Implementing Technology with Interactive Student Notebooks

Being in a 1:1 classroom this year instead of a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) room has made some big differences in my use of technology. I have begun implementing technology with my interactive student notebooks. One way of doing this is through use of digital notebooks. 

What is a Digital Notebook? 

A digital notebook is a lot like a PowerPoint Presentation. Google Drive has a product called Slides. Most notebooks are created in this program. The creator of the notebook creates a picture in another program and embeds it into the slide. A group of slides together is called a notebook. 

A student makes a copy of the notebook to their own drive. The slides become pages. The students add in text boxes to respond in their notebook to the prompts on the page. Some pages can be interactive meaning that pieces can be moved around and matched up to complete the page. The item is saved and then shared with the teacher for grading purposes. 

What are the benefits? 

There are several benefits. First, for schools who are going paperless.. this is away to still use your interactive notebooks. It is in color and you don't have to pay for ink. All of the pages are there so nothing gets lost and it always stays organized. 

What are the disadvantages? 

There is not really a lot of research that has been done to prove if digital notebooks are beneficial to students or not. There is ongoing debate about whether or not the strain from reading on a computer is bad for one's eye sight or not. 

In addition, students can get ahead of lectures in the classroom and there is no way to add pages with embedded graphics to a notebook later. I could create another page and add it in but then I would have to resend the entire notebook over. The student would have to recreate his work, copy it over, or skip that part. I could send over just the one add-on. 

How am I using Digital Notebooks? 

This year, I am focusing on using Digital Notebooks for two things in my classroom. This is my test run to see how well it works for my students and if it is something I want to expand upon in the future. 

First, I am moving our data binders to digital notebooks. This is where we track the standards that have been taught, create our SMART goals for each standard, and record our evidence of learning. I use these for back-to-school conferences. 

Next, morning work. I love to use videos for morning work! Students watch a 2-3 minute video and then respond. Quick, simple, engaging! It's like getting up to watch Saturday Morning Cartoons but in class and it has an academic focus!

Back to School Guide

In preparing for a successful school year, I always take a week toward the end of summer break to review my reflections from the previous year and to prepare for the year ahead. Join me this week as I take you through my top 6 must-dos.
  1. Creating a Year Long Plan
  2. Setting up Schoology
  3. Using EdTech to Differentiate Instruction
  4. Managing Data with Student Binders
  5. Interactive Notebooks... revisited
  6. Updating Your Portfolio

I have a few more things to do over the summer but will be back at the beginning of August with more fun Back to School topics for you including: 
  1. Picking a Classroom Theme
  2. Setting Up Your Classroom
  3. Money Saving Tips for Back to School Sales
  4. Starting Your Morning Off Right
  5. Managing the I'm Done Now What-ers
  6. Homework they Love to do

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