As I complete my finals week I want to give a shout out to an app that is phenomenal in terms of the way that it is transformational in the classroom environment. That app is Creative Book Builder. My students have been using CBB all year long to create their own math/science textbooks. This post outlines how this app relates to the three C’s as it changes the concept of what a high school classroom looks like and what a final exam looks like.
Curriculum Rigor- This app is a great way for students to connect the big ideas and enduring understandings of each unit of the school year. As part of each one of my final exams in math and science my students were required to go into their CBB app and choose the chapter that was their favorite unit of study. Then they had to make a 60 second screencast in Educreations, which incorporated EQs, EUs, photos and practice problems. The results were amazing. Not only that but it helps to change the concept that work is something that starts and ends. The students were not rushing to finish something so the work could be done but they were spending every last second perfecting their screencasts. The ultimate compliment is when a child is so engaged in what they are doing that they do not want to leave your class. CBB fosters that atmosphere in my classroom.
Collaboration- CBB also lets the students’ import photo and video feed from our labs into the book. The kids can work in pairs to create content area flashcards in Quizlet and the app has a setting that allows you to import those flashcards. Most importantly the app has a setting that allows you to directly import You Tube videos that have been created by students all over the world. This helps redefine the physical structure that is the classroom because my students are learning from other exciting content that was created in other classrooms. When we are starting a new unit I will tell them “find a rap about parabolas and import it into your CBB”. You would be amazed with amount of student-generated content related to math and science that is student created and FUN!! There are Lady Gaga, Adele, and Queen songs that have been rewritten about the quadratic formula: WHO KNEW?!?!
Creativity- Most importantly it gives the students the power of being curators and authors of their own learning experience. Students can create their own QR codes and place them into the book. A new feature allows students to add their own drawings as a new feature, which is great for math and science. You can also import MP3 and M4A files, keynote and numbers documents from Dropbox or Google Drive. The river of creativity runneth plentiful in my classroom in 2012-2013 with CBB.