7 reasons for you to download the new OneNote App for your classroom

Microsoft has released an update to the OneNote Windows Store app that significantly improves how you capture, find and view the notes you care about most. Below are 7 explanations for how this can help your practice and productivity in the classroom.

Note: The information in this post is regarding the Windows 8 OneNote App, not Office 2013 OneNote software.

1. Improved Customisation with pen and ink

Improved pen customization while drawing and handwriting, as well as the ability to quickly flip between customized pens is now possible. To help you get started, there are four default pens. As you bring your stylus closer to the screen, the radial menu indicator will pop up. Tap it to open the radial menu to see the available pens. You can customize them by navigating to the second level of radial menu and then selecting the colour and thickness that suits your needs. Once you have customized your pen, the OneNote app will remember it in a pen slot you choose. This way, you can easily flip back to your favorite pen when you need it.

In your classroom: Set up your pens and colours for editing and feedback. Spelling mistake might be red, grammar might be green, re-write might be blue. Get students to do the same, make class protocols for feedback.

2. Capture your screen with the Share Charm.

With Windows 8.1, anytime you see something on your screen, you can capture it and send it to OneNote by using the Windows Share Charm.

Let’s say you’re using the Corinth Micro Plant App and you want to capture the information on plant virus in OneNote so you can review it later, follow these steps:

  • Use the Share Charm (swipe from the right or mouse to the top right corner, then select Share)-
  • Select OneNote, and then select Send.
  • OneNote will show you a preview of the screenshot before you send it to OneNote; now that information will be waiting for you to review.

3. Capture documents, magazines and whiteboards with Camera Scan.

Camera Scan helps you get pictures of documents and whiteboards into OneNote. It will automatically crop, rotate, straighten, remove shadows and sharpen the image so it looks like a scanned document. To use Camera Scan, select the camera in the radial menu. Watch how you complete this task in the video below.

In your classroom: This would be a great way for students to record notes, or take snapshots of your mathematical working out for later use. Even better, create a shared OneNote in Skydrive and keep a class set of notes. No more losing images or paper, everything can be kept in the one spot.

4. Browse and find your notes more easily

Search for text in scanned documents using OCR. So you’ve used camera to save information into OneNote, but how can you find it again later? OneNote can search the text in the image. You can even copy the text out of the image. See how to do this in the video below.

In your classroom: So you’ve taken a photo of your class notes, and you want to look for some information to study further. Use the instructions below to search through the text of the images you have snapped during class, professional learning or meetings.

Below is how this feature might work in a Maths classroom.

5. Find notes faster with Recent Notes and Page Previews.

When you open OneNote, you’ll see all the recent notes you’ve taken across all your devices, whether it was a quick reminder to yourself on your smartphone, a poem you wrote on your tablet, or the recipe you captured on your laptop. The ‘Recent Notes’ view shows all your notes in order of when you last edited them, no matter which notebook they’re in. Instead of only the page title, you’ll see a preview of your notes. Page previews show you text, images and even ink content, so you can see your notes without having to open the entire page. For short notes and simple reminders like “do math homework,” the preview will often contain all the information you need. If not, just tap or click the preview to see the full page of notes. This is great for visual learners and for speed searching, it’s a little feature that will make a huge impact on your use of the app.


6. Annotate and take your own notes on the things you’ve captured

Write better notes with Ink. When Microsoft first released the OneNote app just over a year ago, you could take ink notes with a stylus in any color you wanted, as long as it was black. Since then, we’ve added the ability to take notes in the color and thickness of your choice, plus the ability to draw with your finger. In this release, we’ve improved Ink so it feels more natural when you are writing.

In your classroom: Use this when you have captured student movement in PDHPE, taken a photo of some science experiment equipment that needs labelling, or even snapped a picture of your teacher’s math working out and you need ot annotate it. In fact you can write over any picture, even if it’s a billboard in Japan and you need to practice your script writing!

7. See more of your notes in Full Screen.

To make it easy to view the things you’ve captured and take your own notes on them, try out ‘Full Screen’ view. On smaller devices, OneNote will enter Full Screen mode automatically for you. On larger devices, swipe up from the bottom or right-click the page and then select Full Screen.

In your classroom: This subtle update is great for getting rid of pesky editing bars when you are presenting information to students and when they are presenting information to each other. If you are using your pen to write on the board, you have a frame to frame area to utilise.

So as you can see, now OneNote App for Windows 8 is even more classroom, teacher and student friendly to use. You can download the app here.

Information from this post can be found here and here.