06 November, 2023

How we use digital learning apps like Book Creator as a vehicle for student inquiry at Northbridge

How we use digital learning apps like Book Creator as a vehicle for student inquiry at Northbridge-How we use digital learning apps like Book Creator as a vehicle for student inquiry at Northbridge-photo_2023-11-06_14-31-22
How we use digital learning apps like Book Creator as a vehicle for student inquiry at Northbridge

By Daragh Mangan
Primary Technology and Innovation Leader

Digital learning applications (or apps) are a form of online education software that aim to teach children with the aid of digital technology. At Northbridge International School Cambodia, we use digital learning apps as a vehicle for student inquiry, and carefully curate which digital platforms are used in classrooms to enhance learning. 

We encourage the use of applications that facilitate a broad range of learning experiences, and which foster creativity and self-expression in students. One such app is Book Creator, a digital multimedia writing platform that our teachers have been using frequently in our primary classrooms in recent months.

With technology playing an ever-growing role in the modern classroom, apps like Book Creator offer exciting possibilities for enhancing inquiry-based learning experiences. This article will outline some of the ways in which Book Creator can improve teaching and learning within our primary classes.

 

Teamwork and collaboration lie at the heart of student learning at Northbridge. With Book Creator, students can work together on shared books, whether they're in the same classroom or connecting remotely. This can lead to collaborative research projects, anthologies of student-written stories, or even class magazines that integrate various subject areas, allowing for the kind of deep transdisciplinary learning experiences that are central to the PYP.

 

Observing students using Book Creator in our classes, we do not see learners working individually with their eyes glued to a screen, but rather a group of engaged young people working in a collective space, where they can collaborate, challenge, and support each other.

 

Another key part of how Book Creator is used at Northbridge lies in its utility as a journalling tool. The ability of teachers to create, curate, and store digital libraries allow them to create personal learning journals for students, where they can track their own progress through each Unit of Inquiry. Here our learners can document their questions, reflections, findings, and conclusions. This not only provides a digital record of their learning journey, but also fosters reflection and metacognition.

 

The final innovation that the introduction of Book Creator has brought to our primary classrooms relates to its ability to incorporate various forms of design, themes, and multimedia tools within a single digital platform.

 

In traditional paper-based writing lessons, students are limited in how they can express themselves, often relying on written content and basic hand drawn pictures. Book Creator allows for the integration of many diffident forms of media, including written text, pictures, comic strips, embedded links, audio recordings, and video. Students are limited only by their own creative capacity, and are encouraged to experiment with combining various forms of media in order to engage their chosen audience.

 

Our upper primary students have been using these features to great effect when designing interactive business plans and advertisements as part of an enterprise project.

 

The integration of technology in the classroom, when used thoughtfully and purposefully, can profoundly enhance teaching and learning experiences. In the context of the IB PYP, apps like Book Creator can empower students to take charge of their learning, collaborate more effectively, and showcase their understandings in innovative and personalized ways.

The use of Book Creator and similar creative apps in our primary classrooms has allowed our students not just to document their own learning journey, but to celebrate it.