Incorporating student-centered learning is made easier through Book Creator and here’s why.
We came onboard with Book Creator early on through the iPad app but then saw the power in being able to utilize the online version with students in grade K-6 anytime, anywhere. Book Creator has continued to evolve with our changing educational needs. It is now a tool that supports our teaching and learning – not just a tool for creating a final product.
Amplifying student voice
As the Innovation and Technology coach at Pleasant Valley Community School District, we’ve seen K-6 grade students find their voice and be able to share new ideas and learning in so many different media formats available on Book Creator.
We believe in putting students at the centre of their learning experience and this requires a shift in our instruction. By using Book Creator, the student is creatively documenting what they are learning and how they are growing. The impact is two-fold: 1) how we deliver instruction and 2) what we expect of our students and the opportunities that they now have access to.
Another lesson idea was brought alight during COVID as we were looking for ways to not only manage the workflow of students in a hybrid learning situation, but to create a ‘learning experience’. We needed a motivating, fresh and creative digital tool so we landed on Book Creator and have now incorporated this incredible tool in multiple classrooms as an ongoing digital portfolio of the work during the year.
Each day the teacher adds a page into a student’s digital book. It might be a picture of the day’s discussion from a sketch note, a link to an article, an image or a writing prompt. But then the magic begins.
Project ideas to motivate and engage students
We have used Book Creator as a “home” to house student inquiry work. Students follow their regular journey of inquiry, researching, taking notes, questioning and writing but the work changes when they realize they’ll be able to share out their thinking and synthesis of ideas with a global audience. Students care more about their work and are motivated to create a final product that showcases their creativity and collaboration.
When given the option to add their voice, their images, their drawings, their design to the work, miraculously the ideas begin to breathe a life of their own. For us, it’s a win/win.
When we’re finished, students have this powerful, colorful and creative portfolio of their learning journey for the unit. Not only does it speak volumes about their learning progress, it is a recorded document for the instructor about every day of student learning. Their work is gathered in a meaningful and reflective manner. We will continue to utilize Book Creator as an ongoing portfolio that celebrates students growth and puts them at the very center of the learning experience.
Students are given one day’s work that is related and connected to the work in class. They then begin to craft their unique thinking and responses via a picture, an audio, writing, etc. At night, we give them feedback. The next day, they make edits and clarifications on their previous work. And, so the cycle continues.
The power of simplicity in the classroom
Book Creator provides a simple platform for creativity and with a couple of clicks, they get to choose how they are going to share their learning journey. Assessment then becomes an ongoing experience vs. a final test at the end of a unit which helps to keep the students engaged and motivated as they are ‘free’ to showcase their experiences.
Book Creator Ambassador, Innovative Tech Coach – Teacher Librarian, Adjunct prof – University of Iowa