We are delighted to learn that Book Creator has been chosen as one of the best remote and blended learning tools of 2021 by Tech & Learning. This is great recognition for our efforts to support teachers during 2020 when lockdowns started to come into effect around the world.
“Despite the many challenges schools have had to face this past year, technology continues to be one of the key drivers for innovation. The winning products recognized here have supported continuous instruction throughout the pandemic, and we expect this momentum to continue into next year and beyond.”Christine Weiser, Tech & Learning Group Publisher
Remote learning – how we responded
At the beginning of March 2020 we all faced an unprecedented time. Schools began to close, and suddenly everyone everywhere had to adapt to a new way of learning. Likewise, our office closed and we were suddenly all working remotely! We initially saw a huge surge in the number of teachers signing up to Book Creator, and our engineering team had to work really hard to make sure that we could cope with the extra demand (unlike many other online tools, Book Creator experienced no downtime during lockdown!).
Free collaboration upgrade
Our real-time collaboration feature inside Book Creator is a premium feature. We gave everyone an extended trial, making it available for 90 days instead of the 14-day trial originally available.
And in fact we extended that for anyone who asked for it. This meant students could work together even if they couldn’t physically be together.
Guidance for home learning
It became clear that the scramble to switch to home learning was causing stress to parents and teachers alike. We tried to make the process as smooth as possible and were quick to publish a set of clear instructions to get started.
Our Teacher Success Manager, Jon Smith, estimates that he delivered close to 500 webinars over the course of 2020! We started delivering daily webinars on getting started with Book Creator, home learning, remote learning, and family-friendly projects. We also worked with our Ambassadors so these subjects were covered in other languages, such as ‘Aprendiendo a Distancia con Book Creator‘.
Ideas and inspiration
In some ways, there was an amazing sense of everyone being “in it together” in the early days of the pandemic. We saw some amazing examples of Book Creator being used from home and began collating them on our support for schools web page, alongside our own resources and ideas, which we later turned into a full remote learning hub on our website at bookcreator.com/remote-learning.
So proud of this student. He retold the story “It’s Okay to Make Mistakes” through @BookCreatorApp, videos and his own voice narrating the story. His whole family got involved to act out each page! So wonderful 😊💻📚👏🏻 @StClareOCSB #masterstoryteller #ocsbAtHome #Creativity pic.twitter.com/sAoQ5NCNyE— Ellen van de Loo (@ellengvo) April 17, 2020
@BookCreatorApp 📚has been a wonderful resource to use during #remoteteaching. I love hearing my students explain their math thinking as they use the voice record tool! AND...pictures of their learning progress is a BONUS too😀👩🏫!! #proudteacher #edtech pic.twitter.com/399YGo8Ea1— Britni Vienna (@MrsViennaOR) April 22, 2020
The Big Book Creator Activity Book
A month in and we could see that homeschooling was beginning to drag for a lot of people! We decided to create a resource that would give students and parents something fun and educational to work with at home, whilst introducing Book Creator at the same time.
The Big Book Creator Activity book was well received as an engaging way to get kids creating and learning via Book Creator. It was even translated into multiple languages by our Book Creator Ambassadors!
We followed that up with a Yearbook template. This would help classrooms celebrate and reflect on the end of the school year (even though they couldn’t have the traditional in-person parties). We also published a Back to School with Book Creator pack that helped schools get back to learning after the summer break.
Creativity can happen anywhere
Almost a year on, and we’re still working on ways to improve the remote learning experience for teachers, students and families. We tweaked the collaboration setup, improved the login process, launched an in-app training module, alongside lots of other great features, with more to come.
Book Creator is the perfect tool for remote learning:
- Keep students motivated
- No barriers to getting started
- Easy setup
- Remote collaboration
- Adaptable to your needs
- Move from the classroom to the kitchen
- Social Emotional Learning
- Support for teachers
We’re thrilled that Tech & Learning have chosen to recognise our efforts in this area.
What do you think?
Have you been using Book Creator for remote learning? How has your experience been? What do you appreciate the most, and what would you like to see us improve?
Not using Book Creator yet? Start creating for free
Dan Kemp is Tools for School’s Marketing & Community Manager. He spends his time spreading the word about Book Creator and supporting people who use it.