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Integrating Accessibility at School, Home, and Work with Microsoft One Note
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What many people need to realize is that accessibility is not only for one environment such as an academic setting, for it is needed in every aspect of their life where they will need assistance. Once an individual has been helped with these wonderful accessibility tools, then they will find them to be valuable in all settings.

One of the skills that many people have problems with is organization. It’s just hard to keep everything in the correct place and be able to retrieve it when it’s needed. That’s why I conduct training on Microsoft One Note software program to show people how it can organize your life in ways that they never even thought were possible. When I went to a workshop at Microsoft Partners in Learning in Charlotte SC, we were taught how to use this program in an educational setting, a home setting, and of course a vocational setting. It can be customized for anything and your files can be accessed anywhere, as long as you have access to a computer.

When we think of organization skills, Microsoft One Note is such a terrific program. I have found it to be lifesaver for students that can’t seem to get organized by themselves, plus students seem to be highly motivated to use it because they can add charts and graphs, complete mathematical algorithms, and add video and audio to any file. It’s really the perfect tool for people that like to have all of their information in one place and accessible to them wherever they might be.

When using One Note, students can take notes faster by creating keyboard shortcuts and also by customizing the tool bar for their specific needs. They can also take notes while recording lectures that can be played back whenever they need to hear them. There are also many outlines and templates available for note taking. Other valuable tools included in Microsoft One Note are spell check, a dictionary, and a thesaurus. One Note also saves automatically which is very helpful and the search feature is extremely easy to use.

All students can benefit from this program but students who are dyslexic, have ADD/ADHD, or other learning disabilities can do remarkably well using this program. A lack of organizational skills can impede the learning process, so using and modeling this software that helps with the organizational process can really help students.

It’s really amazing to see how a student feels empowered when they start using this program! We start by looking at it as an electric binder that can hold all the information that you have in one place. I explain how the tab system on One Note works with an infinite amount of space. A student can have all of their classes tabbed at the top and then subsets of the tab (just like a regular binder) on the right to access or add any information needed for the classes. Many of the students that I work with feel unorganized and they stress so much over this problem, so when I start modeling One Note, they realize how much this can help them where they are now, but then we talk about how a program like this can transfer over to college, especially when you need to collaborate with different groups on various projects. It can be shared on Sky Drive, and then be accessed by members of a group whenever they need to add information. We then talk about how it also can be utilized in a work setting when trying to put proposals together, create business plans, work on engineering designs, and develop lesson plans…the list is endless!

Educators and therapists also love this program because they can add all of their students on this program and keep most of their information organized adding in their students' papers, presentations, assessments, and they can even develop a grading system into the program. Therapists can add a list of the students they service and comprehensive information about the therapy they are receiving, while incorporating the children’s various schedules into the file. They can even chart the students progress by using the data and graphing tools.

Since I need to train parents with their child’s organizational skills too, I also conduct workshops for them. Once they start working with One Note, they realize what a wonderful organizational tool that this can be at home and it's useful not only for their child but for themselves as well. I’ve had countless parents come up to me after this workshop and say how they wish they would have had this comprehensive tool while they were going to school! One of the best things about this workshop is that we get the parents and students to work together so they can use this program effectively.

It’s Just a great tool for anyone that needs help with organization (we all do). Check out the attached YouTube video on the basics of Microsoft One Note and the links to learn more about this program and how it helps individuals keep organized in all areas of their life.

I would love to hear of any success stories using Microsoft One Note with your students!

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