Above Faculty at the February 10th workshop
Cooke faculty recently led two professional development workshops on eBook creation, working with fellow colleagues and faculty from other New York City schools to teach multimedia production skills that can be used in the classroom.
Led by Director of Technology Lisanne Norman and Lower School Teacher Roger Nembhard, the workshops taught teachers effective techniques for producing an eBook - a digital book that can include a combination of traditional format text and images along with video clips and web links that help create a multimodal learning experience for the reader (and the creator, too). They encouraged teachers to include students in the process of eBook creation, as it can be a fun and effective way to reinforce a unit of study.
During the first workshop, held February 10th and organized by Cooke Center Institute Director Aliza Kushner, attendees from Cooke and other NYC schools learned the basics defining an eBook, planning a concept and learning how to add visual elements using Apple's Pages software. The take-away: the process of producing a digital book, using a relatively simple piece of software, can result in a multimedia teaching tool personalized for a particular group of students.
The second workshop was presented as part of the annual NYSAIS Education and Information Technology group's Teaching With Technology Conference at the Abraham Joshua Heschel High School in Manhattan on February 22nd. With about 350 teachers in attendance, the conference offered the opportunity to share ideas for incorporating technology into their instruction and their students' development. Lisanne and Roger's workshop, Creating Browser-based eBooks That Can Be Accessed on Any Platform, demonstrated how to make an eBook that is readable by any Internet browser. The goal: help teachers find a simple way to create digital books by using a pre-created template using a text editor program (such as Windows' Notepad or Mac-compatible TextWrangler) that will streamline the authoring process and eliminate presentation differences from one browser type to another.
These workshops are terrific examples of how Cooke faculty continue to thoughtfully keep up with the latest in classroom technology to promote student academic development. Even more, they share their knowledge with other education professionals, who in turn will each share with their students. Look for a Cooke blog post on eBooks soon!