The Microsoft OneNote Project - Ensuring Success For All StudentsMonday, June 29, 2015
It goes without saying that carefully planned implementation of technology in the classroom can benefit students in many ways. In fact, I believe that technology is crucial in the education of our 21st century learners. Today students can gain greater insight more quickly and work together more efficiently than ever before, all the while developing collaborative, communicative and creative thinking skills through the use of technology. But what about students with special needs?
Recently, the Toronto District School Board teamed up with Microsoft on an initiative that will help ensure success for all students, in particular those that require assistive technology. Part of this initiative is the Microsoft OneNote Project which was designed to help students with learning disabilities alleviate anxiety and help them focus on learning, all the while preparing them for their transition to high school. Every student can benefit from it but those who are dyslexic, have ADD/ADHD, or other learning disabilities can achieve greater success by using this program.
Since organizational skills can improve the learning process, the OneNote software is an excellent tool to help students get organized and, in turn, build their confidence. Modelling the use of the software is also key, which is why Angie Scarano-Iuorio, Assistive Technology Central Coordinator with the TDSB, has put together an internal task force that provides resources, training and workshops to help teachers incorporate technology into their classrooms. It's all in the name of helping to pave a new road to higher success for all students.
Kyle, a OneNote pilot project student, shares the benefits he has experienced from using Microsoft OneNote in the following video:
How OneNote helps students:
- Students can take notes faster, create keyboard shortcuts and customize the tool bar for their specific needs.
- It keeps all of their information in one place and accessible to them wherever they might be.
- They can take notes while recording lectures that can be played back at a later time.
- OneNote automatically saves student work.
- The search feature is extremely easy to use.
- All of their classes can be tabbed at the top and then subsets of the tab on the right to access or add any information needed for the classes.
- OneNote can help students who have accessibility issues feel empowered and more organized.
- They can take these skills post-graduation into a work setting (ie. put together proposals, create business plans, work on engineering designs, develop lesson plans)
Educators and therapists can benefit from OneNote as well since they can add all of their students on this program and keep most of their information organized. They can add their students' papers, presentations, assessments, and they can even develop a grading system into the program. Therapists can add a list of the students they service and comprehensive information about the therapy they are receiving, while incorporating the children’s various schedules into the file. They can even chart the students’ progress by using the data and graphing tools.
To learn more information about the program, visit the Assistive Technology TDSB blog.
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Microsoft Canada. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own.