Zoho notebook for learning and collaboration

Zoho notebook is  part of the suite of programs that Zoho offers which allow you to collect and share information. Although designed to serve business needs, many of the tools provided by Zoho have educational applications. For example, Zoho notebook allows you to collect multimedia resources to tell a story and teach at the same time.

The technology (or what are my powers?)

Zoho notebook allows you to create an eNotebook. You can collect information into tabbed sections, or pages. Any single page in your notebook can include a collection of media types. For example, you can include text, images, video, and links as objects on a page. You can upload images from your computer or link to images via a url (for example, from Flickr). You can drag your objects around and resize them to instantly change your layout. You also can draw directly on a page using some simple shape tools to add layout elements and side bars.

You can also add as separate pages:

  • Web pages
  • sheet pages (Zoho’s version of Excel)
  • text  pages

You can make your notebook public or share it with a select group of people you send an email to. The people you’ve shared your notebook with can add their own edits to your notebook in real-time and you can view these changes by refreshing your screen. However, you also can make a notebook read-only.

This video provides more information on using Zoho.

Instructional strategies

Zoho notebooks are a great way to create instant web pages and so offer all the possibilities that go with this idea. As an instructor, you can easily create instructional “packages” using this application. Here’s a notebook I created to provide a quick overview of why patents matter and how you go about searching for patents.

Since you can include web pages as part of your notebook, you can link to quizzing tools to add assessment activities. But you can also ask students to add their solutions to problems as separate pages of the notebook.  In this way, you can craft assessments that are more creative. For example, you  can include assessments that are collaborative projects and which involve multimedia tools. However, you’ll have to set some guidelines on how and when learners can change documents since once you share a notebook you can’t make individual pages read-only. Of course, you can always make separate assessment notebooks.

Learners can use Zoho notebooks

  • to create eportfolios
  • to take part in a Webquest in notebook form
  • to storyboard, by themselves, or as part of a team
  • to journal
  • to write stories
  • to reflect on research they’ve done

Using Zoho notebooks, learners can essentially create their own web sites without having to learn web design.

8 responses to “Zoho notebook for learning and collaboration

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