Notebook FAQs

Why is the Summit Platform using Notebook instead of using Google Docs or OneDrive?

We're committed to achieving strong outcomes for all students, and Notebook is the next step in that direction. Unlike standard document systems, Notebook is built for the sole purpose of supporting teacher, student, and family needs with evidence-based instructional practices.

Will we still use Google or OneDrive to log in?


When do I have to finish approving Notebook conversions? What happens if I do not meet the deadline?

While we recommend that schools complete as much of the conversion review as possible before the first day of school, the conversions only need to be reviewed before they're used by students. You can start by prioritizing the first few Projects, Math Units, and Focus Areas of the year to stagger this work. More information on conversions here. 

How will Notebooks support students that use text to speech and reading extensions?

We recommend both ChromeVox and Google Read&Write, two text to speech extensions. Our team is also in the process of building out our own text to speech and speech to text functionality (amongst other accessibility features) within Notebooks. 

How are you ensuring that Notebooks are secure and prevent unauthorized access?

Content in student docs is encrypted and requires authentication through the Summit Learning Platform to access. In addition, access to student work is limited to the student, teacher(s), mentor, and parents. Other data sharing options allow all teachers at a school to access student work. 

Who has access to Notebooks? Can other schools see my teacher’s/ student’s work?

This is dependent on the type of Notebook, but uses a similar access and permissions structure to existing Google/Microsoft features. Curriculum created by teachers will be accessible by other teachers at the site and/or district. Notebooks that contain student work will only be visible to the student, the teachers in the section where the Notebook is assigned, the student’s mentor, staff with the “admin” role in the platform, and any parent account associated with the student. Depending on the school’s data sharing restrictions, teachers at the school may have access to more student work assigned at the school.

How do we change font colors?

Font colors will be available by the first day of school in the 2019-2020 school year.

How does sharing work?

For peer review, students will be able to share project Notebooks with other students in their section. Please note that teachers won’t be able to see which student has made changes to a document until the release of version history. 

Can students view one Notebook at the same time? Can teachers and students view one Notebook at the same time?

Yes, everyone with the proper permissions will be able to view the same Notebook simultaneously. However, only one person will be able to edit the document at a time. Teachers and students can leave individual comments without switching into edit mode.

Do Notebooks support accents and special characters?

Yes. Notebooks supports alt/option shortcuts (ex. alt + e to type “é”). If you have trouble accessing these, check on the specific instructions for your device. 

I’m unable to access all the editor features I used in Google Docs. Will any of these be added?

Please submit a help ticket! We value your feedback and will be making iterations to the current Notebook functionality informed by your suggestions. Keep in mind that our focus is on improving student outcomes rather than replacing functionality from other editors, and so we may not build every feature that is requested. 

Is version history supported?

This feature won’t be available on the first day of school, but it will be released in Fall 2019-2020.

Can students zoom in on Notebooks? Can they adjust the screen to improve focus?

In-browser zoom will be available, but please submit a help ticket to log your request. We’re excited to build additional features that support student learning and focus!

How do I edit Notebooks? 

You can edit Notebooks by clicking the pencil icon next to a Focus Area, Math Unit, or Project Notebook. When you edit a Notebook, keep in mind that you’ll be changing this template for other teachers and students that may be using the Notebook. Please read this help article for more detailed steps on how to modify Notebooks

When can/should I use Google Docs?

If you prefer to edit documents in Google Docs or have a previous document that you’d like to use, you can upload Google Doc and OneDrive documents into the platform. These documents will be automatically converted into Notebooks. Sheets, slides, and other file types will not be converted to Notebooks and will remain in their original format. 

I’m a math teacher. How does this affect me?

Notebooks offer an Insert → math editor suited for math formatting needs. Furthermore, you’ll have the option to use Notebooks features to leave comments on student work (such as on Cool Downs and Portfolio Problems). 

For Math Units using Learnosity End of Unit Assessments, students will complete these assessments in the Learnosity testing environment rather than in Notebooks. Alternative End of Unit Assessments will also be available to print.

I'm used to facilitating almost all of my math activities off of the Platform. Do I need to start asking students to use Notebooks instead?

No, you don’t! Please continue facilitating math activities (such as Cool Downs, Exercise Sets, and printed End of Unit Assessments) off platform if that is most effective for your classroom. 

If my students complete cool-downs off of the Platform, do I need to use Notebooks at all when I'm providing them with R/Y/G feedback in the Platform?

Using Notebooks for off platform activities is certainly not required, however you might find that providing feedback through Notebook comments provides a helpful online record of a student’s progress.

How will students be able to access their work in the event that the Platform is down or the internet is out?

We acknowledge that this change means that students won’t be able to access Notebooks when the Platform is down. However, we are working on ensuring there is minimal disruption due to Platform outages.

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