How to create a digital interactive notebook

Interactive notebooks are all the rage lately. And I am very new to teaching, so much so that most of my experience has been what I like to call «pandemic teaching». And one of the most important tricks up my sleeve is how to create a digital interactive notebook and use it for science classes.

Now, this type of teaching has given rise to many new needs, among which is as much digitalization as possible. In my opinion this not only helps with a hypothetical quick shift into lockdown mode, but it allows me to grade student work much more efficiently and with much less risk of exposure. That is why I love to create my digital interactive notebooks!

Why use a digital interactive notebook in science classes?

In my school, where I currently teach STEM, in one of my two subjects, technology, we do not require a notebook. Now, this is high school technology so there are some theoretical concepts that are required by our standards.

Seeing how the students already are required to bring an iPad to school, it made sense to create digital interactive notebooks. Also, this would allow my students to gain much needed experience with powerpoint/google slides/keynote, also required in the curriculum.

Now, the main reason for using DINBs is that, well, I am very worried about students not being able to do the work they need to do during a lockdown imposed by a positive Coronavirus test.

These are strange times, but I am sure that the main concern I had in order to create the digital interactive notebooks will disappear, they will be a keeper. My students love them.

I use these notebooks pretty much in every class, because like I said, my students all have iPads . They are useful for many many different things. Most of all, I love that my students are acquiring knowledge of Powerpoint without realizing. I am basically tricking them into learning all the ins and outs of Google Slides (we are a GSuite school), so they can learn how to do most of the things they will need later on.

Also, because it is the first time they use an interactive notebook, they enjoy using it a lot. The new shiny innovation!!

My secrets on how to create a digital interactive notebook.

My secret weapon to create a digital interactive notebook

Creating a digital interactive notebook is super easy if you can use Google Slides. Now, I’m not going to give you a super duper detailed tutorial because there are plenty of tutorials. I just want to give you my secrets.

To make my digital interactive notebooks, I use Google Slides, and I make them in the «Master» view. I make the solutions fully in the master view, but then I get the things I want my students to move/write, and cut and paste those components onto the original slide and jumble them up.

This allows me to basically create my notebooks very very quickly by using basic templates. For example, if you need a certain template, say, you need your students to answer 4-5 questions in a page, make it one of your templates in the master view!

By using the master slides, you can make your notebooks quicker than with the powerpoint method. And the integration with Classroom is great, so you can make all sorts of assignments!

What type of activities can I do in a science interactive notebook?

Well, basically anyhting!

Now, I did have help on this one, and from my experience, teachers just need inspiration, and they will adapt almost everything to make the best for their students.

So… Here is the best video I have found for this type of inspiration to create digital interactive notebooks. She also explains how to do it very well!
Click here to watch the video I used as my inspiration.

Digital interactive notebooks and Google Classroom

If you have followed my little pro-tip of using Google Slides, then, putting it up for your students is the easiest thing EVER!

Just by clicking a couple of buttons, you can assign your beautifully created digital interactive notebook, create a copy for each student, or make them work in a group on a single file. It’s your choice!

My only tip is to not be afraid of making mistakes and adding extra pages, or deciding to change up an activity at the last minute. You could always give the kids instructions to delete a page, reorganize the pages another way… Whatever you want!

If you decide you want to try any part of the post, please leave a comment with feedback or share the results on instagram, mentioning me.

And make sure you go to the blog to check out the rest of the most recent ideas, you have some posts to check out below!

Continue to make STEM proud!