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The Organised Student

In my recent blogpost, The Organised Teacher I focused on how Microsoft's OneNote could help me be more organised as a teacher. My own personal organisation has a positive affect on my students too and I am able to harness Class Notebook for the benefit of my students.  When my new cohort start in September, they will be able to access much of the main content of the course and they will be able to retrieve notes on previous areas of study.  Not only will they be able to re-read notes, they will also be able to practise their skills via links.  
Organisation comes naturally to someFor some people structuring their work comes naturally but for others it is much more of a struggle.  Setting up Class Notebooks allows me to provide much needed assistance for my less organised students and light the way for them and others to work in a more systematic way.

For example when my new Year 10s start in September they will have a notebook that will contain a number of sections that they can re…
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Live marking in Class Notebook.

As mentioned in my last post, The Organised Teacher this past year has afforded me the opportunity to use Microsoft Office's Class Notebook and very good it is too.  Numerous are the functionalities that I have explored over the year and which I intend to share here in my blog over the coming weeks, if time permits.
Now, I would like to demonstrate how I use the Notebook with my classes to provide instant feedback.   
Before watching the video, it is important to note that both the class and I are using Surface Pros which gives us all the ability to write on our screen.  In addition I am able to project my Class Notebook onto the main screen at the front of the class.  From my Class Notebook, I am able to access all of the work being done by my students.  This allows me to see quickly what they are doing and I can use their work as a starting point for discussion.  
Watch this video to see how easy it is to 'live mark' using Class Notebook.  Please let me know your thoughts i…

The Organised Teacher

I have a number of blogposts in me but somehow it has been over a year since I have sat down to write anything other than table mats, knowledge organisers, worksheets, emails, reports or any of the usual Modern Language teacher requirements.  However, this past academic year, the 25th of my teaching career, has been an important one for me as I have really got to grips with my Microsoft Surface Pro, Office 365 and the amazing array of tools on offer.  I have never been afraid to use technology if it is going to enhance my usual teaching practice and thus it is that I have embraced my Surface Pro and ensured that my classes have understood how this tool can help them in their education.   For this, my first blogpost since last June, I am going to quickly show you how Microsoft Notebook has been so useful for me in my own personal organisation.  I can tell you that my office no longer looks much like this:

As the year has progressed, I have created numerous Microsoft Class Notebooks wi…

The T-Word: Transforming my teaching with technology

This year, much like any other, has been a busy one.  The focus, as ever, has been on what has been going on in the classroom.   New specifications are content rich and require my linguists to manipulate the language in a way that they did not have to previously.  This is especially true at GCSE level.  Much thought and consideration has been given to lesson planning - how can I enable my students to think more independently, to work more collaboratively and generally develop good learning practices.

To assist me in my goal I have harnessed Microsoft's Suite of Tools,   From Teams to One Note, from Forms to Class Notebook.  All the tools have had a great impact on what I have been able to achieve and on what my students have achieved.

You can read about how I have made use of these tools in these previous posts: 1. Substitute your pen for tech 2. 3 Core Principles 3. Learning to teach with Microsoft in Education 4. First Steps with One Note 5. Tags & Templates in One Note

Substitute your pen for tech

You cannot run until you can walk... There are a number of acronyms that get bandied around a great deal when discussing education.  Dr Ruben Puentedura's SAMR model is one that merits discussion.  SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition and is a useful acronym to consider when implementing technology use in the classroom. Here is a helpful visual that explains each of the initials in relation to technology:

The goal, when using technology in the classroom, is to transform the education process and not simply to enhance it.   The ideal is to move beyond Substitution and Augmentation otherwise what is the point of using technology, what extra will the use of technology bring to a student?  Accessing this ideal of transformative teaching can be a cause of concern for many colleagues who are not comfortable or confident using technology.  Puentedura (2012) suggests that it can take up to three years for an institution to transform teaching by using t…

3 Core Principles to consider when using Tablets & Office 365

Technology must not cloud the pedagogical intent.Having made a start at explaining how I use Microsoft in Education in these three posts here (Learning to teach with Microsoft in Education, First steps with OneNote and Tags & Templates) I want to take a step back and outline my thinking behind using this technology in the first place. I am teaching at a school where a decision has been made to commit to using Microsoft Surface Pro and the suite of Office 365 tools and although this has meant learning about a new set of tools essentially I am in favour of the decision and all its implications.  In fact, use of technology to enhance what pupils are able to learn and achieve in the classroom very much fits in with my intrinsic teaching methods and my ideology.  I have posted on many occasions about technology use.  This post from last June clearly outlines how technology can have an impact on the different stages of teaching.  
As I embark on my second term with my Surface Pro and O…

Tags & Templates in OneNote

Tags and templates are proving very useful to me in my everyday planning.  Perhaps more importantly, getting to grips with these simple tools on a personal level has enabled me to set up, very quickly and efficiently, my Class Notebooks in a more visually engaging way that allows my students to access tasks easily and to see at a glance how they are progressing through their work.

Having set my OneNote Notebook up with my sections and pages as I wanted them (bearing in mind that I can easily change this set up at any point) the next step for me was to start using tags and templates effectively.  
Tags are a great way to organise your work (and your students' work in Class Notebook) and you can personalise tags in any way you see fit.  You can see from the image below how simple it is to insert tags from the Home button and how easy it is personalise them.  
As you can see here, I have created, amongst others, a couple of tags to help me see at a glance what planning and marking …