Saving time with collaborative planning on Sharepoint and Onenote

(I need to acknowledge the significant amounts of work done by the Science department of my school in getting this set up, especially Kevin for his work on Sharepoint and Ryan for his work with OneNote and the unit plans, and EVERYONE for being willing to go along with this and make it AWESOME)

At the end of last year, our department made a considerable push to update our unit plans and rejig our junior science programs. A big part of this was planning for the use of Microsoft Classroom in our school, and taking advantage of all of the features of the classbook that came automatically with each classroom. To this end, we have a staff portal on sharepoint with a ‘master’ Onenote that staff can take content from and easily add to their individual class note books, while still having access to shared resources to personalise as required for students particular levels or interests. It also allows for new or different resources and ideas to be added. It has saved an AMAZING amount of time having this back of resources all set up before we even started for the year.

The Teacher ‘Hub’

We have a pretty amazing Science set up on Sharepoint – we can book equipment, find our SMUS (safe method of use sheets), find curriculum reports etc… as well as a bank of resources for our classes.

The Coffee cup takes you to the booking site for our amazing tech 🙂
Our junior sci home page – almost everything you need for any of these classes

We updated our unit plans to include live links to any documents, videos or animations you might use with your classes.


And have set up a conbines OneNote stored on the site that has a bank of resources also – which means you can copy the page into your classbook content library, and then students will have their own copy almost instantly after you have clicked the button.

Need the admin stuff – it is all right there….
Want the kids to do an interactive – a few clicks and they can have their own copy!!

So it doesn’t matter if it is an admin page (Like a year plan…) or sharing an interactive activity, it is all there and with maybe 4 mouse clicks, your students all have their own copies.

This has made the start of the year so easy. These digital portfolios were made in minutes for whole classes of students. Because the students had been entered into Microsoft classroom, teachers didn’t even have to manually enter students into the class notebooks. For the staff new to our department there was a ready made first few lessons for them while they came to grips with everything else. For our non-specialist science teachers, there was a range of resources they could just grab, whih gives them more time to explore any more indepth questions the class has.

For me, it has meant I already have a baseline. So I was able to spend more time getting to know my students, establish those relationship and find resources or learning activites specific to them. I am hoping that by the end of the first term, I won’t need to be finding the resources at all, the students will be able to find them or make their own. Which can then be shared in the collaboration space as meaningful activities to them.

Bring it!!

4 thoughts on “Saving time with collaborative planning on Sharepoint and Onenote

  1. We have been playing with Classroom end of last year and start of this one. Are you still finding it useful or do you think it is better to just put everything on a standard Class Notebook.
    I have been looking at the idea of SharePoint sites but am still a bit wary of them! I have been sharing documents using Groups with the other L1 Science teachers and find this preferable to the groaning N Drive, also means everything is accessible anywhere rather than just at work.
    I would seriously love to come and spend a day with your department looking at the cool ways you are using these tools; we are really only just starting out on the journey and have so much to learn, doubt I can swing that out of the PD budget though… 🙂

    1. Would love for you to come, always good to chat through what we are doing with others. We are using Sharepoint rather than groups as I felt it was easier to manage the document libraries and booking calendar etc. Also we can more easily distinguish the different aspects of the deparment – junior sci, admin, health and safety etc. With classroom – we did a school wide data sync, so it was done automatically for each teacher and student – a big job for the start of the year, but a real time saver overall. Still exploring the the assignment functions etc…. if you remind me in a week or two I’ll let you know how they pan out. Happy to help though 🙂

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