Writing, as a pursuit, can be a private pursuit. Writing on a blog is not private, it’s public, but the funny thing is, you may not always feel you have an audience. One person could read your blog post, or 100s, and you don’t really get a reaction unless you have comments turned on and people have something to respond to. Writers also have more established forms of public sharing, through books, magazines, the newspaper, etc. Finally, a lot of writing that takes place in schools is not public nor private, it’s what we might call semi-public. Your teacher and maybe a peer would read your work. Often that writing is to a certain specification, to ensure you are practicing the craft of writing towards improvement.
So, it’s not often that we get to write in school. Illustrate our writing. And, have a guaranteed audience that we know will read our work and give us immediate feedback. But 4th graders at Goochland Elementary recently had this opportunity through a collaborative effort of ITRT Zoe Parrish and classroom teacher Krystle Demas. Demas’ students had the opportunity in class to help Ms. Parrish define what an ebook was, then they were told they would be writing their own! And then they’d have the opportunity to share their ebooks on their iPads with preschool students next door.
The books were created with an app we installed as part of our 1:1 pilot called Book Creator, which allows students to create ePub “books” with multiple pages, text, images, and you can even insert video and audio. Students added sound files to each page so that preschool students could be “read to” when the students no longer were there. Ms. Parrish has since loaded the eBook collection on the iPads used at GES specialty center so that the preschool students can continue to enjoy the books created for them by Ms. Demas’ fourth grade students.
The books can be read on a variety of platforms. On the Macintosh, you can use iBooks in OS X Mavericks, and on iOS, you can use iBooks. Access all the books and materials used to deliver the lesson here. Kudos to Ms. Parrish and each and every one of Ms. Demas’ students for their problem solving and application of very creative skills! From what I hear, the preschool students enjoyed the experience immensely.