Teaching With Gadgets

How Technology Can Help Today's Teacher

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Planning With A Tablet

Yesterday, I discussed using your PDA to help plan for school. Today, I would like to discuss how I use my Tablet PC (or another Windows based machine).

Windows has the one program that the Mac has yet to present to me (and I may be misinformed) - OneNote. Imagine having a virtual binder on your computer. OneNote fits the bill!

OneNote allows you to set up sections and related tabs in a binder style format. You can password individual pages or sections in OneNote. I keep all of my student notes here and password protect them so that prying eyes cannot view these pages.

But this is about planning, right? Microsoft has place some excellent templates that you can download into OneNote. I have created my own templates that very closely resemble my planning pages in my paper day planner (which I tossed long ago). If you are using a Tablet PC then I suggest making your notes in ink. Leave them in ink as it is searchable in OneNote and it just seems more intuitive than typing. If you have a notebook PC or a desktop, simply type in the template.

The wonderous thing about this is that you can archive your entire year in June and start a new file at the beginning of the next year. Simply make sure you have a section called "Planning" and tabs for each month of the year. Add pages for each of the days in the month. I actually have templates for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I can curl up in my chair and write using the wonderful ink system. I even add voice notes using the built in voice recorder to add more detail. Finally, if I'm ill (I haven't missed a day in 11 years) I can simply select a page and e-mail it to our school admin assistant to print out.

Check out OneNote. The possibilities for this program are unending. Perhaps an article on how I use it to track students would be in order? Let's face it - with OneNote you can toss all of those binders and/or file folders that you were hauling around. It's worth it!