|An example of an "organized" backpack in middle school.|
Image Credit: Ms. Beth Hughes
I think a digital notebook is a great way to help students stay organized. The article discusses using Blogger and making these digital notes public. I actually prefer a highly powerful but very underutilized software. Microsoft OneNote. Never heard of OneNote? It's understandable because it's not as widely used as the other Office Suite softwares but it's there. Think of it as the younger sibling of an over-achieving person. You don't pay attention to it but once you see it in the shadows you'll see it is amazing on its own. Another option is Evernote, but I like OneNote's new classroom features. If you've never seen OneNote, search your computer. I can almost guarantee you have it because it's part of the Office Suite.
I use OneNote in class instead of Smartboard software. Every class has their own notebook and I keep it organized for students. Each day I create a new page and give it a heading that is the objective. Unlike a tradition whiteboard, I never erase, I just scroll down. I can type, handwrite, and insert features. I love the insert feature because students can add images, videos, sounds, or print directly from websites and other files. When my students are working out of the textbook, I can insert the PDF of the page, then call students up to the board to answer the questions.
It's great because students have access via the cloud to the notebook from any computer. This is helpful for when students are absent or forgot their notebooks at school. Parents also like this because they can see exactly what students are doing in school. For language learners, this is helpful because I can also insert audio clips of the class period to payback. They can also easily translate the notes if needed because it's already on the computer. Another benefit is that if I insert video demos, students can rewatch the lesson to catch something they missed the first time.
|A sampling of what my weekend might look like.|
Image Source: Flickr