooks that are assigned to specific students. This is a great feature that allows small groups of students to work together, but that also creates an environment where other students can't change what rival groups have done within the notebook. You can also hide certain sections from other groups if you wish. No cheating please!
Many schools are looking for the opportunity to mass-deploy curriculum into the content library of Class Notebooks. With the new Content API, OneNote sections can be provisioned along with new Class Notebooks. The first version of the API allows you to insert ONE section files into the Content Library, and moving forward you will also be able to use public notebooks that live on docs.com.
Teacher Transfer Powershell script
Microsoft has published a script and code sample that allows IT admins and teachers to transfer ownership of a Class Notebook from one teacher to another. This functionality is great to have in instances where teachers have to change schedules or require cover for their class. The script was released with the intention that this functionality will be built into Office 365 SharePoint Admin in the near future.
And there you have it! Some new, and very effective features to help further improve how OneNote can be used both in and out of the classroom.
If your school, college or University is using Office 365 but needs guidance on how to get the best of it's feature applications such as OneNote, you can talk to our specialists here.