Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I choose a “main tool” to support technology enabled learning in my class? D2L, OneNote Class Notebooks or Google Classroom?

 D2L (provincial vLE)  Google Classroom  OneNote Class Notebooks
 The Short  Long learning curve, but well worth the effort put in.  Quick and easy to learn, easy document sharing, limited other features.  Linear organization of content, you can see student work, no discussion features.
 Overview  D2L is a full Virtual Learning Environment with space for teachers to put content (notes, files, etc.), dropboxes, rich discussion tools, chat features, quizzing and self-assesment. It also contains an internal ePortfolio tool. Everything can be connected to teacher-set learning goals and assessment can be enhanced through rubrics, verbal feedback and easy descriptive feedback.  Google Classroom is a stream of information where older posts get moved lower. It facilitates the use of Google Drive and its rich collaboration features (commenting, editing, sharing) for collaboration and feedback (self, peer, teacher).  OneNote Class Notebooks are rich notebooks where teachers can organize content into three areas. One space is for teacher created content that all students can view but not edit. Each student also has a folder that they share with the teacher for working on individual activities and providing feedback. Lastly, there is a collaboration space where all students and teachers can edit.
 Examples of Classroom Use  A teacher who posts course content online for in class and outside of class use.

A teacher who has students submit media and assignments individually or in groups and provides them an audio recording of feedback.

A teacher who creates remedial or “catch-up” lesson and quizzes for students to access when they’ve missed class or want to improve their understanding.

 A teacher who wants to simply posts links for students access that same day, but has little static content that needs to always be listed.

A teacher whose students will be doing lots of writing activities in Google Docs and making use of the rich collaboration features (commenting, editing, sharing, etc.).

 A teacher who is focused on the process of learning and wants to see students progress throughout.

A teacher who wants to share digital lessons (notes) with students and have areas for student portfolios.

 Pros  – entire course can be copied to next year easily
– content can be organized into topics
– rich features for supporting online discussions and differentiation
– course can be organized in a linear fashion (modules, units, topics, projects, etc.)
– students automatically connected to classes based on PowerSchool
– quick to learn
– makes use of the excellent feedback, sharing and collaborative features of Gooogle Drive
– works on all devices
– edits like Microsoft Word, so many are comfortable with it
– content can be organized in linear fashion (topics in order)
– when using OneNote on a PC, Android, Windows tablet or iOS device you can draw on the screen
– different read/write permissions for different areas
– great for providing feedback
– can record audio within OneNote
 Cons  – large learning curve to get really good and able to use the more rich features  – limited features
– pushes everything “down” in a stream so finding previously posted material can be difficult
– students need to manually join
– requires some manual set up (having all of your student computer usernames)
– no social area, really for creating (student and teacher) and sharing content

 2. What digital tools are available?



3. What is SCDSBlive? 

#SCDSBlive is an online internet radio station for teachers and students in Simcoe County DSB. When no one is “live broadcasting” a mix of recorded files plays automatically. Classes can sign up and book time to live broadcast from their classroom or on the road during field trips. Please see for more information and contact for help.


4. What are the differences between laptops, chromebooks and iPads?