Creating a digital learning environment is focus of next Tech Today talk

When it comes to creating homework assignments, dynamic lecture slides or electronic lab notebooks, Jon Rienstra-Kiracofe says there’s only one tool that he relies on – and it’s one that’s already available, at no charge, to all faculty and students.

Rienstra-Kiracofe, an associate professor of practice for the Chemistry Department, believes Microsoft’s OneNote – a computer program for free-form information gathering and multi-user collaboration – can be used to transform many courses at Purdue.

On Friday, March 1, Rienstra-Kiracofe will discuss how he uses OneNote to create a digital learning environment as part of the Innovative Learning Team’s monthly Tech Today event. The event is open to all faculty and staff.

Rienstra-Kiracofe says the talk is for anyone interested in learning how OneNote can be used in the classroom, including:

  • How to create a OneNote class notebook as an alternative to PowerPoint to host dynamic lecture notes, which allows for real time annotation during class.
  • How to create, distribute and grade assignments that allow students to use rich media, including text, images, video and audio.
  • How to create an electronic lab notebook.

“The great thing about OneNote is that because of Purdue’s deal with Microsoft, everyone already has access to it for free,” says Rienstra-Kiracofe. “But I think it’s underutilized because a lot of people have never used it.”

Those interested in attending should register online and bring a laptop or tablet. Rienstra-Kiracofe says he will create a OneNote class notebook for attendees that he’ll use to demonstrate the tool’s different features.

“The thing about OneNote is that it’s more than just for lecture notes or a tool for homework,” says Rienstra-Kiracofe. “It allows you to combine the functions of a lot of separate tools into one in a dynamic way to really benefit students.”

Writer: Dave Stephens, technology writer, Information Technology at Purdue, 765-496-7998,

Last updated: February 15, 2019