Every day, I work with teachers who use technology for a variety of purposes. Today was different. Mr. Sinden is a 5th grade teacher...and a really good one. We were discussing his latest inquiry-based lessons that he did with his students. During this time, he showed me his reflection journal. Using Microsoft OneNote, he keeps a journal to reflect on his lessons and units. I thought this was a great use of technology for a simple, but powerful task. In his journal, he would write down things to remember for next year, things that went well, etc. With OneNote, he can setup seperate workbooks for each subject and subdivide those workbooks into sections for the units he teachers. How many times do you write some thoughts down but then don't remember where they are? Getting them into a program like OneNote makes the reflection task easier and more efficient.
One of the features he really liked was the search feature in OneNote. The search will look for your key words in any notebook that you create. So if you cannot remember where you wrote down a particular note, you can search for the key word and it will find any instance where that word(s) appear. OneNote can also be accessible from multiple computers. Link your OneNote to a Microsoft Live account, and you can now access your OneNote from any computer through your Live account.
Don't have OneNote on your computer? No worries...you can use an online version of OneNote for free through Microsoft Live!
Want to learn more about OneNote? Two colleagues in my department recently conducted a webinar on the subject. Check out the recording here: OneNote Webinar.
Reflection is a great tool that is often overlooked or shoved to the side but its impact on our teaching practice can be great. No matter which tool you use: OneNote, Evernote, pencil and paper, etc., take time to reflect.
This is technology that actually works!