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To get her students excited about reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, Kelli Etheredge designed an assignment where the class puts the Count on trial for murder.
To start, her students divide into prosecution and defense teams and then use Microsoft OneNote to collect their research and develop their arguments. They collaborate on the assignment both inside and outside of class by saving their files to a Windows SkyDrive folder. Then during the mock trial they can quickly search their OneNote notebook and find facts that help them respond to cross-examination remarks.
Kelli's lucky. She teaches 10th grade World Literature at St. Paul's Episcopal School where every student has their own laptop computer and a licensed copy of Microsoft OneNote. But any class can do an assignment like this using the free OneNote Web App. Haven't tried it, yet? Check out this introduction to the OneNote Web App and then give it a try. Groups of students can work in the same notebook while they collaborate on a project, just like Kelli's students.
Watch this video to see her students in action.
Would you do this with your class?
-- Jennifer Bost