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Educated By Design Blog

Filtering by Tag: book creator

What A Little Audio Can Do

TheTechRabbi

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There is something powerful about the spoken word. When it's accompanied by a striking visual it can leave the listener thinking, wondering, looking for more. It is this auditory advantage that can bring amazing life and dynamic to your classroom. It is through such a medium that we can take our student learning to a very new and different place. Recording isn't new to education, but it has throughout the 20th-Century been mainly a consuming experience. It really isn't until the mid 2000's that student production was practical or even really possible in an elementary or middle school classroom. For those that tout experiences of multimedia production in the 90's and on, its usually safe to assume that the median age of these producers was around 20. Without name dropping brands and devices, there is something magical about having an all in one filming, editing, and production center all together in your lap. Today, you can do so much more than simply film on site, you can be in post production before you even make it home.

So what are some ways that audio can completely transform your classroom?

Close Reading

Take Book Creator, Explain Everything or any app with recording capability and challenge your students to not just annotate their books but talk about it. Share out those ideas. They can be raw, short, and ready for a response. What if our students could learn not just from a teacher but from their peers deep understanding of content, or even students working towards mastery. Either way, if its constructive both students will benefit.

Audio Book

If you aren't quite ready to retire powerpoint presentations, at least skip one for a truly awesome experience. Book Creator again will serve as a foundation for the publication. Students can use drawings, props, and royalty free images to develop a storyline that informs the viewer of specific content. Lay audio over to give it an audio-visual experience. If its not enough, let the imagery be the audio buttons to bolster interactivity and try to work in some choice for user experience.

Math

Interested in seeing your students math skills? While I am no math whiz, I know that involving multiple senses and learning modalities will not only increase engagement but it will also boost learning outcomes. Empower students to make their own Khan Academy style videos. Don't worry they aren't for you, they are for their peers. Break up your class into levels and challenge the advanced students to teach the students working towards mastery. The best part about it? Students can pause the video, but are still trying to discover how to pause the teacher.

Foreign Languages

What's the secret to learning a foreign language? Practice. Students tend to pick up reading, writing, and listening skills faster than speaking. This is in part due to a lack of confidence and comfort in speaking a new language. Book Creator to the rescue. Let students record either raw conversations, or have them read, translate, and respond to inserted text on the page. This pushes the student while giving others a great experience to learn from as well.

These are just a few ideas to get the imagination running. Audio has huge benefits not just for sharing content but building students communication skills both written (script writing), and oral (recording). These types of experiences can bring out the best in a quiet student, or one who has fine motor challenges preventing them from writing or even typing. The possibilities are almost endless, and it is with this that I say

A little audio can go a long way.

 

 

 

Rewriting History with Book Creator

TheTechRabbi

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One of the challenges of teaching history is that it doesn't change much. While there may be a discovery here and there, it is rare that any sort of drastic discovery might alter the learning experience of a student in history class. Thanks to various technology innovations like the internet and computing technology, this challenge can also be turned into history. That is if as an educator we are willing to be open to the possibility that we are not the all knowing fountain of knowledge, and that our 20-year old textbook might need an upgrade? But who can afford textbooks?!!?

Worry not! We have a classroom of historical researchers and thinkers and the tools to empower them to create their own history book.

In an 8th-grade history class, we did just that. In collaboration with Ilana Zadok, 8th-grade history teacher, we set out to challenge our students to build their own Revolutionary War publication. We wanted it to be something that is 100% student-produced with the goal that others could learn and in the end benefit from the students work. Our students set out to research various events of the Revolutionary War, focusing on primary sources and first-hand encounters. With this research in hand students because to create a window into the past. Through creative writing, photos, and student-produced films these events began to take life through the lens of the students. With all of this amazing content gathered and produced we were at a loss of where to compile it and share it out.

Book Creator to the Rescue!

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After the content was created students imported it into Book Creator and used its features to layout an interactive book full of written, visual, and audial expressions. Each group of students then created an assessment quiz at the end to demonstrate their understanding of the content and to challenge their peers to delve deep into their work. In the end students learned from their peers gaining a deep understanding of a specific Revolutionary event and a general overview of the entire war. With the success of this unit, there was so much more accomplished besides the memorization of battles and soldiers. Students developed important skills in communication, both visually, and verbally. Collaboration, Cooperation, Organization, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving all played a role in this production.

The end result was an 110-page publication that pushed the limits of student learning and technology itself. The Book Creator file was 1GB and due to its size would not export from the iPad. With a little bit of praying and 4 hours of work on my part, I was able to get the file down to 610MB without sacrificing one iota of student work and airdrop it to the students iPads to experience their hard work first hand.

Here are a few screenshots and videos from the publication.

Enjoy.Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 11.50.15 AM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 11.50.40 AM

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A Historical Approach to the Invisible iPad

TheTechRabbi

I am honored and excited to run a guest post by Ilana Zadok, a colleague, and a talented and innovative educator. Ilana and I have worked over the past two years on a project that supports student led learning of the Revolutionary War. Without further adieu, enjoy the article. Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 1.21.55 PM

by: Ilana Zadok, 8th Grade Educator

Gone are the days of teachers at the front of the room telling students which pages to flip in the History textbook for the sake of memorizing dates and facts.

Here are the days of the teacher facilitating learning as students conduct independent research to become mini experts on a topic and then collaborating grade-wide to create a digital book using the app Book Creator.

After receiving mini lessons on research, newspaper article writing and design and layout 8th graders set out on a month long journey to learn and discover the events leading up to and including Revolutionary War. This wasn’t an iPad lesson to enhance a unit.

This was a project that through the use of technology supported learning by the students for the students.

Let me explain.

The timeline was divided and each pairing of students chose an event.  They were responsible for researching their event taking into account the various perspectives of the time and referencing authentic primary sources-this is in line with the Historical Thinking methodology of teaching History which is the backbone of this class.

Each group was responsible for the creation of a 7-9 page digital book using the app Book Creator which included:

  • 2 student written newspaper articles highlighting two different points of view.  For example, one article was from the British perspective while the other was from the Patriot perspective.
  • 1 image per page
  • 2 uses of original audio
  • 2 original videos
  • A 5 question assessment which matched the creators goals for understanding
  • A design and layout that stayed true to the time period and considered the emotions being evoked in the content.

Students were encouraged to make very thoughtful choices as to how the various parts worked to enhance their overall message.  They understood that each piece had to serve a certain purpose. They were pushed to articulate what that purpose was.

After 1 week of research and 2 weeks of creation, the students were ready to combine their books.

For the next few days, each student individually with headphones in their ears focussed and interested read through the digital book created by their peers.

In order to hold the students accountable for the content, each student wrote 3 level 3 QAR (Question-Answer Relationship) questions for each mini book in which they had to show that they were thinking about the text.

The students then began the process of reflection in which they gave feedback to their peers for each book in regards to design, layout and content thoroughness.

Lastly, they wrote paragraphs assessing how the process of using Book Creator impacted their own personal learning.

This unit was a success!  Book Creator allowed the students the room and flexibility to bring their interests and talents to the table.  One student used an animation app to fulfill the video requirement, where another student created a piece of music to fulfill the audio requirement. They extended their research to learn about the clothing, food, and more.  They were able to give each other compliments and constructive criticism that was based on the language used in the mini lessons. And, they showed content knowledge.

To highlight the success, here are two of my favorite anecdotes:

One student asked if I’d consider offering the combined book to next year’s class as their textbook.  That showed me that he had such pride in his work and felt that the quality was worthy of substituting other resources.

But my ultimate measure of success was a shy boy who struggles to learn came over to me weeks after the completion of the project to thank me for the experience of creating the iBook.  He said that he feels that he really understands the Revolutionary War period because of it.

Thank me for learning??!!  Didn’t see that coming.