This is the semester that I teach American Literature for CCC Grand Island via distance learning. For the first time we are reading Tuesdays With Morrie. Instead of creating my notes on a notepad or with 3 X 5 cards, I decided to use the highlight / note option in iBook. Plus, I decided to project the book on the screen as I lectured and presented notes on the whiteboard. Day one went well.
As you can see above, my “notes” are crazy and always have been, even in my traditional classroom. The iPad 2 added some unique aspects to my delivery. A cool aspect was integrating YouTube videos into my lecture. I love connecting pop culture references to my lessons. As I formulated my notes, a couple of references came to mind and I cued them up on the YouTube app. Then, placed a cue in the notes when to show them. With a swipe of my fingers we went from book to video (slight buffering).
Another aspect I liked was that, in most cases, my notes did not hide the highlighted text, so the students could easily see both. This didn’t happen 100 percent of the time, but over all both were visible.
The rough spot was me. First, I am use to having my notes on paper or 3 X 5 card, and would have the same craziness on my own notes as you see on the whiteboard. That is the way I think (and usually talk, but I get to the point). Also, my timing was not perfect in switching from me to the book. Not a big issue, but I found myself writing on the board when the book was still on the screen.
Talking with a few of the students after class, they said they liked the approach. They said that seeing the highlighted sections helped. They also enjoyed the videos; it allowed them time to think and presented a different insight to an idea in the book.
I hope to collect some quotes from the students (an assignment they have) and use those in the lecture as discussion points. Overall, I like the ease of using the book with the highlights and notes imbedded in the text. Plus, being able to use one of my favorite tools, pop culture allusions, adds some fun to my lecture.
Share your story of how you are using the note and highlight option in iBook in the comment area.
A sneak peak at the book if you haven’t read it.