“It’s not hard to start with OneNote – just jump in.” – Jeff Kash, USA
During last month’s Hack the Classroom event, we learned a lot about the latest trends in engaging students – including coding, Minecraft and making. But sometimes, transformation is less about teaching new things, and more about teaching in new ways.
That’s absolutely the case for Jeff Kash, one of our inspiring Hack the Classroom guest speakers. Kash’s big insight relates to something most of us think of as mundane: classroom organization.
After teaching World and U.S. History at Madison Middle School (near Los Angeles) for nearly 20 years, Kash keenly understands that lack of organization is all too often an obstacle to both learning and teaching. That’s where OneNote comes in.
“Middle schoolers are horribly unorganized,” says Kash. “OneNote keeps them very well organized and they know exactly what lesson they’re working on. I can give them feedback very quickly, they can try to improve on the feedback I’ve given them, and they’re growing because of it.”
Kash has been using technology in the classroom for years – starting with iMacs, and eventually iPads and Google Classroom. “We made beautiful-looking books with iBook Author,” he says, “but they really couldn’t engage with those…except to read them, and they still wrote on paper. This year everyone’s got a tablet, and we’re using OneNote. It’s a completely different world because it looks like a notebook: you have tabs across the top, you have your assignments in the tab. It looks like it’s made for school.”
Here’s a peek into how OneNote has transformed his classroom:
When we asked this seasoned educator what advice he had for teachers considering using OneNote, Kash simply said, “Jump in.”
“It’s not hard to start with OneNote,” Kash explains. “We’ve had a number of teachers who are struggling, [thinking] it all looks complicated – and it’s not. If you know how to use Microsoft Word, you can use OneNote. Once you walk them through those steps (the classroom creation part), it’s very easy.”