Jul 17, 2020 - 4 min read - 4,295 views 

Digital Interactive Notebooks - A how-to Guide! 4/4

I love my Interactive Notebooks (INB's)! I have refined them over the course of 4 years and they are really effective learning tools for my students. If you do not know about INB's or are still trying to figure them out, pause here and read this blog post (An Interactive Notebook Starter Guide) to familiarize yourself with the way I use INB's in my normal physical classroom before you try to make a digital one. Making a digital INB will be much easier with that background knowledge.

To make a Digital Interactive Notebook, you have to know how to create and then set images as backgrounds to slides. If you do not know how to do that, please see the 2nd post in this series before moving on. You can set your presentation page settings to either portrait or landscape depending on your preference. I decided to go with Portrait (8.5 x 11 in) so that printing paper versions for students will be easy and I can take advantage of the wide margins for hidden instructions and tools.

I use a very specific left side output page with a right side input page INB set up for my students. There are a ton of really amazing reasons why I make my INB's that way. I recommend you read my Cornell-ish Notes blog and my Creative Output page blog to understand further.

I also recommend designing your INB in a master presentation and then having another presentation that you can use to share with students. Once you have designed your various pages on your INB you will save each page as a JPEG (other image formats should also work) and upload it as the background of your student INB presentation. You can then add the editable features you want your students to use and working on. I like to outline my text boxes in red so they are easily visible on the page. Use the margins for directions and other tools like tutorial/instructional videos and "sticky" notes to facilitate your students' learning.

You can make your INB much more "interactive" and easier to use by inserting hyperlinks to other pages within the presentation. I like to have a button on the bottom of each page that can quickly take the student back to the homepage. The homepage is linked to the first page of each unit/section for students to navigate through the tabs. If you are planning on having students add to their "shell" INB's as you progress through the quarter, semester, or year really think about the big features you want them to have access to. Then make sure you add the basic pages and format those into the shell version of your INB that you send to students at the beginning of the year.

As the year progresses you can send students individual pages of their INB to copy into their shell and build up a whole collection of work. I will show you how to do all of this in the tutorial video because it is a bit difficult to explain how I am planning on implementing these. Also if you have a google school district I highly recommend using the Slip-in-Slide app, It will save you a lot of the steps that I describe at the end of the video! Since my county does not use Google Apps for Education, I totally forgot to mention it in my tutorial video. Thank you for the reminder reader Jennifer!

Please watch the tutorial and enjoy the possibilities that these digital INB's open up. I talk really fast in some parts of the video, sorry! My first take was over 40 minutes long and that was unacceptable so I had to condense and speed up to make it a more manageable time of slightly over 20 minutes. P.S. I only show google slides in the video tutorial for time's sake, but if you watch the 2nd blog video in the series you will see how this works for PPT too.

The other helpful blog pages mentioned in the tutorial video are linked here:

Here is the template version of my INB for you to copy and use as you would like. I can not share the whole version you may have seen in my teaser video because some of the pages included copyright materials that I do not have to right to distribute beyond my students. 

Click here to download your free Digital INB Template copy in Google slides version!

Click here to download your free Digital INB Template copy in PPT version!