By Ellen Meyer, Special Needs Teacher&ICT Advisor at Pedkonsult, Math Teacher&ICT Advisor at Pedkonsult
Microsoft OneNote has helped reduce student drop-out rates in Norway. The country has made large investments in ICT education in recent years. What are the effects of these investments? How have they provided optimal learning and better outcomes for students?
We have put in place an educational teaching concept that includes Microsoft OneNote. The aim of the teaching concept is to give students better tools and support for studying, coping with different situations and increasing motivation. We have focused on how the use of OneNote as a note taking and organizing tool, and Skydrive as a sharing arena can provide students and teachers with better digital interaction and sharing. As we found out, ICT pedagogy can provide a very good learning impact.
OneNote is much like a digital version of a three ring binder. We found that the tool has worked well in basic education and special education: (New GIV/New Possibilities). Therefore, we have introduced the Digital binder for the New GIV project as well as other sub-projects. The process has often been similar, but we are always able to easily adapt the project depending on what the customer wants. The largest projects we carry out are for schools and communities where we work from the early elementary school to high school.
Our aim is to help students and teachers make use of simple technology in teaching. Also, we want to increase efforts in the use of digital learning materials, promote studying, motivation and mastery of digital skills from primary schools to secondary schools, all this for better exam results and to prevent dropouts.
Digital binder concept provides a dynamic ICT pedagogy that increases the performance of both students and teachers. The project supports a variety of learning styles and is suitable for all students, both the strong and those who struggle with traditional learning methods. It is a system that is simple and appealing, and the full path can be customized to the individual user’s needs.
The idea behind the Digital binder is based on the training of students and teachers in the use of OneNote. Students then follow-up through project-based management. We have had great results, as both students and teachers use it regularly. Creation of separate control groups, resource groups, and monthly reports have been a success. Along with weekly use of Lync and Skype to keep in touch with students, OneNote has enabled us to manage and supervise the first few months of training. After about 3 months, pupils and teachers were self-sufficient. Further follow-up after the initial 3 months proved that OneNote provided everyone with great opportunities to enhance their digital learning and teaching methods. We measured the success of the schools that have worked with the Digital binder, and we are happy with the results.
The learning material that is available on your PC such as OneNote is in the cloud, therefore files can be accessed at home, at school and on the mobile, making the Digital binder and OneNote intuitive and user friendly as well as convenient. We are happy that ICT and digital tools have proven to achieve a better, more exciting and motivating class lesson, while maintaining pedagogy and classroom management at the center.