Integrated Science I wanted the students to create their own online textbooks based on their notes and activities from the EduChange program adopted by the school.
At a Substitution levels, students could just copy and paste to a Google Document, to organize individual notes.
At an Augmentation level, students in this class took advantage of the collaborative nature of a Google Presentation to create a group eTextbook. Students took on different roles, as they split the work, as indicated below. Therefore, students were cooperating to different parts of the eTextbook.
|Suggested student roles to differentiate etextbook creation|
Challenges of Time Constraints
One of the main concerns presented by the teachers is the time constraints for having a collaboratively created etextbook. As they are following EduChange Labs, those are prescribed to fit exactly their schedule, leaving no time for extras. So after some discussion we came to the following agreement, which seemed not only to improve the etextbook notetaking as a learning exercise but also to help teachers in their asassessment task.
eTextbook Notetaking as a Learning Exercise
The rationale for students taking on different roles in the etextbook creation is to allow for different perspectives and styles in notetaking and labs to emerge. That allows students to look at the topic in a different way, which will hopefully encourage interest in the etextbook as a study guide. Instead of the student creating a notebook with his/her own notes, different students will contribute with different parts of the etextbook . A step forward would be to have students on a single role negotiate their notes and either select the best one or mix the best parts of all of them. But for the sake of time, students will use notes from a single student each time, in that particular role.
eTextbook Facilitating Assessment
In the discussion with the teachers, it became clear that the eTextbook can be helpful in their task to assess student completion of their EduChange Lab docs. Instead of checking every student for every lab doc, teachers can assess the student contribution to the eTextbook. That would create a rotation and student roles would be chosen at random, making sure all are evaluated at some point. In this way students will have to keep up with good notes to be ready for the eTextbook.
Sample eTextbook. Work on Creative Commons and Citations.
This is a sample eTextbook, which was downloaded from Google Presentation into a PDF then uploaded to Calameo, which is an epublication application online. The students who took the role of image editors were responsible for searching on Creative Commons and writing citations to give credit to the images. Abiding by Copyright is a work in progress at the school and while many students are already aware and using Creative Commons, there may still be some use of images under Fair Use.
Students have been encouraged to create their own graphic organizers and images for the eTextbooks, so they will be slowly adding their own multimedia remix of the notes. We also want to explore the Commenting feature of Calameo to get feedback from other schools who use those eTextbooks.
At a Redefinition level we would have our students interact and collaborate with students from other schools in the feedback >reflect> review process of eTextbook creation.