For our last day of class with a “normal” schedule (today), I met with my students in our school’s 21st-century learning space. There’s a sampling of flexible furniture, a corner with stadium seating, iMacs, a big-screen TV, an Apple TV, tables that also serve as white boards… chairs on wheels, couches with charging stations… it’s a great space!
Students’ first task today was to finalize their multi-touch math books and submit them to me. Since some student groups were able to virtually turn in their books last Friday, I was able to embed their .ePub files on my teacher website, and use each unique URL to share all of the books in a ThingLink. Student groups downloaded and read no less than five books authored by their peers.
Blue, green and yellow “nubbins” in the ThingLink will provide .ePub files that are viewed quite nicely in iBooks. Since this was our first Book Creator experience, and it wasn’t “graded”, I learned a lot about how I might change this sort of task for next time (when it *will* be “graded”): 1) I’d definitely create a very specific checklist or rubric. This time, I wanted to see what features students gravitated to when few requirements were given. I’d like to see more variety as far as tools and apps for content delivery from some student groups. We’ll do a better job next time to take full advantage of this being a multi-touch book with interactive features. I also need to do a better job of “quality control”. I hate to say, “It must be so-and-so number of pages with such-and-such media” but these kids need that kind of structure. Some projects are great, and some are sub-par. 2) I’d provide a structured way for peer review before submitting the books to me. This time, *I* tried to intercept errors (if you download a few books, you’ll see I didn’t omit them all this time and wanted to feature student work for the sake of discussion even with errors). 3) I’d have a specific list of math book topics for students. Whether I generate the list, or we create it together, it will be less of a free-for-all next time. We’ll author books for a specific purpose (Preparing for semester exams in December? For STAAR testing? As a summarizing project each quarter in replacement of a traditional “test”?) Do you have checklists or rubrics to share that might fit a task like this? Any advice or suggestions based on your own experiences? Feel free to share in the comments section.
Thanks to Dan Kemp for featuring this project on the Book Creator blog!
— Book Creator Team (@BookCreatorApp) June 20, 2014