Interactive notebooks have been around for a long time. For years, I demonstrated how to use interactive notebooks in the classroom during reading and language workshops. Most of the time, I found the content to be uninspired and disconnected from students going through the motions. Once I discovered digital interactive notebooks using Google Slides, things began to change for my students.
It all started when I noticed a new twist to interactive notebooks in which students create and take notes in a more three-dimensional way. Students cut, color, glue, and highlight to help them connect to the material taught. This type of interaction encourages students to be more creative, independent thinkers.
I don’t know about you, but school supplies in the classroom can sometimes be a nightmare! Students eat their pencils and chew on their erasers, the glue dries up, and notebooks get full and fall apart. It took forever for students to create their notebooks, AND it was a lot of work for me, too. I no longer have to worry about this problem with digital interactive notebooks. Just grab a device and go!
Introducing Digital Interactive Notebooks
Typically, I introduce the app Book Creator to my teachers who have iPads in their classrooms. I love this app because students can add audio, video, images, and text to create an interactive notebook for any subject. The finished product can then export as a pdf, video, or iBook. It is AWESOME!
However, most teachers have Chromebooks or laptops. There is a free online version of Book Creator. Teachers have access to 1 library with up to 40 books for students to create. Book Creator is an excellent option, but you may not have the money to spend to upgrade. Your best bet is to use readily available software.
Here is My Solution
I create all my templates in Keynote for my iPad, so any of the software below would work for digital interactive notebooks:
- Google Slides/Presentations in Google Drive
- Book Creator
The districts I work with are Google districts, so creating digital interactive notebooks using Google Slides makes sense. Once your students have Google accounts, use Google Classroom to assign work and have students turn in their creations. Google Classroom allows you to share a template with students or give them assignments to create their notebooks from scratch.
Students can add content to their slides by using the text box to add text, add a URL of a YouTube video, and insert an image or drawing into the interactive notebook. Students can also link to other resources in the presentation of artifacts they make outside their Google Drive. The possibilities are endless! If you’d like to see a sample of a digital interactive notebook, click on the link below: