Case studies

Featured CaseStudy

Sammamish High School

” Within a few weeks of the school year, almost all of our 79 teachers were using OneNote Class Notebooks to deliver and organize learning materials. A few months later para-educators were all using OneNote to provide individualized support to students. Six months into this year, our students tell us that they can’t imagine life without OneNote. I’ll be excited to share more about how our teaching and learning continues to transform as a result of PBL and OneNote. Thanks to the OneNote team and the work of educators like Rob Baker who pioneered teaching with OneNote. “

On the second day of school we distributed laptops with digital ink capacity to all of our students. Within a few weeks we canceled all orders of paper for the copy machines.

Bear Creek Middle School

” The month of May was a historic month for Bear Creek and the Fulton County Schools district. Bear Creek became the first school within the district to certify its entire instructional staff as Microsoft Innovative Educators. During the training series, the teachers focused on five major tools: OneNote, Office Mix, Sway, Skype, and Office Forms. Each teacher was required to submit “MIE Artifacts” in the school-wide PD OneNote staff notebook to earn their certification badges. This gave teachers the opportunity to share resources and collaborate throughout the year. “I feel the MIE cohort was great … and it allowed me to reach the needs of my students,” said an 8th grade Math Teacher at Bear Creek. “

Lynbrook Public Schools

” Spanish students have been using the audio and video recording tools in their Class Notebooks. This has helped our students not only practice their conversational Spanish, but sharing their recordings in Class Notebook with others has motivated students to provide their best work. There is a bigger audience listening. As their teacher enthusiastically stated, “I can easily asses all students’ speaking progress without having to dedicate an entire period to listening to each student one-on-one. It saves a lot of class time and allows me to do more with them!” “

Bellevue International School

” We are science “doers.” We learn by doing. Watch any toddler figure out the world around them: they try, experiment, re-try and then show us what they have learned. The same applies to us and our students. Using collaborative technology, 7th-grade students became not only teachers but creators, role models and collaborators. The 1st-grade students were not only our inspiration but also our selective consumers, providers of feedback and our collaborators as well. Once we try something for ourselves, we master what we learn by showing or explaining it to others. Students are excellent teachers, and when students have technology as a tool, they are immeasurably creative when it comes to teaching others. Kids get a kick out of watching, reacting and listening to their voices. It’s a powerful tool for learning. “

Sammamish High School—six months of OneNote Class Notebooks

Sammamish High School—six months of OneNote Class Notebooks

adopted from

Today’s post was written by Bill Palmer, Ed.D, curriculum developer at Sammamish High School (Bellevue School District, WA).

Sammamish High School is a public, neighborhood high school serving 950 students in a diverse suburb of Seattle. Our students come from 53 different countries and speak 42 different languages. Sammamish prides itself on having a collaborative approach to problem-solving, a commitment to teacher leadership, and a focus on college and career readiness for all students. Over the last five years, we have been shifting to a problem-based learning (PBL) in every content area (for more information about PBL check out this case study).

On the second day of school we distributed laptops with digital ink capacity to all of our students. Within a few weeks we canceled all orders of paper for the copy machines.

Sammamish High School 1

We’re now six months into using laptops and OneNote Class Notebooks and this is what teaching and learning looks like:

We asked student focus groups about the difference the 1:1 laptop program has made in their learning. What surprised us was how predominantly OneNote was featured in all of their responses:

Working on OneNote allows me to catch up on anything that I may have missed in a class by checking the Content Library. Anna

I really like the ability to handwrite notes and having them saved in a place where I can find them easily. Having digital notes makes it that much easier to organize and retrieve them later—I love having all my work in one location. Robert

If we didn’t have OneNote Class Notebooks I’d probably be failing all my classes. It’s so much easier to find my assignments and make sure the teacher sees my work. Kelsi

Using OneNote means that I get feedback from teachers more quickly than ever before, which allows me to get the help I need before big test and quizzes. Daniel

When teachers share materials in OneNote, it means I don’t have to copy all the notes down—I just get to highlight and add my thinking or reflections. It makes it easier to think during class—and I’m doing less busy work. Stephanie

The Collaboration Space in OneNote makes it possible for us to work on our group projects anywhere, anytime. Before this year we would be stuck if one group member lost the memory stick. —Colton

Teachers are starting to reflect on how their own practices have changed as a result of using the OneNote Class Notebooks. What excites me most about the implementation of OneNote Class Notebooks is how it changes the dynamics of feedback in our classrooms. Through classroom observations, student and teacher focus groups, and survey data we are seeing four emerging ways student learning benefits from real-time digital teacher and peer feedback:

  • Receiving synchronous feedback (occurring in the same time period and medium) through OneNote dramatically shortens the learning cycle, giving students immediate opportunities to correct misconceptions or move ahead.
  • Online collaboration in a PBL context allows teachers to give feedback on the process of collaboration, as well as more skillfully guide student group work before their final product is finished.
  • Student work and growth over time can be organized and shared easily. OneNote has become a digital portfolio that shows both how students have improved and the feedback or interventions that led to learning.
  • Students work is generally improved with an audience. Teachers are finding that the ability to see and provide input into student work during the class period has led to greater student engagement and reduced workload outside of the class period.

“The constant feedback provided to students as they are crafting their ideas and responses has not only prompted more students to participate in class through writing through increased accountability, but students frequently seek feedback as they have developed a sense that it will increase their understanding,” said Keith Onstot, science teacher, sharing his thoughts about providing real-time feedback through OneNote. “Interestingly, while piloting this technique, students began to request to have the teacher’s screen projected while providing feedback. Students who became stuck in class, would look at the feedback being provided to others in hopes of translating the same concept to improve their own response. This has fostered an environment where students frequently share their own feedback to small groups, further increasing accountability by not only being accountable to the teacher, but needing to participate fully to receive the best feedback possible to share with the peer group. Seeing participation levels rise, quality of written responses improve, and changing of student’s mindset on assessment from punitive to supportive have all emerged as possible consequences of implementing a routine of providing real-time feedback in class.”

Sammamish High School 2

Within a few weeks of the school year, almost all of our 79 teachers were using OneNote Class Notebooks to deliver and organize learning materials. A few months later para-educators were all using OneNote to provide individualized support to students. Six months into this year, our students tell us that they can’t imagine life without OneNote. I’ll be excited to share more about how our teaching and learning continues to transform as a result of PBL and OneNote. Thanks to the OneNote team and the work of educators like Rob Baker who pioneered teaching with OneNote.

Bill Palmer

How I lead remote learning in Hong Kong during school closures

How i lead remote-learning in hong-kong during school closures

adopted from

By Ng Wai Ying, Winnie, Head of Chinese at St. Hilary’s Primary School,
Head of Chinese at St. Hilary’s Primary School Hong Kong
Posted on March 19, 2020 at 2:57 pm

We got the news on the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, which fell on January 25. The Education Bureau of Hong Kong announced all schools would be suspended due to the COVID-19 virus. Our school principal immediately set up an emergency meeting to figure out how we would resume instruction after the holiday.

Since we use Microsoft tools, I quickly realized it would make sense for Teams and OneNote to play a leading role in online lessons for my students. We were learning as we went, much like many other educators like you and below I’ve shared my tips and our experience launching distance learning.


This was our first lesson. The students opened their cameras and got to work online from their homes.

Try first

I started by selecting some of my Grade 6 students to help me pilot live lessons. To begin, I prepared a trial lesson in Teams to observe student behavior and responses. In the lesson, I checked whether they could hear me, recorded the meeting, and showed them a video. After that trial, I gained confidence that this could work. Still, before the first actual lesson, I held a second trial for the whole class. This time, I provided time for them to greet each other. When kids are stuck at home, they really miss their friends!My students also tried out some functions, such as giving likes to posts. I then walked them through Teams, followed by some rules for live lessons, including how and when to turn on/off their microphones.With 20 students ready to learn, I shared my screen, and then I showed my PowerPoint and video. My students were excited for the online class. All in all, it was a very good start!

Setting ground rules

In Chinese class, we only speak Mandarin, and I wanted to make sure some of our regular procedures applied to online learning. So, I set up ground rules, including no casual messages, no emojis, and no speaking English during the lessons. We went over these in Teams, and I inserted a Microsoft Forms survey right in our Teams channel to ensure the children had them down before we got to work.

Fostering student engagement and a positive culture

Screen sharing is one the most important functions of leading engaging online lessons in Teams. I am so glad that Teams lets me seamlessly switch my screens to show PowerPoint decks or class notes in OneNote, for example.

I believe mutual respect and good feedback are essential with any kind of instruction, and this has been a good opportunity to teach my students to be respectful online world. Praise from teachers to students can reinforce good online behavior, which can help students stay engaged and focused during instruction. Sometimes, I share examples of good student work online to provide recognition for a job well done. See below.

It’s also important to continue to make learning fun!

Below you’ll see we played an online bingo game in OneNote to work on vocabulary.

During this style of online teaching, students can still collaborate. I gave out rubrics that students can use to evaluate each other’s work. Students then modify and improve their work after participating in peer evaluations.

Integrating Teams, OneNote, Forms, and Flipgrid


I’m glad my students were already used to using tools like OneNote, Forms, and Flipgrid. We often have collaboration activities going on in our classroom, such as using OneNote as a tool to edit writing. We use Flipgrid as a formative assessment tool for recording student thoughts about a unit or a topic.

With Teams, there are two modes for conversation that we use, the Chat and Post functions. I’ve tried to open four or five groups using Chat, as it is easier for me to add or remove people there. The way I think about this is as having two kinds of classrooms. Chat is a small classroom for discussion groups, and Post is a big classroom for teacher-led instruction.

I’ve asked some of my students to be group leaders for helping me monitoring others in the small-group discussions. I’ve told them if the time is over, they must ask all the group members to leave and go back to the big classroom (the Post meeting).

This all took some getting used to. When five calls popped up on my screen at the same time, I had to decide which group I needed to help first. I’ve found that I can work with a maximum of four groups through the Chat function at the same time. I just need to press a button to enter different groups. My students always say “Wow, Miss Ng, you’re here again! How come we didn’t notice it.” They love to have their own rooms for discussion. Up to now, they’ve shown mutual respect to others and never abuse the right to use Chatroom.

Group writing and editing with tablets and pencils

Learning a language is not only about reading, but also writing. Teams allows my students to hear their peers and write things at the same time. We use OneNote as a collaboration space for group work. Students sometimes ink in different colors to easily distinguish their work.

Below, groups use collaboration space for editing their writing and evaluating the work using rubrics. 

Using Flipgrid as a debate platform 

We need to build in time and space for students to nurture their creativity, and Flipgrid is a great tool to support that. In addition, developing students’ debate skills is part of our learning objectives, and Flipgrid serves as a virtual debate platform. I can put the Flipgrid link or tag in Teams so students can get to it easily.

I use emojis or gifs to help students choose the right topic.

Here are my grids

Getting the hang of remote learning
So far, I’ve completed more than two dozen live lessons and I’ve grown more and more confident in my ability to teach this way to meet the needs of my students during these challenging times. The Hong Kong government says schools will remain closed until April 20, or later. I’m glad I have these online tools at my fingertips, and I hope my experience can help other teachers prepare for remote learning. It’s not easy, but it is doable and students benefit greatly. Take a look here for more helpful tips on how Microsoft can support remote learning and stay tuned to the Microsoft Education Blog as more educators share their learnings.

Check out Microsoft’s remote learning resources.

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