OneNote gets ready for summer technology planning with updates for everyone

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share via OneNote Share via Email Print

“OneNote has truly changed and evolved my classroom … adapting to the students’ needs on a quicker and more individualized basis.” —Michael Williams, teacher and technology champion at Weston Ranch High School, Manteca USD (watch his Office Mix to learn more)

OneNote gets ready for summer technology planning with updates for everyone FI

Today we are announcing a number of top requested features for OneNote Class Notebooks, OneNote Staff Notebooks, and OneNote across platforms coming soon to Office 365 customers. We realize that many schools and their IT administrators need a little time to prepare for major changes, like automatic installation of the OneNote Class Notebook app for Office 365 Education tenants. These updates will be available worldwide beginning in late May through mid-June—so you can count on them showing up in your summer planning for technology next school year in most of the world!

OneNote Class Notebooks get easier for teachers

Teachers in K-12 often have autonomy in choosing apps and services for the classroom and IT staff want to empower teachers to make technology decisions that are best for their students. We consistently heard from teachers that they were excited about trying OneNote Class Notebooks for organization and collaboration with their students. That’s why we are making the OneNote Class Notebook “wizard” automatically available to all teachers and faculty with Office 365 Education. Moreover, we are making Class Notebooks more discoverable for teachers by putting in their My Apps page in the App Launcher and accessible via simple URL. No more complicated permissions and setup scenarios—OneNote Class Notebooks will now be available to all teachers and faculty! Similarly, you will notice that we simplified the naming of the app from your feedback: OneNote Class Notebook (dropping “Creator”).

OneNote Staff Notebooks get easier and goes global

We’ve had a great response to the OneNote Staff Notebook, and like the OneNote Class Notebooks, we will also be rolling out Staff Notebooks to all existing and new Office 365 Education customers with E1 or E3 plans. Creating a OneNote Staff Notebook at your school will be as easy as logging into Office 365 and going to the My Apps page.

In addition to making the Staff Notebook available more broadly, we will start rolling out the Staff Notebook in 45 more languages across new 60 markets. The list of languages is the same as the January 15th announcement with Class Notebooks. Plus, we heard your requests all the way in the Middle East and will soon be rolling out of OneNote Class Notebook and Staff Notebook in right-to-left languages, Arabic and Hebrew.

See the Excel Power Map below for the current country list:

OneNote Class Notebook markets Power Map - updated

New features for Class and Staff Notebooks

Over the past few months, we’ve been listening to educator feedback on Class and Staff Notebooks, as well as talking and visiting with schools. Based on this customer feedback, today we are happy to announce new capabilities-driven from these top requests. The features below are rolling out in the coming weeks across the globe.

  • Support for Active Directory security groups lists when adding students—To help make it easier for teachers to quickly get all students into a class notebook, we will be supporting Active Directory security groups in the Add Student Names page of the wizard. This will save a teacher time by allowing the entire class list to be added with one entry.  For example, now a teacher can enter a SharePoint Group alias into the Student Names field called Mrs. Smith Period 1. Assuming the directory has been set up with groups for each teacher’s class, we will use this information to create the private student spaces for the entire class based on the students listed in that Active Directory security group.  Here is an example:


  • Ability to remove students and co-teachers from class notebooks—Another top request we’ve heard is to allow teachers to easily remove student or co-teacher permissions. If a student leaves a class, or a co-teacher or student teacher leaves the organization, it will be easy to remove that person via our new Remove Student and Remove Teacher Similar to how we allow a teacher to add a student, removing one will be just as easy. This feature will only remove the permissions of the student, the student notebook will be kept in place so the teacher has time to package it up before manually deleting it or archiving it.

This functionality will also be added to the Staff Notebooks to allow the removal of Staff members and Staff co-owners.

Have another feature that you would like to see in the product? Share your feature requests via our User Voice site or send us an email at describing your school or classroom scenario. We love your feedback and feature suggestions, as you can see from our actions on them above!

New APIs and LTI support for automation and LMS integration

Extending the Class and Staff Notebook solution to existing learning management platforms and making them more automatic have been other top requests we’ve heard. In addition to our April release of OneNote APIs on Office 365, our new and upcoming REST APIs will allow IT administrators to automate Class and Staff Notebook administration processes such as class roster management and movement of pages in and out of OneNote. Partners will also be able to use the APIs to integrate the Class and Staff Notebooks deeply into their solution.  The API will allow programmatic access for:

    • Creating Class and Staff Notebooks
    • Adding & removing students and teachers (for roster synchronization with Student Information Systems)
    • Copying OneNote pages (for integration into Learning Management System assignment distribution and collection workflows)
    • Replicating notebooks (for end of year archival scenarios)

We are also excited to announce upcoming Class Notebook support for the LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) Standard. This will enable integration of the Class Notebook Creator with all major Learning Management System (LMS) providers—including Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas, Schoology, Sakai and Desire2Learn—as well as many other providers and any other LTI compliant learning platform.

Teachers with the LTI app installed will be able to launch the Class Notebook Creator, walk through the creation process, and add the created notebook to their LMS course, all without leaving their learning environment.

Student-focused updates for OneNote across devices

Of course, we cannot forget about the most important group in education: students. Last week, we released a few updates specifically for students who are using OneNote on different devices, including Apple devices.

First, we made OneNote for Mac improvements from the top customer requests:

  • Audio recording—Great for students recording their classes/lectures and jumping back to the most important points.
  • View math equations—Now teachers can create equations in OneNote on a Windows device and they will show up for students on a Mac.
  • Recover deleted pages—No more permanently deleted items if a student or teacher mistakenly deletes it.

We also added Handwriting Search across all platforms and copy/paste pages on OneNote for iPad, key for Class and Staff Notebook scenarios where you want to move pages from the Content Library to a Private Notebook.

We are excited for summer break as much as anyone, but even more excited for the amazing things school administrators, teachers and students will do with OneNote next school year. We love the feedback and the stories, which we will be sharing even more now with our new twitter handle @OneNoteEDU. Be sure to use #OneNoteClass and #OneNoteStaff.

Also, now that you have some time, don’t forget your free professional development available at

Have a fun and safe summer!