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Digital Backpack

This year, I have been very much involved with the implementation of a 1:1 in my school. Being an advocate for such a learning environment, I strived to implement in conjunction with the Technology Department a "digital backpack'" -- basically a set of tools that allows students and teachers to function effectively within the classroom. It can be divided in two parts: Digital Binder and Digital Textbook.

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Digital Binder

Part of the SAMR model developed by Dr Ruben Puentedura is for teachers to look at ways to not only substitute some of the tools we use in the classroom for new ones, but also augment, modify and redefine them. I have been advocating for establishing a reliable digital binder in which students can find resources that allow them to participate in their own learning. These are the tools of the 21st century that allow students to accomplish tasks that were previously either inconceivable or more difficult and time-consuming -- e.g. collaboration inside and outside of the classroom, immediate feedback from peers and teachers, multimedia presentations or lessons.

Digital Textbook

Publishers are finally making more and more digital versions of their textbooks available. This switch allows for textbooks to encompass richer multimedia resources. One of the major advantages of e-textbooks is the ability for teachers to be authoring with simple tools (Net Text, iBook Author, etc.) their own textbooks better tailored to the need of their students.

I have been experimenting with various authoring software (Net Text for example) and I have been impressed by the ease with which one can create an e-textbook. The format offers versatility, a multimedia aspect, and the ability to make daily updates.