I love a good book. I like Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Dan Brown and more. I’m not talking here though about crime novels. I’m talking about a good exercise book. I was lucky enough to do a few ‘book looks’ recently and I wanted to write about them here.
As the ‘ICT Evangelist’ I am a huge advocate for things like iTunes U, Google Classroom, Microsoft Classroom etc. They are an awesome way of gathering together children’s electronic work and they are also a great way to cut down the workload of teachers. You can leave audio feedback, dictation, you don’t even have to carry the books home.
The school I was working with unfortunately don’t have systems in place (yet) to facilitate this kind of working yet. They do have iPads and lots of other technology available to pupils but they record their technology work in their exercise books. Not very green I know as there was lots of printing out and things stuck in. There was a Plickers card stuck to the back of the book. Throughout the books though there was lots of evidence of great learning going on, with and without technology. There were essays. Green screen evidence. Peer assessment. It was good to see all of the teacher annotations and school systems for formative assessment in place. It was all there in the books.
These books took me right back to my own exercise books from my youth. It got me poring over the pages of my old exercise books. I still have all of my exercise books from when I was a child. Smiling at my teachers comments. Looking at the tractor I had struggled to draw but was so very proud of as an 8 year old. There is a lot to be said for the humble exercise book.
So as we move forward into our digital futures, with every man and his Tamagotchi telling us the future is online, even with the power of publishing pupil work and audience; don’t throw the humble exercise book away. There is a lot to be said for it. A ‘book look’ done electronically through shared Classrooms on Google Classroom doesn’t give you the same level of the joy of learning that a humble exercise book can. Sure, the electronic way is one to 100% advocate, but let’s not throw away these amazing treasures of learning that not only help our pupils in the present but will be a source of enjoyment, pride and History to us when we look back at them as adults too.