Friday, April 10, 2015

Historic Use of Books

The beauty of sharing things in district and beyond is the impact that these projects have. Three years ago Tanna Fiske's 8th grade students used Book Creator to create children's book versions of historical events...

What Starts Here Impacts the World!

This model of collaboration and creativity has since then been revisited in HS ASL when Barbara Vinson's ASL classes reached out to the TSD (Texas School for the Deaf) to script original collaborative children's stories (see full project and book here). This particular ASL project was so inspiring that Book Creator caught wind of it and decided to do cover it (see article here). When Sam Gliksman, author of iPads in Education for Dummies saw the Book Creator post, he found this creation to be the perfect example of student created media to include in his upcoming book. One project three years ago has reverberated throughout the district and beyond.

Boring Power Points Have Been Transformed!

Needless to say that when Sal Ramirez asked what application would be best to use with his Gunpowder Empires Project... the resounding answer was... Book Creator. Rather than have students do "boring power points", students were to create a children's book that incorporated maps, dates, descriptions, important rulers, vocabulary, infrastructure, and types of government relating to the Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals.

Digital Designers:

Most of the projects also included original art work. The images below, excluding the map, were hand-drawn in Book Creator to give the finished project a child-like quality and appeal.

Digital Archival:

Truly not everything has to be digital in nature to convey the instructional merit of the project. One group opted to hand draw their book and then capture it with Book Creator so it could be easily archived and distributed.

Seussical Safavids...

Another group took a slightly different approach to this project and not only wrote the entire book in rhyme but incorporated a Seussical font.

While all of these projects differ in theme, delivery, and design, they all met (and even exceeded) the project requirements. Sal even notes that the technology provided more avenues for students to be successful in an efficient time frame:

"The creativity in this project was definitely enhanced by the technology available to the students. I have done these types of projects before with the traditional method (paper, glue, scissors, etc...) and although students still create great projects, the ease and versatility of the iPads helped with a faster moving project-process and more options for original ideas" 

Thinking Ahead...

Though Sal was pleased with the results of this project, he did mention that next year he would include:

  • Team-Building Activities before the project to help students build a rapport with one another when grouping are random.
  • Emphasis on Best Practices for Collaboration and Communication and how to stay in contact with one another outside of class to ensure project deadlines are met.

Stay tuned for info about future updates to this project. As we progress into our fifth year, we will also continue to reflect upon the changes to classroom, pedagogy, and instruction throughout our 1:1 iPad implementation.

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