Student interactive notebooks have been around for a long time. For years, I demonstrated how to use interactive notebooks in the classroom during reading and language workshop. Most of the time, I found the content of the notebooks to be uninspired and disconnected ideas from students who were going through the motions. For the last couple of years, I have seen a new twist on interactive notebooks in which students create and take notes in a more three-dimensional way. Students can cut, color, glue and highlight throughout their notebooks to help them connect to the material being taught. This type of interaction encourages students to be more creative, independent thinkers.
But what if I told you to chunk your old composition notebooks, glue, tabs, sticky notes, and pencils? I don’t know about you, but school supplies in the classroom can sometimes be a nightmare! Students eat their pencils, chew on their erasers, the glue dries up, and notebooks get full and fall apart. With a digital interactive notebook, you no longer have to worry about this problem. Just grab a device and go!
This year I have been working with teachers who have either class sets of iPads or class sets of laptops. It has been challenging to recreate what students can do with the iPads on the laptops. I find when it comes to creation the iPad is the easiest tool for students to use. For example, I have written about how I use interactive notebooks with iPads with the app Book Creator. You can find all my posts on Interactive Notebooks here. In Book Creator, students can add audio, video, images, and text to create an interactive notebook in any subject. The finished product can then export as a pdf, video, or iBook. It is AWESOME! But when teachers with Chromebooks or laptops ask if I have units similar for their devices, I have had to say no. So I have been trying to think of ways in which teachers can create interactive notebooks with a laptop, and this post will explain what I have come up with so far.
The first step is to go GOOGLE! You can have students use one of the following tools:
- Google Slides/Presentations in Google Drive
The districts I work with are Google districts. I personally would use Google Slides to create my interactive notebooks as long as your students have Google accounts. If you are in a Google domain district and do not have Google accounts set up for students, I would encourage you to talk with your technology department about setting up student emails.
Once your students have Google accounts, use Google Classroom to assign students’ work and have students turn in their creations. Google Classroom will allow you to share a template to students for their interactive notebooks or give them assignments to create on their own from scratch. If you would like to learn more about how this works watch this very short and (very fast) video I created below: