Target 3 – Flexible Learning Environments: FWSU will maximize flexible learning environments by redefining the school day, promoting learning experiences that extend beyond the school classroom, and fostering creativity, innovation, and differentiated learning opportunities for all.
Action Step: Increase access to resources for all students using digital tools making learning more accessible for diverse learners.
Jennifer Skerrett, BFA-Fairfax Middle School social studies teacher, has begun using iBooks Author to develop interactive publications for her students. iBooks Author is available free from the Mac App Store, and can be used to create books for the iPad. These books are more than just text, they create a more dynamic experience for students.
For example, a book about “Kristallnacht” incorporates text and images from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website, as well as video from the USC Shoah Foundation. While reading the book, students can highlight text as well as add digital sticky notes with their thoughts and reactions.
Other publications made with iBooks Author can also include photo galleries, interactive timelines, multiple choice quizzes, and Twitter feeds, among other features. Mrs. Skerrett sees future publications including more opportunities for student feedback and input within the book, and also she hopes to have her 7th graders create a book with iBooks Author at some point this year.
A unique advantage to our PreK-12 school is that high school students can have the opportunity to spend a quarter working with a teacher in their classroom. Michelle LaPine, a BFA junior, is working with Mrs. Skerrett this quarter, and Michelle provides valuable technical assistance in creating these new publications.