By Gareth Braddick
I am a teacher of English and, more recently, Media at N4 and N5 level. Having read about the use of OneNote Class Creator, I decided to try creating full Media courses, and a supported course for my lower ability S3 English class, within OneNote for the 2015-16 session.
The OneNote Class Creator App in Glow makes creating a class notebook straight forward by taking you through the process step by step on screen. Setting up a Glow “sub-site” is less straight forward but if you follow the instructions properly- I didn’t initially and messed up the permissions needed for pupils to access the class notebook- then it all works seamlessly.
I wanted to get up and running fairly quickly with this class so started with adapting current materials. Word files are very easy to transfer into OneNote and the Character Recognition tool allows you to make these editable for the pupils.
Further to simply digitising work, OneNote provides opportunities to supplement current materials with features that will support learners. For example, I inserted video clips that matched each chapter of the novel we had studied, giving pupils a quick reminder of the plot before they attempted an activity.
“Tagging” is also a very useful tool for supporting pupils’ learning. I am using a combination of colour coding and emoticons to give continuous, meaningful feedback with tags. This reassures pupils and gives them motivation.
The final task for the Stormbreaker unit is for pupils to create a newspaper article retelling the story, based on a fictional interview with the central character. Inserting a PowerPoint file, adapted to provide headings, gives pupils quick access to a ready-made template that helps them structure their work.
I am hoping to develop new resources over the summer which will provide richer tasks, involving making connections between video and a written novel.
Firstly, access to a range of media is clearly of great benefit to teachers and pupils, so working in an online environment permanently makes a lot of sense for this course in particular.
I based the unit on the “6 Key Aspects” of Media around a PowerPoint I developed. I inserted slides into pupils’ notebooks and then created tables for them to complete relevant tasks. The tasks involved finding images, analysing images and watching YouTube videos from links.
I intend to contain the whole course within a single Class Notebook, including unit assessments, project work and exam revision. Containing the whole course in one place makes it far easier for pupils and teachers to see how separate course elements fit together and also track results.
The ability to share the work environment with pupils and provide quick feedback has made me a more responsive teacher. Pupils have responded well to feedback and I think this is one of the most powerful reasons for using OneNote Class Creator. I’m looking forward to developing more resources over the coming year and hopefully moving on from adapting resources to developing new types of tasks that are made possible by the use of ICT.