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Interactive Textbooks

In this unit, each student works on a chosen topic related to technology and creates an educational interactive textbook with text, graphics, animation, buttons, review questions, assignments, and a quiz. Interactive textbooks provide a powerful and immersive environment for learning and acquiring new skills. Students are challenged to understand their topic not only intellectually, but also visually and emotionally. They become educational application developers and programmers as well as writers, illustrators, animators, and audio editors.

Subject Area

Grade Levels

Students create educational interactive textbooks using graphics, text, and animations; use the Internet for research; create graphics and animations for their projects; develop review questions, create assignments, and program a quiz; publish and preview their projects online; and present the textbooks and get feedback from fellow students.

Internet Used
Students go online to view multimedia projects, conduct research, develop content, learn about storyboarding and view examples; use Flash tutorials, and view their projects.

Materials Used
This unit requires computers with Internet access, Macromedia Flash, Microsoft Word, and a projector.

Standards Addressed
Students use a variety of equipment and software packages to enter, process, display, and communicate information in different forms using text, pictures, and sound; access needed information from media, electronic databases, and community resources; and apply technological knowledge and skills to design, construct, use, and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental needs (http://emsc.nysed.gov).

The Multimedia Project Evaluation Guideline is used by the students to evaluate online multimedia projects at the beginning of the unit. The same guideline is used to evaluate the students’ work at the end of the unit.

Students Involved
This unit does not require any prerequisites or special skills. Working individually helps ensure that each student acquires the necessary skills to tackle more advanced projects in the future.

Teacher Tips
The students can develop and present interactive textbooks to younger children. This doubles the excitement and increases students' responsibility. If you do not have Macromedia Flash, a free 30-day trial version can be downloaded from http://macromedia.com/. You can consider using SWISHmax, a less expensive version of Flash. While not as powerful and versatile as Flash, it allows students to create eye-catching presentation and brings fun and exciting discovery opportunites to your class.

Overall Value
This project connects students with subject matter through images, sound, and text, which their understanding of the topic and increases their ability to memorize and recall information. Research shows that emotions affect memory retention because the emotional impact of a particular image or event has a profound influence on its place in long-term memory.

Maya Bentz

Maya Bentz teaches computer classes to middle school students. She has a Doctor of Education degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a professor at the Kyoto College of Graduate Studies for Informatics, Japan, delivering distance learning courses in e-Learning Theory. Her areas of interest include Web-enhanced and computer-assisted learning, computer-human interaction, digital creativity, development of interactive educational applications and 3D virtual learning environments.



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