Educator Spotlight #1: Adil Mungalee – Using Microsoft OneNote

This is the first post in a new series called ‘Educator Spotlight’ highlighting South African educators using ICT Technology effectively in the classroom. In this post we focus on Adil Mungalee, Deputy Principal, Dr Yusuf Dadoo Primary School in Krugersdorp.


Technology today has moved at such a quick pace, that every industry is employing ICT’s in some way or the other, so why should the schools not be at the forefront?” This is the viewpoint of Adil Mungalee, Deputy Principal at Dr Yusuf Dadoo Primary School in Krugersdorp. His position as Deputy Principal gives him a great advantage in influencing how a school needs to channel funding into ICT’s. “I want Internet access for all my teachers and learners, as this will make communication so much better. I believe that every child has a right to access technology enhanced learning, so it will be vital for them to have some sort of device which will enable them to access electronic resources, be it a tablet pc, a laptop or a smartphone. They need it.” He admits, however, that the reality is that we can’t always afford what we like, so we just need to wait until the government issues us with the technologies we need to compete with the rest of the world. At his school the teachers each have a laptop and they have an ICT lab, but the students don’t yet have access to devices in the classroom.

Adil’s Achievement

Adil was placed first in Gauteng province in the category Excellence in Technology–Enhanced Teaching and Learning Award in the National Teacher Awards in 2015. This award recognizes teaching methods and administrative functions which use ICT’s effectively in schools. The award also looks at innovative teaching and learning strategies employed through the use of ICT’s both in the classroom as well as in administration. Adil is very proud of this achievement.

Adil’s use of OneNote 

Adil uses Microsoft applications quite extensively. When asked how he started using OneNote, Adil says he happened to stumble across it in 2014 when he was going through the ‘unused’ apps on the Microsoft Office Suite. He started playing around with the program and realized that it is exactly what he needed for a filing system. So, he took the template given by the Department and used it to make up sections for filing. The documents and the memos etc. were then either copied and pasted into OneNote, or he would use the print to OneNote function. He shared this idea with the staff. This new template has now been shared with so many of his colleagues from surrounding schools that it is not unusual to find the same files at other schools

He uses the teacher file in OneNote to check his lesson preparation and access other resources that he would file per lesson. This makes it easy to get to stored information. Adil has started updating his file to accommodate the curriculum for the entire year. This will save him a lot of time in the future. He is longing to use OneNote as a learning tool with his students. Unfortunately many of the students don’t have access to computers at home.

How does his school use OneNote?

Adil loves using Microsoft OneNote and claims that it is the perfect application to use, not only to file documents with such ease, but also to save money! At Dr Yusuf Dadoo Primary School, all the teachers are experimenting with Microsoft OneNote for planning, and storing documents electronically. The principal emails all important documents directly to the teachers so that they can print directly to their OneNote files. The teachers are slowly introducing the use of OneNote e-files in all their subjects, so that soon they will not claims that this will save them a lot of money and time in the long run.

At school the teachers use a OneNote Teacher File template which is prepared for each teacher giving them the basic documentation required by the District. Teachers can then add their specific subject materials and resources to their eFiles. This system is ultra-portable, can be shared on the schools network, and offers the perfect platform for teacher moderation and development. For example, “when I, as a subject head, visit a teacher for a class visit, I can either access the OneNote file on the teacher’s computer, or I can go with my own laptop. The file is then accessed from a flash drive, and I can add my motivational comments directly onto the OneNote file. The added benefit of using OneNote, is I can take photos of the learners’ work and attach it to my report. I can also record sound from any presentations, or video record a particular observation and attach it to my report. So now when the teacher reads their report, they don’t just get a boring written moderation, but a multi-faceted report with audio and visual evidence of their teaching.”

How does Adil inspire his peers to use One Note?

He has conducted workshops with his colleagues both at school and District levels. The workshops which he conducted where he showcased his filing system, were met with great awe and positivity. He finds that after a workshop teachers from other schools rush towards him with their flash drives, hoping to get the OneNote template that way.

As he looks to the future Adil says. “Every classroom needs to be revamped to accommodate the new technologies available. Microsoft has so many exciting applications available. I encourage teachers to start using One Note for organisational purposes as a filing system.”

Find out more about using OneNote

You’ll find the OneNote website at OneNote is a free must-have classroom or individual application from Microsoft, available online and offline as well as cross device. It is useful information gathering and multi-user collaboration application. OneNote can be used to gathers users’ notes (handwritten or typed), drawings, screen clippings, document attachments, videos and audio commentaries. You will find tutorials shared by teachers around the world about OneNote on the Microsoft Educator Community. Take a look at  for an example.

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