During my time at the Microsoft Innovative Educator training, we spent a lot of time covering OneNote, and with good reason!  Our trainers claimed that OneNote is Microsoft’s best kept secret, and I would have to agree.  In all of the computer/technology courses and workshops I have attended over the span of my education, OneNote has never come up as a topic for discussion.

As I began to learn all of its bells and whistles during my training, I couldn’t stop my mind from spinning as to all of the many ways I could implement it in my school.  Historically, my school has completed weekly SPED reports, of which the main goal is to help keep classroom teachers, counselors, and interventionists all on the same page regarding student performance.  The method of completing these reports has changed over the years, with our current system being run out of Microsoft OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive).  There are folders upon folders of student work and teacher reports, making it next to impossible to find a specific document quickly.

My vision for next school year is to move all of these reports to a single OneNote binder, hosted through OneDrive.  That way, when one teacher updates their report with an exam study guide, each interventionist or counselor can instantly access it, without having to go digging through folders upon folders.  Teachers can also search the entire binder for a single student, pulling up every instance of their name within seconds.  While it will take a good amount of “up front” work (and teacher training!) before the school year begins, the organizational and time saving capabilities of OneNote will definitely make it worth it!

Have you ever used a single OneNote document with a large group of people?  How did it work for you?  Leave a comment below!


Spread the Word to End the Word

I am taking a step away from all of the tech talk for a post to talk about something else important.

If you have been following my Twitter account this past week, you have probably seen my posts about Spread the Word to End the Word week, a campaign created by Special Olympics to educate people about the  derogatory effects of the use of the R-word (retard/retarded).

I had always been aware of this campaign and would sign the pledge each year out of solidarity to my special education teaching counterparts, but only recently have I become involved with the campaign itself.  This year, in my role as a tech integrationist, I was able to work with my district’s wonderfully talented special education department and their amazing students to create the video PSA you see below.  It was so much fun getting to know the students and their teachers better, and I hope you take their message to heart: that there are many words you can use to describe people, but the R-word should never be one of them!

Enjoy 🙂