Palm Beach Atlantic University students in the Pharmacy program have adopted tablet PCs and Microsoft OneNote as the standard for academic collaboration and courseware. One interesting item in the statement says,
“Course content documents are available 48 hours before a lecture for students to import into their tablets using Microsoft’s One Note software. The software makes it possible for students to take notes with a synchronized recording of the lecture. When students later review the material, they are able to select a portion of the notes and One Note will play back that part of the lecture. Students who want to review the entire lecture can transfer the recording to a device such as an iPod for convenience. In addition, faculty now has tablet-like tools to provide annotations and diagrams during lectures on the same set of notes the students are working on.”
OneNote is a huge success story for Microsoft. It is the tool that has people changing the way they work much in the same way Outlook changed business. There is currently no software on the market that competes with OneNote as a fluid note-taking and free-form collaboration app. Palm Beach Atlantic is using OneNote as a way to distribute electronic documents, class-notes, and a way for students to capture rich media like audio without requiring students to be tech savvy. My prediction is that many people in business and academia are going to be seeing a lot more of this “killer” app in the next year.