Tuesday, March 8, 2016

400,000 and 3.5 million

I wrote this on Facebook for my family and friends...

In the summer of 2012, I drew a diagram of a nested set of folders on a whiteboard and turned to Jason Llorin, our OneNote programmer, and asked "can you make me that?" And he could, and he did.
In 2013, I presented a paper & a poster to a conference on the results of that experiment at our school and ended up after my presentation being asked to have lunch with a guy from Microsoft Research.
I am immensely proud that my School said to Microsoft after that initial meeting in 2013 "here, take what we have and bring it to the world". And they did.
Through a lot of hard work of a lot of people at Appleby College, students, staff and faculty, we made a start to a technology that today Microsoft announced has been used by 400,000 teachers and 3.5 million students.  The OneNote Class Notebook.
We have laid the groundwork for a whole new approach to education, digitizing content and providing workflows that build on the past but provide for the present and future of technology, with a nod to a strong and vibrant pedagogy. Our faculty and students have continued to provide feedback on how to make things better and our approach is still the world leader in OneNote implementation.
At its heart, and the reason why I drew the diagram in the first place, was to bring to my classroom what I first read in Wiliam & Black so long ago: " Discussion, observation of activities, and marking of written work can all be used to provide those opportunities [of communicating their understanding], but it is then important to look at or listen carefully to the talk, the writing, and the actions through which pupils develop and display the state of their understanding " OneNote gave me a way of seeing and capturing through ink, text, audio & video my students' learning and then providing them feedback in multiple media without being impeded by physical space or time. I no longer lost them when they left the room with their notes -- and they no longer lost me when they changed classes.
And now, thanks to Appleby College, the whole world has the same opportunity.
 — at Appleby College.

My research poster at WIPTTE2013 ... likely also the first use of Aurasma Augmented Reality on a research poster.
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