Microsoft have officially launched the OneNote Class Notebook Creator, after months of a successful preview and feedback from schools.Intro-OneNote-Class-Notebook-Creator-feat

“Built on Office 365 and SharePoint Online, the OneNote Class Notebook Creator saves teachers time and boosts classroom efficiency by:

  • Making it easier to collect homework, quizzes, exams and handouts.
  • Enabling all student work and teacher feedback to be exchanged automatically in one place virtually anytime, anywhere.
  • Combining real-time, individualized coaching of a shared notebook with the collaborative creativity of OneNote and digital handwriting.”

I have been using and introducing the class notebook creator while it has been in preview and I have learned a few things along the way.
Here’s a few resources to help schools and teachers get started.OneNote-Class-Notebook-Creator-Creating-Resources-feat-2

What is OneNote?

How is OneNote currently used in classrooms?

What is the OneNote Class Notebook Creator?

How can it simplifying sharing and collaborating in classrooms?

Installing the OneNote Class Notebook Creator app into your Office 365 sites and OneDrive for Business

How do Teachers use the Class Notebook Creator app?

OneNote Class Notebook Tips



OneNote Notebook Advanced Permissions and Sharing – A Series

Group and Collaborative Work

  • Collaborative space as a ‘Whiteboard’.
  • Running break-out groups.


  • Organize your notebooks with a contents page to navigate your notebooks, sections and pages.

More to come…

Introduction to the OneNote Class Notebook Creator – an Office Mix presentation


Playlist of the videos from the “Introduction to the OneNote Class Notebook Creator”.

What is OneNote?

OneNote is a notebook application that mimics the format of a lecture pad, with pages and sections. But because it’s an application and the notebook is digital, you can do so much more with it.

Type in it, copy and paste research from the web, create screenshots with it. Print to it so you don’t have to carry around stacks of paper anymore. You can write and draw in it using the inking feature with touch and pen enabled devices. Share from it, work within the notebook with others at the same time. Present from it using a data projector and using OneNote as a replacement for a whiteboard.

Best of all, OneNote is available EVERYWHERE. You can access your notebooks and synchronize them across tablets, phones, laptops, desktops, IOS, Android, Windows, Mac and within your favourite browsers; Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer.

There’s plenty written explaining what OneNote is. This paragraph is only the beginning.

Start discovering OneNote by visiting these two resources: – Learn about OneNote and get it for yourself across all your devices. – Interactive guides that help you quickly learn how to use OneNote to manage your work as a teacher, and to create a classroom environment using the OneNote Class Notebook Creator.

The interactive guides are delivered in bite-sized lessons, so teachers can progressively learn about using OneNote in their classrooms. My suggestion is to set a goal of completing one interactive guide a week. Of course, if you’re keen, gobble them all up in one sitting. It will be well worth investing your time because OneNote is and easy application to learn and create with.


How is OneNote currently used in classrooms?

Using OneNote for classes generally involves 5 scenarios – As a student, teacher, collaboratively as a class or as a group and sharing with parents.

A student uses it for taking notes in class and while researching. They may begin to author an assignment in OneNote, drafting their ideas and easily moving them around and re-ordering their thoughts.

Teachers can share content with their students from one of their notebooks. Lesson plans can be formed in OneNote, ideas can be quickly captured and shuffled around. A list of resources can be created. A task list of things to do within class can easily be created, managed and used across smart phone, tablet and laptop.

An emerging use of OneNote is creating worksheets and handouts. Rather than on paper, a OneNote page can be shared with a student and the student can complete the worksheet / handout using OneNote.


In a classroom situation, some teachers are using OneNote as a whiteboard replacement. If they have a data projector in their class, they can write, draw or type in OneNote and easily share a copy of the teacher-created class notes with students. Some teachers go a little further, having discovered that they can invite students into a shared notebook, they get students to contribute during class, share ideas, brainstorm…

This leads into students using a OneNote notebook for group work and projects. A group of students can share a notebook and complete different parts of a group assignment, project or activity. All the contributions are gathered in real time and the final piece of work can be re-ordered and structured to present to the teacher or class.

OneNote has also been successfully used to share students work with their parents. A notebook containing a portfolio of student work can be shared with a parent from OneDrive or SharePoint Online. Parents can easily get a picture of the progress of their children at school and use the notebook to communicate back with the teacher.

What is the OneNote Class Notebook Creator?

The OneNote Class Notebook Creator is an app combines a teachers notebook, collaborative notebook and student notebooks into a single notebook. The app is installed in a teachers class site or in their OneDrive for Business, powered by Office 365 and SharePoint Online.

The teachers notebook is shared, editable by the teacher but students can only view it. This is the content library. The collaborative space is shared and editable by the teacher and students. The students ‘notebook’ is shared with the teacher, but kept private from other students.

When the OneNote Class Notebook Creator app is run, it creates the notebook structure and permissions for the teacher.


How can it simplifying sharing and collaborating in classrooms?

The Class Notebook Creator notebook can now serve many different sharing and collaborating scenarios, from one notebook.

Being one notebook, students and teachers can connect to it and the content is synced to their device. If a teacher wants to share content such as worksheets, resources or handouts where they don’t want students to change the content, they use the content library. The collaborative space can be used for group work and shared whiteboard sessions. Students can use their section to complete their class work, homework, worksheets and assignments. Their work is shared and synced with the teachers copy of the notebook and the teacher can easily monitor progress and give feedback to the student.

One notebook. Multiple purposes and ways to share.

Installing the OneNote Class Notebook Creator app into your Office 365 sites and OneDrive for Business

The OneNote Class Notebook Creator app needs to be installed by your schools Office 365 administrator (Global Administrator). This is usually the person or people who set up Office 365 for you in your school.

The app could be installed in each individual class site. But the best place to install the app is in the SharePoint Online App Catalog. From there, an Office 365 Admin can choose to deploy the OneNote Class Notebook Creator to all class sites. Or it can be deployed to specific class site templates.
Using the App Catalog to deploy the Creator app is much better than expecting a teacher to find the app and install it themselves.

Full and detailed steps for creating the SharePoint App Catalog and installing the OneNote Class Notebook Creator app can be found at

Installing the OneNote Class Notebook Creator: A Guide for IT Administrators in Schools from

How do Teachers use the Class Notebook Creator app?

Teachers will open the Site Contents page of their class site or OneDrive for Business and launch the OneNote Class Notebook Creator app. The app provides three functions – Create a notebook, Add Students to a notebook and view existing notebooks.


Creating a notebook follows four steps.

  1. Give the notebook a name.
  2. Review the structure of the notebook. You can rename the content and collaborative sections at this stage. If you use new names, start them with an “_” so they are easy to find in the notebook.
  3. Add student names – Either type them in one by one, or add them from a list where each student name is separated by a semicolon.
  4. Design the student space – These are the sections that will be added to each student notebook. You can use the four suggested or create your own. Give this some thought because at this stage, you can’t add additional sections to student notebooks after the Creator app has been run.

A preview of the notebooks will be displayed, teachers view and students view. Click Create and let the app do the hard work for you.

When it has finished, the teacher can launch the notebook and copy a link to the notebook to share with students.

To finish…

… there’s no finish really. There are so many possible uses for OneNote in classrooms. The OneNote Class Notebook Creator has made sharing and collaborating in classrooms much simpler with OneNote.

I’ll be updating this post with references to new tips for using OneNote notebooks in class and using the Class Notebook Creator app. Keep an eye out for them and do post your questions in the comments below.

Congratulations OneNote EDU Team. You’re continuing to amaze us.


  1. Great! I just finished my blog post for that! BUT you are the one I am referring to, when it comes to show other teachers how it is done! Great Office Mix!


    1. Thank you Kurt. I’ll keep updating this post with references to new tips for using the classroom notebook. The Office Mix was fun. I’m looking forward to using Sway to get my message across too.


      1. I hope that I get an Invitation to Sway soon, cause I think that would be a perfect portfolio app for my students (besides OneNote)


  2. Great Darrell. Just a question that I can’t seem to find an an answer for, and it is probably something I have done!!. Once the NoteBooks have been created and then the students have logged on, worked on them, and then signed out of their Office365 account where/how do then then easily find the notebooks when they log in the next time, beariung in miond that they may well log on with a deiiferent machine????


    1. Hi Clint. It’s a good question. I noticed this too, when creating a notebook with the app. I have listed some tips at the top of this post.You want to do two things to make the Class Notebook easier to find:
      1. Take a look at “Renaming your Class Notebook document library” –
      These steps will help you give the library a friendly name and add it to the quick launch menu of your class site.
      2. Then look at “Make your Class Notebook easy to find” –
      These steps show you how to find the link to the Class Notebook and add it to your menu, or link an icon on your page to the notebook.
      These steps will open the notebook in OneNote Online from your class site. Then students can work in a browser OR choose to open on their devices and sync a local copy. Try these two things and let me know how you get on. – Haere Ra E Hoa


      1. Darrell – Fantastic. This works a treat – makes a nice easy link for them to find. Using Step 2 is especially helpful. Thankyou


  3. If the OneNote Notebook is stored within a class site, must a student access their OneNote Notebook via the class site (eg Year 10 Science) every time? I expect my students to use a OneNote Notebook for all of their subjects, however I’m not sure whether it is particularly user friendly if students need to click on their individual class site to access each of their OneNote Notebooks. I see that once a OneNote Notebook has been opened with the full version of the OneNote programme, the previously opened Notebooks appear in their NoteBook list (so these are easy to access), but what if a student is working within the browser version of OneNote only?Thanks


    1. Hi Nathan. Good question. Your students don’t need to visit your class site each time to open the notebook. There are advantages in doing so, because you may be using announcements on your class home page, or a homework list, that you want them to see.I suggest for those students using a web browser and OneNote Online, that they save the address of the notebook to their browser favourites. Or better still, the class site to their favourites.
      You are correct, that the best experience is when a student connects OneNote desktop application or the OneNote app for their tablet or mobile platform.


  4. Some of my students (using Windows 8) have opened my OneNote Notebook from the Site I have created and selected to open the notebook with the OneNote app. I want them to be using the desktop version of OneNote. I can’t seem to find how they can switch to the desktop version. Any ideas? Thanks. Nathan


    1. Hi Nathan. It sounds like the OneNote app has been selected as the default application for opening links to notebooks. That is, links that start with onenote:https://Do you need some instructions for the students to follow, to change OneNote desktop to be the default?


  5. Hi Darrell. We have been using the Onenote Class Notebook for a while now and it’s a fantastic tool. Do you know if their is anyway to rename a notebook after creation? Thanks Chris


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