Collaborating with Colleagues using OneNote Staff Notebook
I recently discovered the advantages of using OneNote Staff Notebooks as a collaborative tool to keep the momentum of conversations flowing after department meetings with teaching colleagues.
With so many projects and school initiatives on the go, I required a flexible tool that allows peers to continue idea sharing with maximum flexibility. This would help to avoid the headache of scheduling additional meetings and maximizing time management.
Creating OneNote Staff Notebooks
OneNote Staff Notebooks are created using the same method as OneNote Class Notebooks. Follow the prompts using the Office 365 Staff Notebook creator located from the “homebase” menu. You can also access Notebooks using the desktop version of OneNote, available on curriculum computers across the GECDSB.
The option is also available to add new staff members, co-creators, and copy URL links for colleagues to access after notebooks are created. A best practice I can share is to encourage colleagues to bookmark the URL link in Outlook for easy future access.
Examples of Departmental Collaboration
Four examples are shown how OneNote Staff Notebook is used as a collaborative tool within an academic department. This includes;
Example 1 – An inventory of current instructional technology stored in classrooms. Recommendations were provided by peers which were subsequently used to make future classroom purchases.
Example 2 – Verifying classroom textbooks and making recommendations for future textbook purchases allowed colleagues who taught similar courses to pre plan future resources.
Example 3 – Colleagues were asked to provide input regarding the allocation of newly created classroom space at our K to 12 school. A simple table was populated with the requested information.
Example 4 – Constructive feedback was provided to improve the design of a department logo. Use of inking tools are starting to be explored but further learning is required to fully utilize these tools.
OneNote staff notebooks have great potential as a collaborative tool. Although not a complete substitute for face to face discussions, OneNote allows for the centralization of staff resources and acts as a warehouse for staff collaboration. Further interaction is required to develop familiarity among colleagues. It is my hope that additional best practices will be shared at a later date.