6 Reasons You Need to Start the Year with Digital Interactive Notebooks - Jen Kimbrell

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The beginning of the school year is when you set your expectations and create the routine and procedures that serve your students throughout the year. Many teachers ask me when is the best time to introduce technology. My advice is always to start using technology from the beginning of the year! Now that we are in an unprecedented time in history where education practice is concerned, you must take a look at implementing digital interactive notebooks in your classroom. 

Most teachers need help teaching in a blended learning setting. Some days students may be at home and some days at school. So, as teachers, we need to find ways to alleviate the stress that traditional methods may cause to parents and students. Students will not be able to carry home notebooks for every subject! Digital interactive notebooks are the answer! Here are six more reasons why you should be using this fantastic tool in your room!

What is an Interactive Notebook

An interactive notebook is usually a composition notebook with glued graphs, anchor charts, and other resources. Interactive notebooks are great tools for students to use as a study guide and a way for them to show what they know about the topic or subject. However, they can be a pain in terms of planning, cleanliness, and time. Good thing there is a way to fix that!

1: No More Mess

Many teachers complain that traditional interactive notebooks are a mess. Between the glue, over-stuffed notebooks, and paper scraps on the floor, interactive notebooks are a nightmare, even if you aren't a neat freak. However, when you make your interactive notebook digital, you completely get rid of the mess, which makes your job easier. Not only does it make less of a mess, but it also means you have fewer supplies to purchase as well! Bonus, if you're a minimalist like me, you won't have so much “stuff” just sitting around.

2: Digital Interactive Notebooks Save YOU Time

When you use an interactive notebook, you usually have to make tons of copies to pass out to students. With digital interactive notebooks, you no longer have to stand in long lines waiting for the copy machine, and now, you don't have to worry about how you are going to get the copies to your students who are not in school that day. 

Plus, when you make your interactive notebooks digital, you have less to bring home and have everything you need with just a click of a mouse. So grading is a breeze!

3: Stop Wasting Class Time

Anything with an arts and craft element is bound to take more time. If I tell my students they need to color or decorate something, they need a strict time limit to get it done on time. When you make it digital, they no longer have to cut and paste, AND they can make changes as required. Plus, there is no need to waste class time cleaning up.

But the biggest reason related to no more wasted class time is teachers can add their lessons to the digital interactive notebooks as videos. Students watch lessons right from their notebook. Think of it as a way to house your flipped video lessons.

4: Focus on Student-Centered Learning with Digital Interactive Notebooks

Interactive notebooks are great resources for students, but digital interactive notebooks focus on student-centered learning if done correctly.

I know how I use digital interactive notebooks is a bit different from most. Still, my focus is to move students through activities that deepen their depth of knowledge about a topic. By using 21st-century tools, students can show what they know about a particular subject, and these tools make it easier for teachers to differentiate instruction. 

Another great thing about going digital is that it is not an all or nothing resource. Suppose students need to use traditional methods (pen, paper, book) to finish an assignment, no problem. Once students complete the task, they can take a picture and add it to their notebook for teacher input. 

5: Be Prepared for Distance Learning

It's safe to say we are living in a different world right now. We never know what's going to happen and when it's going to happen. Depending on where you are, you might be starting the 2020 school year online. If distance-learning is something you are worried about, you can use digital interactive notebooks to keep you and your students organized. 

Also, because it's digital, you can assess that students understand the material on the go while practicing social distancing. You may add comments, tasks, digital stickers, and resources right in their notebook. 

6: Students Love Digital Interactive Notebooks

Students love technology! It's time to learn how to take the curriculum you need to teach and infuse the technology appropriately. As teachers, we must STOP using devices as consumption devices! Students need to learn how to create and personalize their learning. Using digital interactive notebooks is a significant first step to this change in philosophy, and you should implement them on day one.

So what's next? Do you know where to start? My goal is to help you. If you've never heard of digital interactive notebooks, you should check out this post and grab my free graphic organizers

If you are looking for already made lessons you can use in your classroom this year, you will want to look at my already made templates and units. You can find them here.

However, if you are ready to learn how to integrate technology so that it supports your curricular goals and help take the stress out of the upcoming year, let me help give you the confidence you need to get started. Check out my Let's Get Digital course to help you. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below and ask away. 

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