“I am a OneNote enthusiast.” – Mally Johnsen, Norway

We have been hearing a lot about the benefits of OneNote in the classroom lately. It seems that teachers, students and school administrators alike are recognizing the power OneNote can bring to sharing, collaboration and organization.

For Mally Johnsen, an art and design teacher in Norway who first used OneNote while in her Master’s program for ICT in education, it has been a revelation. “The sharing feature in OneNote and the ability to use various devices allow teachers, parents, peers and businesses to follow each other’s work in a completely new way,” says Johnsen. “Work becomes more available and one can easily provide continuous feedback. OneNote has few limitations and it is convenient to give guidance directly to the student’s work.”

Johnsen’s learning activity also centers on using OneNote for documentation – which is part of the national curriculum for Norway. Johnsen’s project was conducted in collaboration with a colleague and her class. And, Johnsen says, the result was very positive.

“When those students had their exam, the sensor was very impressed by their professional vocabulary,” she says. “Using specific terminology for their profession was a main goal. And all the communication and assessment between teacher and student in OneNote made it easy to show pictures and use vocabulary in a visual way.”

Today, Johnsen shares even more about her background with OneNote, why she believes it is so powerful in the world of education, and what inspires her every day working with her students. Enjoy!

What inspired you to become an educator?

My career plan in high school was related to economics or architecture. But I started my college education with a year’s course in design at teachers college in Kristiansand, as a creative challenge after high school. Through the educational sciences and practice periods in school, I took great pleasure in teaching children and adolescents. I then took teacher education in the arts and arts and crafts, and more recently received my Master’s degree in ICT in learning. I have worked in periods of administrative duties as a department leader, but ended up back in the classroom with students. My father was an economist and accounting teacher who had good relationships with his students. He inspired me to become a teacher.

What was a defining moment in your career when you felt proudest to be an educator?

One of my proudest moments as an educator was in 2013 when my students won many prizes for participating in entrepreneurship with their own student company/business as designers. The prizes sent them to the national championship. Their proud reactions, and all the good collaboration and learning outcomes after those months, gave me so much inspiration as a teacher. One of these students created her own business afterwards.

Why do you feel passionate about innovation and technology in the classroom?
I was introduced to OneNote through my Master’s education at Stord/Haugesund in 2012 and got the idea to use this program with pupils in documentation work in a specific vocational subject. The various modalities of the program for the use of text, audio, image and film, as well as file management, seemed a very intuitive use of such documentation, and was also in line with the education directorate supervisor for the documentation work in this subject. Assessment for learning was an ongoing national project and process evaluation with feedback was a challenge in the discipline. With the sharing feature in OneNote, I have the opportunity to give students guidance and advice directly on their work. The learner can easily edit and improve on what is done and what should be done further. Self and fellow student assessment is also easier this way.

Whether it’s a day-to-day challenge or larger problem, what’s the biggest obstacle you or your country or region has had to overcome, or will have to overcome, to ensure a quality education for students?

The political influences and frequent changing government in Norway has led to major changes in school and curriculum the past 30 years. Many teachers want more continuity in school and more time for academic study. In addition, schools have become more responsible for handling social problems among students.

In terms of education innovation, what are you most excited about for the future? What is your biggest hope for today’s students?

I am an OneNote enthusiast. I envision a future where OneNote is an artifact for all teachers and students. I welcome new examination forms adapted for 21st century skills. My wish is that technology can motivate students with more effort and professionalism. Reflections and knowledge construction must be a teaching goal in every subject.

About Mally Johnsen

Teacher, Lister videregående skole  

Flekkefjord, Norway

@mallyjohnsen

  • Blog URL: http://visuelliskolen.blogspot.no/, www.didikt.no
  • Birthplace: Farsund, Norway
  • Educational background: High school with mathematics and economics, Teacher school with design, arts and crafts, and more recently a Master’s degree in ICT in learning.
  • Website I check every day: Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, newspapers and the school portal
  • Favorite childhood memory: Driving through Europe with my family in a big Chevrolet Caprice convertible.
  • Favorite book: The Ice House by Minette Walters
  • Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: OneNote
  • What is the best advice you have ever received? Be yourself and never give up.
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