“OneNote Leads the Way to Vocational Excellence.”- Kristen Messer, USA

Manteca Unified School District (MUSD) has played a starring role lately here at Daily Edventures, and for good reason: MUSD is one of the most forward-looking school districts in the United States.

I recently attended the Kent Technology Expo, where I caught up with Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Kristen Messer, a teacher at Be.tech Vocational Academy in Manteca. Messer (the wife of Daily Edventures alumnus and MUSD Superintendent Jason Messer) filled me in on how the Going Digital initiative at MUSD has changed her role – and her students’ futures – for the long term.

“It’s become less and less teacher-directed and more and more student-led, with teachers there to guide,” said Messer. “We’re getting our kids ready for jobs that they’ll have or the college they’ll be attending.” 

MUSD’s Going Digital 2015 program provided all of the district’s 23,000 students and 1,200 teachers Windows 8 devices loaded with Microsoft Office, OneNote, Skype and Bing in the Classroom. For Messer and her students – who are focused on vocations like Culinary Arts, Hospitality Services or Industrial Technology and Design – OneNote has been a major player.

“It is gaining popularity very, very quickly,” Messer says. “It went from ‘Send to OneNote’…one of those print options that we really didn’t know anything about…to everything’s going to OneNote. We’re rarely sending things to the printer. More and more teachers are using the OneNote Class Notebooks.”

Messer and her colleague Christina Hansen co-authored a blog on their experience with – and enthusiasm for – OneNote. “From the educator’s perspective, it is an indescribable change,” she says. “Instead of lugging home bags of paperwork, I simply start up my Surface Pro 2 and open the notebook for whichever class I would like to access. Finding a particular student is as simple as typing their name into the search bar. I can view compositions as students are crafting and provide feedback, which is monumentally more effective during the writing process rather than after. Class brainstorming can be recorded in real-time using the Collaboration Space, where the conversations can continue outside of class and are accessible to all students to use, even those who may be out of the classroom that day.” 

Enjoy today’s Daily Edventure with Kristen Messer, and make sure to read “How an Unlikely District Led Massive Learning Transformation” to learn more about Manteca from the perspective of the students, parents, teachers and administration.

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