I learned about digital interactive notebooks last spring (2020) via different Facebook groups. The teacher creates activities (or copies and pastes activities) into a Google Slides presentation. There are places in the presentation for students to write, upload work, etc. Then, using Google Classroom, the teacher creates an assignment and makes a copy of the entire Google Slides presentation for each student.
Rather than having to turn each individual piece of work in, the students have the same Google Classroom assignment to work on throughout the unit.
Some things to keep in mind:
- This may not be the best idea for every teacher or for every course.
- The initial formatting of the Google Slides presentation can be extremely time-consuming.
- I used free templates from www.slidesmania.com (and chose the landscape formats, which are easier to see on a laptop screen).
- Be careful with copyrighted materials. This is ideal if you are using teacher-created materials and materials that can be used freely for educational purposes.
- I created a cover slide with a table of contents so that students could use the page number hyperlinks to jump to the assigned slide.
- I wrote your instructions in the “speaker notes” section. Be very clear so that students understand the task.
- Once the notebook has been created and assigned, the day-to-day operations are easy! For example, you can tell your class to read the selection on slide #5, and to complete slides #6 and #7 for homework.
- If students are absent, they already have the material for the unit, so it is less time-consuming for the teacher to give them the material from their absence.
- Teachers can choose what to grade and what not to grade.
Why I liked using digital interactive notebooks:
- They can be used on any device that is connected to the internet if created in Google Slides.
- During our online and hybrid learning periods, this format helped me to plan the same activities for online and in-person students.
- These digital interactive notebooks allowed me to give feedback to students more easily to help them improve and grow as learners.
- This was also a good way to give students choice in class assignments. (Example: Do the activity on slide #9, 10, or 11.)
- You can embed video and audio files directly into Google Slides presentations.
- This was a wonderful tool for delivering content, as well as allowing students to develop interpersonal, presentational, and interpretive skills.
- Students who have a hard time with organization have all of their unit materials in one place.
Some resources to help:
By: Elena Serapiglia
Amity Regional High School, Woodbridge CT