Microsoft OneNote Project Partners with TDSB Helping Students with Special Needs

Microsoft truly is engaged in Canada’s education, so why not allow our teachers and our students have access to great tools and technology?  It will empower today’s students to succeed tomorrow!

Disclosure: I have been compensated to share this post.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

Microsoft is working with the Toronto District School Board to help students with special needs work to their full potential with the use of assistive technology.  We already know that technology helps students to focus on learning without distractions, but did you know that it alleviates their anxiety too?  Technology is revolutionizing the way that students are learning:  they can collaborate on group projects more easily, and tackle their research more quickly!

Angie Scarano-Iuorio, Assistive Technology Central Coordinator with the TDSB, has launched an internal task-force that provides resources, training and workshops to help teachers incorporate technology into their classrooms.

Part of this is initiative is the Microsoft OneNote project, which helps students with learning disabilities prepare for their transition to high school and help to redefine student success at the TDSB.

  • All students can benefit from this program but students who are dyslexic, have ADD/ADHD, or other learning disabilities can do remarkably well using this program.
  • A lack of organizational skills can impede their learning process, so using and modeling this software to help them get organized is revolutionizing their learning and building confidence.

OneNote Benefits According to Kyle:  (OneNote Pilot Project Student)

Personally, the HP PageLift would’ve helped me greatly back when I was in school!  Had Microsoft’s initiative been in full force and made available to my daughter (she has ADHD), I am certain it would have helped her even more.  The partnership between Microsoft and TDSB is an important one; it’s valuable to families and society as a whole.

How OneNote helps students:

  1. When using One Note, students can take notes faster by creating keyboard shortcuts and also by customizing the tool bar for their specific needs.  It keep all of their information in one place and accessible to them wherever they might be.
  2. They can also take notes while recording lectures that can be played back whenever they need to hear them.
  3. OneNote also saves automatically which is very helpful and the search feature is extremely easy to use.
  4. A student can have all of their classes tabbed at the top and then subsets of the tab (just like a regular binder) on the right to access or add any information needed for the classes.
  5. Many students who have accessibility issues feel unorganized and they stress so much over this problem, they realize how much OneNote can help them and they feel empowered.
  6. Beyond school they can take these skills post-graduation into a work setting and can help them do tasks such as: put proposals together, create business plans, work on engineering designs, and develop lesson plans etc.
  7. Educators and therapists also love this program because they can add all of their students on this program and keep most of their information organized adding in their students’ papers, presentations, assessments, and they can even develop a grading system into the program.
  8. Therapists can add a list of the students they service and comprehensive information about the therapy they are receiving, while incorporating the children’s various schedules into the file. They can even chart the students’ progress by using the data and graphing tools.

Microsoft OneNote is shaping classrooms, and transforming students’ futures.  Students are more focussed on their learning all while developing online and offline computer skills that are relevant.  Essentially, OneNote is providing learning skills that will empower students … making them more employable.  The outcome?  One heck of a future!

Learn More:

OneNote & TDSB Assistive Tech on Facebook

Assistive Technology TDSB blog

About Microsoft Canada
Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ “MSFT”) the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has nine regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through great software – any time, any place and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit