Option 3: The Digital Technologies curriculum encourages students to ‘create and share information in safe online environments’. What are some ways that you would have students sharing work and creating work online together and what tools and environments might you use?
One note: Firstly, I use OneNote myself so I am very happy to recommend this program. OneNote is a unlimited-user note taking program. I see it as a safe digital workbook that can be linked to multiple devices from laptops, tablets and smart phones. It has a simply, clear and straight forward layout which allows multiple users to add to their own or communal pages. There are different pages, and subpages which can be added to extend the work book.
OneNote allows students and teachers to use digital technologies whilst being highly organised. Text boxes can be moved around and changed size to create whatever look you are after. The look of the page can also be altered in the View tab at the top of the screen. There are some great functions on there, children can add website links, pictures/ print screen pictures of apps they have been using, audio and video recordings to narrate work, use a stylus pen to write directly on the screen if it is a touch screen device through the Draw tab, and additionally, have the basic function of a Microsoft office packages. All of this can be covered under the design curriculum code:
This program can be used in many ways to meet the needs of the digital technologies curriculum. Here is just a very small sample of the codes in which the OneNote can directly be linked to:
- Yr 1: Share and publish information with known people in an online environment, modelling strategies to stay safe online (ACTDIP006)
- Yr 2: Share and publish information in a safe online environment, with known people (ACTDIP006
- Yr 3: Create and communicate ideas and information safely (ACTDIP013)
It is of course intended as a digital resource rather than to meet the needs of a particular curriculum link so these links are all under the process and production strand.
Limitations: This is a basic package which comes as a part of Microsoft so will have limitations. One that I foresee if using it in a school setting, is it will need to be synced after each addition for users to see the content. However, saying this, it depends how you see the class using the program, if they are using it as a digital work book then only the teacher would need to sync so the automatic sync feature can be turned off so other users/ children cannot see other class members content.
Using the stylus and OneNote for practising writing is no substitution for writing as it does not promote the correct writing style and technique needed to write neatly! Stylus pens can be difficult to use so making sure the children are getting the regular paper and pencil writing skills required to appease the curriculum is necessary.
However, by far the biggest drawback is each child will need to have their own device to make a post. However, with most schools having a share of the one to one laptop or iPad programs, this is something that can be rolled out gradually, as technology is a way of the future and more and more schools seem to be adopting the 1-2-1 technology policy.
Differentiation: There are many features which this can be used to show differentiation, if a child have difficulty in writing there is the audio function allowing the child to narrate a piece of work.
By pure nature of the program, the each child is able to design the page to suit their needs, for example, if there is a particular design based child they can go to town and design more complex and fancy pages, if there is a child who is more succinct then they are able to be more brief.
Integration: I think this speaks for itself. If the school has specialist teachers, then all they need to do is access the correct class tab and scroll across to the child’s name to access their work. It is a replacement tool for digital work books, so all subjects can use it.
Digital footprint sharing/ searching (MOOC lecture): In this week’s MOOC, there was a strong importance in showing how internet based programs work. One element that came out was the idea of sharing. OneNote is a great tool to use as an example of this. You can share data easily, this could be with the students, parents or even other teachers. Discuss how this can be achieved using the organised relevantly labelled tabs to share work and then even share ideas with the teacher. This will need to be carried out by the sending to the teachers email account via the IWB.
This tool does not have as many features as some digital portfolios like SeeSaw for example which does allows for live posting without the need to sync. However, the great thing about this package asides from the fact that it is free with Microsoft office, is it can really transform your teaching and eliminate the messy, paper bursting, disorganised scrap books that most schools still use and replace them with highly organised, creative and engaging digital work books to show students learning. To share with parents, you can email them their child’s digital workbook tab- it is really very simple and done through the File tab (then click share), parents can be allowed access to the page as an attachment or even as a user if you wanted to be fully transparent! Finally, this can also be used for homework program tool, where children can either attach or copy of their daily homework or simply paste screen shots of their work. It is a multi-functional tool with possibilities of making it complex or keeping it simple to suit the different year groups.