Contributed by Michael Gough, Instructional Technologist and Coordinator of START
Microsoft Office 2007, which is now available for faculty and staff, comes with a new program called OneNote. OneNote is a versatile note taking program that integrates with other office programs. While it is most often associated with Tablet PCs, it can also be used on a regular pc. However, you will not be able to use the inking features without a tablet.
OneNote’s versatility and four tiered organizational structure can make the initial experience a little intimidating. With its notebooks and tabbed sections with pages and subpages, it can take a little while to get used to the navigation and structure. For these reasons, new users may have a tendency to use a more familiar program such as Microsoft Journal or Word for note taking. However, OneNote has a handful of features and practical applications that can make the learning curve worth the initial learning investment.
One of the greatest advantages to using OneNote is that anything you type on a page is saved automatically. If your computer restarts before you close down OneNote, your data will not be lost. Second, OneNote can instantly search all your notebook pages for any text that might be contained on a page, including your handwriting if you are using a Tablet PC. This is a huge time saver over having to dig through a file cabinet and is an improvement over most desktop search programs that may not search handwriting or images. OneNote accepts many different sorts of data on its pages. You can create hyperlinks, add pictures, drop documents, add ink, multimedia clips and even take screen shots. Once an image is placed in OneNote, you can augment it by writing or typing over the picture.
OneNote offers some pedagogical advantages over traditional office programs as well. For instance, OneNote’s audio recording function could be used in an S-Course to record student’s presentations. You as the instructor can take notes on the presentation as it unfolds and OneNote automatically places an audio bookmark on the page next to the note. Now if you click on the play button next to the note, the presentation will play back just before you began to write. If students also have OneNote, these pages could be shared with the presenters as feedback on their presentation. OneNote sections can also be shared with others in real time over the network allowing for a collaborative work environment.
If you are interested in trying OneNote, be sure to install Office 2007 if you haven’t already. Then look for it with the other Microsoft Office 2007 programs. A good demonstration of OneNote can be found at the following URL.
Contact Michael Gough firstname.lastname@example.org or x1093 if you have any questions.