Immersive and inclusive learning experiences – inspired by teachers

By Tony Prophet – Corporate Vice President Education Marketing

At Microsoft, we’re committed to “Empowering Every Student on the Planet to Achieve More.”


We’re reaching more and more students and teachers every day. According to Futuresource*, Windows continues to be the leading global platform for K-12 education.

Windows continues to be the leading global platform for K-12 education

Windows continues to be the leading global platform for K-12 education

And this week we’re excited to share more around our momentum as well as a few upcoming features we hope you’ll love.

OneNote – Creating and Sharing in Entirely New Ways

OneNote is reinventing the way learning gets done in classrooms around the world – empowering students and teachers to collaborate in real time – creating, editing, sharing and grading assignments.


Think of OneNote as the modern replacement for the spiral paper notebook, complete with color coded sections that you can customize, and corresponding pages under each section. Best thing is, you’ll never run out of paper! Each OneNote page is a flexible digital canvas for typing or digital ink – you can even embed images, video and audio files!

Digital ink is gaining traction and we’ve seen twice the number of OneNote users leveraging it this school year in the US – especially relevant as more schools move from paper-based environments to using 1:1 devices in the classroom. And just in education, we have seen triple the number of monthly active OneNote users over the past year.


Learning Tools – Accommodating any Learning Style

If you haven’t yet, check out Learning Tools – a toolbar in OneNote that improves reading and writing experiences for all students, including those students with learning differences like dyslexia. This amazing technology started in OneNote and we are investing in bringing it and even more accessibility features to Windows and Office 365, making it more accessible for everyone. One teacher spoke to the significant change seen in her classroom: “OneNote equals the playing field in a beautiful way… [It] helps you democratize the classroom so we can all contribute.”


Class Notebooks – Teacher-Inspired Innovation

Listening to teachers is our lifeblood. Teachers tell us how they use OneNote and help us imagine what’s possible for the classroom. In fact, out of this partnership came OneNote Class Notebooks.

Class Notebooks make OneNote the perfect solution for collaborating real time in today’s 21st century, modern classroom. They create a customized classroom experience that provides a framework for teaching and learning.

Each Class Notebook has a central collaboration space for everyone to work within, a content library to store class materials, and an individual student notebook for every student in the class. Teachers can look at their students’ notebooks toprovide real-time feedback as well.

Since June 2015, Class Notebooks have taken off, with 400 thousand teachers and 3.5 million students being added to notebooks!


Announcing new Class Notebook capabilities

And we’re not done…Over the past few months the OneNote team has worked very closely with Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts and other educators around the world to imagine, design and build a powerful new OneNote add-in. We’ve put teachers at the center of the experience, and many of the exciting ideas came directly from them. That’s why we are thrilled to present the customer preview of the Class Notebook Add-in for OneNote that will launch tomorrow here, as well as a free download available on the Class Notebook page.

The new OneNote Class Notebooks add-in was imagined to fundamentally rethink document and workflow in the classroom. We received rave reviews from teachers as we built it, including my favorite – all the way from a teacher in Wales:

“I sat down with a [PE] teacher yesterday to demo the Class Notebook add-in. With every explanation and demo of what the add-in provides, the teacher kept shouting at the top of his voice “NO WAY!!!!” and “SHUT UP!!” and wanting to high-five me constantly! I think we have a winner with this add-in!!”

-Paul Watkins, Head of ICT of at Sandfields Comprehensive School, Wales

So check it out here and let us know what you think!

*Source: Futuresource Consulting, EDUCATION MARKET ANALYSIS, Personal Computing in K-12 Q4 2015 Market Track Report, desktops are excluded from the analysis

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