In the classroom


Working in partnership with another USD 259 - Wichita Public School Technology Master Teacher (TMT), I was awarded a district grant which enabled us to purchase two MacBook Pros to teach students and to train teachers on the use of iBooks Author to create iBooks for use on student iPads and for presentation projection in the classroom. (Credit: The particular iBook in this video - which is being narrated by one of our former students with a theatrically-induced accent - is the creation of Mr. Justin Bell of Northeast Magnet High School of Bel Aire, KS.)

Research Basis:  How does multimedia scrapbooking affect student learning?

Technology’s Role in Literacy Development

“’Students should be able to both read critically and write functionally, no matter what the medium. ... In personal, civic, and professional discourse, alphabetic, visual, and aural works are not luxuries but essential components of      knowing.’”   (Kist qtd. in “Multi‐Modal Literacies”, National Council of English Teachers)

Creating images, sounds, designs, videos and other extra‐alphanumeric texts is an aesthetic, self‐originated, self‐sponsored activity for many writers. Digital technologies have increasing capacity for individuals to adapt the tools for their own information and communication purposes (Serafini, “Multi‐Modal Literacies”).

In other words, multimedia technology is integral to the language our students speak, and without it, it is like trying to carry on a conversation while avoiding any words that have the letter “o.”  Simply put, students find classroom instruction without it increasingly irrelevant.

School has long been about print, words on a page and lectures that sound like print. We give students texts and when they do not understand them we give them more texts. If they do not understand a word we give them more words, such things as definitions, explications, and lectures. ... The world outside school today is replete with words married to images, sounds, the body, and experiences. ... This new world is a multimodal world. Language is one mode; images, actions, sounds, and physical manipulation are other modes. Today, students need to know how to make and get meaning from all these modes alone and integrated together. In the 21st century anyone who cannot handle multimodality is illiterate. (Serafini, “Multi‐Modal Literacies”).



Technology provides the functional modification and redefining of literacy itself within our systems -- redefining it as an interactive, multimodal activity deeply connected with our minds, bodies, and experience. 

While iBooks Author is a great tool for facilitating this literacy skill development in our 21st-century learners, it is certainly not the only tech option.  Please see below for my personal favorites.

                                                     -Amy Hammett

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For PC & CHromebooks


FOR ipads