I get discouraged when I hear teacher’s complain about their “outdated” textbooks. Equally frustrating is when a new course is developed, the first thing some teachers want is the textbook for the course. Some teachers treat the textbook like it is the curriculum guide. Sure, there are some good chapters in textbooks, but Manitoba Education had never intended teachers to work through a textbook from cover to cover. There has never been a “textbook” for Visual Arts, music, physical education, and likely many more subjects at many levels including high school.
Want a better textbook? Create it with your students. There are so many places to gather information that could be reformatted to create your own “textbook”. Use a wiki like Wikispaces. Use a free online web editor like Weebly. Create the book on your iPad with various tools like Book Creator or Creative Book Builder. Got a Mac? Use iBooks Author, today’s premier free tool for creating books. Learn more here.
Teachers know their content. They REALLY know their content. Why? Because they have taught it, probably many times. If our students had the opportunity to teach others, would they become masters of content?
Digital Storytelling is a passion of mine. Today we have so many tools available to tell a good story with text, pictures, video, and sound. If you don’t have video editing software available there are a number of online sites to complete the task, and many are free. One that I have been exploring lately is WeVideo. WeVideo is an online video creation platform that helps you tell compelling stories and share them with a larger audience.
What is the best use for iPads. When I was first introduced to the iPad a few years ago I saw it as a way to consume information. I could find out all kinds of information but I did not understand their potential as an instrument of creation. With all the apps that are available plus the free built in features, there is no question that the iPad is a fantastic tool for creation. If students are just using iPads as a drill and practice tool the devices are being greatly underutilized. Check out this article to see how they can be used for Digital Storytelling.