Microsoft Kicks Off OneNote Online and Educational Updates

The company is rolling out new image and notebook management features for both consumers and educational customers over the coming weeks.

Microsoft OneNote update

Microsoft is rolling out new features for teachers who rely on OneNote to organize their educational materials and for users of Microsoft's Web-based OneNote Online offering, the company announced this week.

In a Jan. 5 announcement, the Microsoft OneNote team said that one of the most requested features, the ability to crop images in OneNote Online, is finally going live. Users can now select the Crop command under the Format menu to their images.

OneNote Online can also finally get rid of notebooks that have overstayed their welcome. "OneNote Online customers can now remove a notebook from the list of previously viewed notebooks on the online 'Notebooks' page by hovering over the notebook and clicking the X that appears. This feature can be used to remove notebooks that are no longer relevant or no longer exist," stated the OneNote team.

For schools, Microsoft now allows co-teachers to add or remove students to shared Class Notebooks. "A scenario might include a teacher who is out for an extended period of time and the class roster changes," said Microsoft. Getting the new feature to work on old class notebooks requires some manual intervention.

"Starting in January in 2016, this capability will only exist for new Class Notebooks created with the app called 'Class Notebook.' To enable this ability for previously created Class Notebooks, remove the co-teacher from this old Class Notebook and then re-add the co-teacher to the Class Notebook," instructed Microsoft.

Similar changes are being made to OneNote Staff Notebooks, which are designed to enhance collaboration among teachers and school administrators. Users can now remove staff members and notebook co-owners using the Staff Notebook app. Co-owners also gain the ability to add or remove staff members.

"A scenario might include a principal who is on vacation but a new staff member needs access to the Staff Notebook," said Microsoft. As in the class notebook example above, the capability only works with new notebooks or old notebooks in which staff members were re-added. On the user management front, Microsoft has included support for Active Directory security groups and Office 365 Groups.

The legacy SharePoint Store OneNote Class Notebook Creator and OneNote Staff Notebooks apps also gain the ability to remove students and staff members, respectively. Though the apps are no longer carried in the SharePoint Store, administrators can still deploy the updates, minus Active Directory group or Office 365 Group support.

Formerly a note-taking app included in Office, Microsoft has been steadily working to increase its appeal to schools.

Microsoft has adapted the software to also serve as a collaborative, cloud-enabled teaching tool. Last year, the company launched a new resource Website, OneNote for Teachers, to help educators use the software to manage assignments, conduct quizzes and monitor a student's progress. Last June, Microsoft and Certiport, a professional testing site, announced it would begin individually offering OneNote certifications for teachers.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...