Emily Kenzie joined The Perse in September 2021 having taught maths at all levels for 10 years. She is also a form tutor to an Upper Sixth form group building upon the experience she gained taking two other tutor groups through their Sixth Form years in her previous school. Having joined The Perse post-pandemic, she was particularly interested in how the newly extensive use of One Note has changed the experience of learning for pupils.

“Prompted by the rapid change to online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of One Note in classrooms has risen dramatically and often now forms the preferred mode of lesson delivery. The benefits in terms of remote accessibility are clear, but pedagogically what effect has the move away from writing on paper had on pupils’ educational experiences? With a Year 9 class I conducted a series of maths lessons where work was done on paper then on One Note to compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages. After each lesson I asked pupils to reflect on their learning and respond to a questionnaire. I also took photographic evidence of their work to examine any differences. Having analysed and summarised the pupil responses, I was able to draw out some key themes. In general, pupils viewed One Note as preferable due to its ease of organisation, editability, flexibility and convenience. However, technological frustrations and concerns about lack of preparation for paper public exams were common. Some pupils felt that it was easier to focus during paper lessons and they perhaps produced work of a higher quality. Interestingly, when the photographs of work produced were compared, it seemed that the more academically able pupils were able to improve the quality of their work through use of One Note, but the less academically able pupils experienced a reduction in the standard of their work. Once shared with the department, the research informed reflection and discussion of best working practices to optimise the educational advantages of One Note.


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