The pen you can see in the picture above has enhanced my teaching. This is how:
1. Saves time
I used to spend the first five minutes of a lesson writing out the date, learning goals and homework for the lesson. This was typically followed by some notes and drawing out maths diagrams/problems. This can now all be prepared before the lesson and I can use digital inking to write over the work:
2. Effectively answer student emails
How do you assist students when they send you an email asking for help? By using the video snip tool with digital inking you can quickly pull up a blank whiteboard and explain a concept or take a snip of the question and explain it via a short video. The video then uploads to the cloud and you can email the link to students without worrying about the size of the file. Best of all it is fast, simple and will save you time trying to explain something through a written response:
Guide on how to use office snip:
3. Use with multiple programs
Digital inking is supported across multiple programs - Apart from my favourite tool OneNote, Digital inking works in many popular programs all teachers use including word, excel and outlook:
4. Provide instant feedback
When combined with a shared Notebook, homework can be marked and feedback given prior to students entering your class. You therefore have an excellent understanding of issues students are having and can target your lessons/feedback accordingly.
5. Students provide videos of understanding
When you combine digital inking with office snip and a class notebook students can provide video snips of their understanding. I blogged about this here: http://www.mrawebster.com/blog/use-of-the-snip-video-tool-in-onenote-for-reviewing-students-thinking
6. Having a permanent record of your lessons
By using a projector and my laptop screen as my whiteboard I now have a record of every lesson I teach. This is useful for students who missed the class, revision support, to improve on my lesson for next time and to share with colleagues. This is now my whiteboard:
7. Facing the class when you teach
If your classroom is setup correctly you are able to teach your class without having to turn around and write on the whiteboard.
8. Move around class
7. You can move around the class as you teach and assist students, even move to the back of the class to teach lessons. I am very lucky to have Microsoft adapters which allow you to connect to the IWB wirelessly. This allows you to move around the class or setup in a different position while still having your laptop (new portable whiteboard) with you.
9. Create videos for flipped learning
You can use a variety of different software to create learning tutorials for your classes. See examples below:
Our school is moving to BYOD. This has resulted in a busy start to the year. Year 7 and 10 students have been asked to purchase 1 of 3 laptops (digital inking capabilities is a must), while the rest of the school are using school owned devices.
The roll out has thrown up some challenges for myself and teaching staff. I have been working with the year 7's on getting their laptops up and running. This has been a very frustrating time. Students were asked to install software at home before the school year, but we have found that this has been largely unsuccessful. Students were required to install Office, OneDrive, setup emails and other tasks. We have found that many students did not have this setup, or it was setup incorrectly. There was also other issues to address such as the installation of printers and other subject specific software. There have also been numerous cases of cracked screens already! The soft covers which students are using is an issue. The hard cases the school provides with school owned devices provided far better protection.
These problems have been especially frustrating as I had been pushing and selling class notebooks hard to staff last year and to begin this year, running PD's and helping staff individually. The fact that is hasn’t been ready to go for year 7 and 10 has been frustrating, but we are close to getting on top of it. I hope staff do not give up of class notebooks! They seem to be running well for most classes and feedback from teachers is positive.
As this is the first year introducing BYOD, I think we can learn from some of the issues we have faced and be more successful with the roll out next year when the next wave of BYOD year levels are rolled out. I have had discussions with other staff members about better ways to manage this including the school receiving all computers and setting them up for students ready to go before school starts. Other ideas are for students to have the first few weeks of school without laptop use, and IT staff come to each individual student during class and make sure they are up and running correctly. There are many other options available, including keeping the same system of instructions for parents to follow. We will see what happens next year.
As the unofficial OneNote guy at my school, I have assisted many staff members in setting up class Notebooks, run OneNote PD's and helped out with other technology related questions. I have also gone into classes to make sure students class Notebooks are operating as they should. Although this has created a significant amount of work for me and my time, I am enjoying assisting other teachers wherever I can. Perhaps one of my weaknesses is I find it difficult to say no when asked for help, but I think because we are teachers it is our nature and we cannot help it!
You can see the 6 part staff PD on OneNote here: http://www.mrawebster.com/onenote.html
Below is the agenda for advanced OneNote training carried out for staff over two consecutive one-hour sessions: