Paper-and-pencil notebooks have been valuable learning resources for many years. Digital notebooks provide additional learning opportunities because they allow teachers and students to share individualized notebooks that can include videos, images, text, or audio. These notebooks will often have a similar template, created by a teacher so that each member of the class has the same initial resources. These resources could include activities to complete, videos to watch, spaces for reflection, and more.
By providing students with a similar jumping-off point, these notebooks can support students with moving through course content as a group or in more individualized ways, depending on their preference and their teacher’s wants. Additionally, the digital nature allows students and teachers to include different media in their notebooks, opens new ways for them to dialogue with each other, and also enables them to share their product more easily with a wider audience if desired.
This year, I wanted to find a solution to teaching in a paperless model. I thought students were going to lose track of all the documents. The digital notebook allows me to organize a chapter for them. It’s visually clean and students navigate through the different sections like a real notebook.
Students received their personal copy of their digital notebook for each one of our lessons of study. In it, they have exercises for homework, for in-class work, or even links for extra practice. I’ve found this tool valuable because it makes homework more interactive, even for asynchronous assignments. I can embed a video in a slide, ask students to move items in a slide (drag and drop), fill in the blanks, audio exercises, writing, etc. The possibilities are endless with Google slides.
Though I’ve relied on this tool in part in response to the needs of remote instruction, I am definitely continuing with digital notebooks in future years. I love them and the students say they help them learn and review the material.