Are you a middle or high school science teacher? Are you searching for ways to make your lessons more effective?
There are over 2 million K-12 science teachers in public and private schools in the United States. Roughly 400,000 teach in the middle and high school levels. Since science is one of the most complex subjects, teachers need to ensure the accuracy of their material but at the same time, ensure their students are engaged and learning in the most effective manner.
They need to make sure their students absorb everything they teach.
This is where digital interactive notebooks come into play. These notebooks offer more than what traditional notebooks bring to the table.
Continue reading below as we discover digital interactive notebooks. Let us find out why they fit best inside a science classroom.
Digital Interactive Notebooks: Reasons to Have Them in Your Classroom
A digital interactive notebook differs from traditional notebooks in many ways. The latter only serves as a medium where students write down their notes. This is regardless if they understood the lessons or not.
The former, on the other hand, involves two parts: the input and the output.
The input pertains to the actual notes that the teacher controls. On the flipside, the output involves the application of the information. This is something that the students control.
In this example below, the output is the vocabulary section where the students drag-and-drop the definitions below into the correct box above.
Digital Interactive Notebooks vs. Interactive Notebooks
You may have used interactive notebooks in your class, maybe not. They have many of the same qualities as their digital counterparts but they also have many drawbacks.
They require A LOT of materials. This material needs to be purchased, transported, and stored which means more work for you. With digital interactive notebooks, there are no supplies (other than the device used) and very little storage.
Interactive notebooks are messy. All that cutting and gluing is a pain and can create a huge mess.
With interactive notebooks, you either need to keep them in class or risk them being lost if they’re taken home. This can be a huge problem. Digital notebooks though are completely online. Your students can do them in class then pick up where they left off on their computer or tablet at home.
If you’d like to see what my DINB really look like just enter your email address below and I’ll send you a sample.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you need to start using digital interactive notebooks in your classroom.
Builds and Strengthens Interactions
Digital interactive notebooks build and strengthen interactions between the student, the teacher, and the parents. Since Digital Interactive Notebooks can be completed anywhere (something that is difficult to do with paper-based interactive notebooks, the teacher can assign a task to be completed at home. The student can record their answers/work inside the digital notebook which is immediately accessible by the teacher. No more forgetting to bring it the next day.
In addition, parents can follow along and gain a better understanding of what is going on in the classroom.
These digital notebooks put an emphasis on interactions. Interactions, according to studies, are crucial in science and technology classrooms.
Takes Learning Everywhere
Since digital interactive notebooks work on personal devices, you and your students can take learning everywhere you go. Students can access these digital notebooks through their cellphones, laptops, and other mobile devices.
Whether it’s inside the classroom or in their bedroom, they can review their lessons anywhere and anytime they want. As a teacher, you can likewise access their work and mark it from anywhere. Also as mentioned above, there’s no forgetting it at home. The students’ work is immediately available and as the teacher, you can track their progress as they move through the assignment.
Develops Student Ownership
Digital interactive notebooks come with features that allow students to personalize their notes. These notebooks serve as a means for students to showcase their creativity while learning.
Students can use drag-and-drop features to arrange their notes the way they want. This helps them sort their lessons and keep themselves organized. Students can also use embedded videos or record their own auditory answers right in the document.
This makes it easier for them to backtrack on their previous lessons. This gives them a sense of ownership.
As we mentioned earlier, digital interactive notebooks come in two parts: the input and the output. Moreover, these notebooks strike a balance between the two.
After receiving input from the teachers, students start to interact with their notes. They can highlight the key points of the lessons. They can also put annotations on brief articles.
With a regular notebook, students have the tendency to forget important parts of the lesson after writing them down.
Through a digital interactive notebook, students can use the content and skills that break the “forgetting cycle.” They are able to imprint their learnings and make them part of their long-term memories.
Improves Lecture and Note-Taking
Traditional teaching methods involve hours of lectures. There is only a little time for question-and-answer intervals between teacher and students. Through digital interactive notebooks, you can have shorter lectures that connect with activities within the notebooks themselves.
Studies show that these lectures yield better results in the students’ understanding.
What you teach can be immediately extended upon inside the notebook.
Improves Teacher Organization
As a teacher, you want to embody a sense of excellence. You want your students to see excellence in the way you organize your tasks.
Digital interactive notebooks can help you impart the value of organizing to your students. These notebooks let them organize their notes so that they can find and use them a later date.
In addition, my digital interactive notebooks have a built-in table of contents page. This helps the students organize their notes and arrange them according to dates, page numbers, descriptions, and topics.
Better Tracking of Growth
Since digital interactive notebooks allow students to come up with an output, you can easily track their growth and learnings You will gain a better understanding of how your students absorb your lectures and what needs to be reviewed.
You can simply look into their notes and see how they synthesize the information that they get from you. You will identify the students who are fast learners and those who require more of your assistance.
In addition, you can collate your students’ respective outputs. You can present them to their parents. You can even use them as examples for future classes.
Reduce Classroom Clutter
Digital interactive notebooks allow students to take down notes without the use off any physical paper or other supplies. No glue, scissors, glitter, or paper needed. In turn, this helps reduce the clutter inside your classroom. Students can organize and arrange their notes faster with just a few clicks from their devices.
Students will no longer lose or misplace their notes. And by partnering these notebooks with different technologies, you can further eliminate the mess. You can turn your classroom into a more efficient one and cut costs by reducing your need for supplies.
Fosters Cross-Curricular Learning
Last but not least, digital interactive notebooks foster a cross-curricular approach to learning. This means your students can use these notebooks in other classes and subject areas.
You can use digital interactive notebooks in classes that involve skill and content. These subjects include math, history, reading, language, and the arts. Students can apply the same organizational skills in these subjects.
Become a More Efficient Teacher, Today!
With the complexities that come with science subjects, you want to make learning fun and easy. As a teacher, you want to have a class that effectively absorbs your lessons. By encouraging the use of digital interactive notebooks, you are hitting these two goals with one stone. If you’d like to check out my selection of Digital Interactive Notebooks, please click here.
But becoming a more efficient teacher involves other aspects. I invite you to become a TFW Store Member. I offer hundreds of activities and lessons that will help you maximize your time and increase your students’ understanding.