To me, the most basic reason to set up a Class Notebook is to share and the best thing is you can share … just about anything really. You can add documents of any kind to your Notebooks and if you upload a PDF it can even display the contents (which of course means you can annotate over the top – did someone say worksheet?). Believe it or not, it even embeds YouTube movies just by pasting the link:
So who can share?
- Teachers can share documents by uploading to any page in any section – so if you want to be really specific you could drop one file into one students notebook section. Ideally I would recommend using the Content Library or use the Distribute Page tool.
- Students can share by adding to the Collaboration Space.
- So basically everyone 😀
The Content Library
This is the most obvious place to share content in your Notebook as a teacher, basically because that is what is designed to do. Even if you are planning on using the Distribute Page tool, I would still place everything here.
As a bit of a side: remember that anything in the Content Library is visible to all members of the Notebook, so if you are the kind of teacher that only likes to release work to your students on a lesson by lesson basis I would recommend that you set up a “normal” Notebook in OneNote to do all of your planning, then copy over as you need.
As you can see in the screen shot above you can upload Word files and PDF’s, which can then be downloaded. PDF files also have the benefit that they can be inserted as a PDF printout. On a Mac just drag and drop the PDF into a Page and you will be prompted how to insert:
By choosing “Attach” the PDF just becomes a file icon. By choosing “Insert Printout” the PDF is displayed with content. For Windows users, you are able to achieve the same result with Word files, i.e. OneNote can convert the Word file to PDF on the fly and insert the document. My only thought that this is different is that Microsoft is aware of how easy it is to create PDF on macOS as opposed to Windows :P
It is really up to you how you use the Content Library but one idea I like is to insert a workbook for students to complete over a unit.
As you can see in the screen shot above, there is a Section called “Term 1 Science Booklet”. In the past you may have printed and handed out such a booklet for the students to complete or distributed PDF files to students via a share or email. These options always have issues with
- Students loosing their workbook
- Finding methods to submit PDF’s
- Teachers carrying boxes full of workbooks
- How to annotate to provide feedback to PDF’s
- Returning annotated PDF’s.
OneNote really does solve all of these issues.
Remember the Content Library is “read only” for students so it will need to be copied to their Notebook or as a teacher, you can use the Distribute Page tool.