Microsoft Launches OneNote Staff Notebook for Educators

Taking OneNote notebooks to the school

Microsoft has launched a free tool to help teachers and school staff to collaborate more effectively on curriculum development, administrative duties and internal policies.

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OneNote Staff Notebook, like OneNote Class Notebook, is an app for Office 365 that lets an education staff leader quickly set up a personal workspace for every staff member or teacher, a content library for shared information and a collaboration space for everyone to collaborate—all within one powerful notebook. With a Staff Notebook, administration and staff can save time, become more organized and collaborate more effectively. Because OneNote is free and on every platform and every device, you can access your Staff Notebook from anywhere. Staff leaders might include a head of school, administrator, faculty head, department head, or a leader of a professional learning community (PLC). If you fall into these roles and have Office 365 Education, you can get started with Staff Notebooks today.

Microsoft released this video supporting the launch:

Here are just a few of the ways you can use your Staff Notebook:

Collaboration space

  • Staff meetings—For committee, grade level, departmental or PLC, OneNote has tight integration with Outlook and Office, along with rich search capabilities so you’ll never lose track of follow-ups.
  • Initiatives—Plan out school initiatives collaboratively and keep things organized such as school improvements and fundraisers.
  • Tide chart for student highs and lows—Some schools have used this innovative and collaborative way to track student highs and lows during school over time.
  • Cross-grade lesson plan development—Some schools set up a Staff Notebook for a particular grade and do school-wide lesson plan and curriculum development.  For example, Year 10 maths lesson plan across 10 teachers to develop and share.

Content Library

  • Policies and procedures—Keep important information like key emails with attachments, school policies and other things all in one place.  Since OneNote is available on all devices and platforms, you can access it anytime, anywhere and even offline.
  • Dates and deadlines—Links, sticky notes, calendars, deadlines, to-dos—you can put all of it in one shared space that everyone can always find.

Private staff member notebooks

  • Professional development—Professional development/professional learning is an important aspect for every teacher and faculty member. A great use of the private staff member notebook is to capture professional development plans and feedback, and then share and gather feedback from the staff leader.
  • Classroom observations—Modern classroom observations can all be kept in a private staff member notebook. Take photos with your OneNote mobile app (any device) and insert directly into the staff member notebook. Record audio with your phone during the observation, or use digital ink to capture handwriting. With the OneNote flexible page surface, there is a much richer environment for classroom observations.
  • Lesson plans and feedback—A great way to gather lesson plan feedback is for a teacher to put the digital lesson plan in his/her private staff notebook. The staff leader can easily give feedback in real-time or while offline, and can use any form of feedback including text, picture, ink, audio or even video. The rich page surface of OneNote allows a much more flexible way to gather and share feedback. If a teacher is absent, the staff leader can have plans can be printed off from here for the substitute.
  • Evaluation—Staff leaders can capture and share private feedback and evaluation information in the staff member notebook.
  • Parent communication—Using the Outlook “Send to OneNote” feature, a teacher can easily send important emails into the private staff member notebook for later reference.

Other uses for Staff Notebooks in education

  • Professional Learning Community (PLC)—OneNote Staff Notebooks are a great tool to enable PLC’s in schools. By using the simple setup, the staff leader of the PLC can quickly set up a notebook in which people can collaborate quickly and efficiently in real-time. Co-owners of the notebook can also easily be added, which enables the option for a principal, vice principal, or other school administrator to easily keep up with what’s happening in the notebook, as well as jump in to collaborate as well.

Next steps and resources

  1. Staff leaders and staff members—For an interactive tour of the Staff Notebook, go to:OneNoteEDUStaffGuide.
  2. Everyone—Visit to learn more about OneNote, including how to install it on all your devices.
  3. Everyone—Visit to experience interactive guides on how to use OneNote in education.
  4. IT Administrators—To learn how to install this app at your school or district, visit OneNoteEduStaffInstall.


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About UKEdChat Editorial 3188 Articles
The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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