Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been connecting with a bunch of teachers out there who are also experimenting with going paperless and starting digital notebooks. It’s exciting to see the growing number of educators who are trailblazing a new path for education in our digital world, so I started a new page for collecting my ideas on digital notebooks, and I also decided to go “open source” with my digital notebook resources this year.
For those of you who are curious what a digital notebook in action looks like, I’ve created an example notebook that will mirror my actual students notebooks and be updated throughout the year. You’ll be able to see how we digitize classwork, homework, and assessments, and also how we use the digital notebooks to track progress with learning logs. Hopefully this example notebook will inspire those of you starting up digital notebooks in your own classrooms and encourage those of you who are thinking of giving it a try. I’d love to hear from you if you have questions or your own experiences to share!
Here’s the link to check out this example notebook. We’re starting off the year with a unit on Scientific Inquiry, so that’s the only section you’ll see changes to in this first month, and then we’ll be moving on to ecology, chemistry, and geology. I’ll attempt to keep as many documents as possible viewable to all so you can get a complete sense of how the notebooks works.
For more information on how I set up this notebook, check out the tutorial videos here. This year I am using a combination of Hapara and Google Classroom to facilitate the sharing and management of digital documents. I know this is a bit redundant, but at the moment Google Classroom is really designed for assignments only (though this may change with updates), so I’m using Classroom for that and Hapara for all other types of documents. My colleague is using Google Classroom exclusively, so that is a viable alternative, he just makes sure to label documents clearly (CLASS or HOMEWORK) and sets the mandatory due dates for class documents for a year from now so they don’t annoyingly populate the “Upcoming Assignments” box.
Keep the questions coming and the discussion going! Coming soon: Digital lesson from paper: how I’m trying to translate the best of interactive science notebooks to the digital realm.