9 Back to School Updates for OneNote and Class Notebooks – August 2020

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Education Blog articles.

With back to school coming in much of the world, we wanted to make sure that educators have the tools they need to be successful, whether they are working in a hybrid learning environment, remote learning, or in person. We’ve been listening to OneNote-loving educators and students around the world, and as always, we try and ensure that their needs are met with our tools.

 

1) More inclusive with OneNote Live Captions

As announced at the BETT conference earlier this year, OneNote will be adding a Live Captions feature which allows any student to connect OneNote to Microsoft Translator captions via a Join Code and receive the translation stream directly into the OneNote app.  This allows captions from the educator speaking to flow directly into OneNote for reading, while still allowing the student to take notes. In addition, the student can pause the captions, highlight portions, and then have the entire transcription saved as a page into OneNote. This feature will benefit all learners but especially those who may be hard of hearing or speak a different native language than the educator.  The private education-only preview rolls out in OneNote web next week to our Education Insider program.

 

 

2) Embed Adobe Spark Videos and Posts into OneNote

Educators love Adobe Spark, and they also love OneNote!  Adobe Spark lets students and educators transform their ideas into stunning visual stories. Today we are excited to announce support for embedding Adobe Spark Videos and Posts directly into OneNote. This will allow educators and students to interactively engage with the content.  We look to add additional Adobe Spark product support to embed in OneNote in the future.

 

Note: Adobe Spark posts currently work on OneNote Windows 10, OneNote Online, OneNote iPad and Mac. OneNote 2016 support will come in the future

 

Adobe Spark and OneNote.gif

 

You can find the entire list of OneNote Embed partners here.

 

3) Class Notebook and Microsoft Teams Updates

So many educators today are using Microsoft Teams in their in-person or virtual classroom, so ensuring the OneNote Class and Staff Notebook is a core part of that experience is critical.  Today we are excited to announce a set of improvements for OneNote inside of Teams.

 

Roster updates from School Data Sync automatically update the Class Notebook roster

In the past, when School Data Sync made roster updates from the students in the class, these updates would not happen until the educator went and clicked on the “Class Notebook” tab in the Class Team, which was a big complaint and time waster.  Now, these SDS updates automatically flow to the OneNote Class Notebook, and the educator saves a bit of time! 

 

Set Channels to create sections in Collaboration Space or Content Library

This feature was inspired directly from Dr. David Kellermann of UNSW in Australia.  For the past few years, when creating a new channel, all Sections are created in the Collaboration Space, with no other option. Dr. Kellerman teaches his classes by using Teams channels as units, and always wanted to have any channel he created make a read-only Section in the Content Library of his Class Notebook. With this new update, the educator has the option to choose where new Sections go. THanks to Dr. Kellermann for the inspiration! This update will be found in a new option under “Manage Notebook” inside of Teams, and rolls out in late August.

Manage Notebooks - set Channel Default.png

 

A better First Run Experience for then “Notes” section in a Channel

To make it easier and more obvious that the “Notes” section in a new Channel is part of the Class Notebook or Staff, we’ve added a first run page that explicitly explains the link between the channel Notes and the Class/Staff Notebook.

First Run Notes.png

 

Create a new OneNote page in the “New File” dialog of Assignments

When educators are creating assignments, or students are attaching work, it’s handy to be able to create a New File on the fly.  Currently, Teams Assignments supports creating a new Word, Excel or PowerPoint document.  We will be adding the ability to also create a blank OneNote page, that can easily be filled out, through the New File dialog.

OneNote New File.png

 

Page Distribution speed improvements

One of the top requests we’ve had is to speed up Page Distribution when using the OneNote Class Notebook toolbar.  Our engineers have been hard at work over the summer, and we’ve made a large set of improvements that speed up page distribution on average by 65%!  Mileage may vary, but overall educators and students should experience a significant performance improvements when distributing pages.  Also be sure to follow our OneNote Best Practices  when using the Class Notebook toolbar.

 

Students and Educators get a notification when a page is distributed
A great benefit of using the Class Notebook inside of Teams is the Class Notebook bot.  We are making a new update that will allow any Educator using Page Distribution in the OneNote client, to ensure that all students get a notification in Teams after the page is distributed! This has been a top UserVoice request that we are glad to take care of. This notification will work for educators using the Class Notebook Toolbar in OneNote Windows 10, iPad, Web and Mac. 

 

The “Teacher Only” Section Group is enabled by default now

A common request from educators is to just enable the “Teacher Only” section group by default.  It takes extra clicks to go and do this after the Class or Staff Notebook is set up.  So we’ve recently made a change so this will always be enabled by default, and save educators a few clicks.

 

For those of you that like lists, here are the updates in list format, with the dates as well:

  1. Roster updates from School Data Sync automatically update the Class Notebook roster - live now
  2. Page Distribution speed improvements - live now
  3. The “Teacher Only” Section Group is enabled by default now - live now
  4. A better First Run Experience for then “Notes” section in a Channel - live now
  5. Embed Adobe Spark Videos and Posts into OneNote - live now
  6. OneNote Live Captions – private beta rollouts to our Education Insiders this week
  7. Set Channels to create sections in Collaboration Space or Content Library - end of August
  8. Create a new OneNote page in the “New File” dialog of Assignments  - early September
  9. Students and Educators get a notification when a page is distributed  - September

We hope you enjoy these new OneNote updates! Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments.

 

Mike Tholfsen

Principal Product Manager

Microsoft Education

@mtholfsen 

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