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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Bookaround - Allows Ss to Share Video Book Recommendations #edtech #reading #literacy @thebookaround

Bookaround is a relatively new site that allows students and teachers to record short, 25 second, videos giving a book review.  We have something similar in our district with Destiny Quest, which allows students to connect, but it doesn't have the video component.

Teachers create a free account and give a code to their students.  Students use the code to access their teachers page and from there they can recommend books, invite their friends to view their 'bookshelf', and view their friends' recommendations.  The interface does not work on iPads but if you get your kids to the lab or grab some Chromebooks you're all set.  Students enter the title and the author of the book and then get a four easy emoticon buttons to press to tell what they thought of it.  After pressing 'Allow' to enable the camera and microphone they can start to record their thoughts, which are then shared with anyone else who has access to their bookshelf.  Teachers get instant access to all of their students' bookshelves.

Not only will most students enjoy this format but there are a few other plusses that this service brings.  It allows students a place to practice digital citizenship by posting and using the tool for the better of the class and their followers.  It builds community within a classroom and gives voice to those who might not normally speak up in class.  It can motivate readers because they have an audience to share their passions with and it can help them discover new books to read from those who have similar tastes.

It's also a great tool for teachers to assess where their students are at and if they're truly reading the material they're supposed to be reading.  This video gives more information on creating a Bookaround classroom and here is Bookaround's YouTube channel for all of their tutorials.

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