This teacher had a theory: using Book Creator in his science class would make students more engaged. Was he right?
Looking for ways to enhance curriculum areas
Our school constantly looks for new ways that iPads can be used to enhance curriculum areas. We have two full class sets of iPads that are shared by all year groups.
When we originally purchased our iPads, Book Creator was recommended to us by the sales team and we have used it many times.
Originally, we used Book Creator in English lessons, where children enjoyed producing more creative and interactive pieces, using the various tools, such as images for scenes in their stories or to link with the subject of their non-fiction work.
It also helped our younger years’ classes, both with writing and speaking and listening because the children were able to record their sentences, using the microphone tool.
Moreover, we have a significant number of children who speak English as an additional language, so Book Creator provides excellent support for them too because they are able to practice both their written and speaking skills simultaneously.
Realising the potential of Book Creator, I wanted to see how effective it would be in other subject areas. In this instance, we used it in Science. The children were investigating the importance of surface area when thinking about floating and sinking. I felt this would be a good fit because it would help to immerse the children in the experiment.
The children then used the camera feature and took photos of the apparatus that they were going to use.
Rather than attempting to record their results in some way, the children could record the experiment taking place, using the video feature, so that the results were clear and visible for themselves and the reader.
Finally, when the children were trying to explain their results, they were able to use the pen tool to support their ideas with diagrams.
It worked extremely well!
- The books provided a memory aid for students because they were be able to look again at photographs of the apparatus and videos from the experiment alongside their written work and diagrams.
- The children worked more collaboratively because they used the audio tool to record all of their group’s predictions quickly and easily in the experiment write up.
- Most importantly, the children enjoyed this new way of recording a science experiment and were ultimately even more focused and engaged.
Steve Worrall is a primary school teacher and Computing leader at Bowker Vale Primary School in Manchester, England. The school has developed a leading role in its creative and innovative use of ICT, especially the use of iPads.