Our Educational Message

Hi, and welcome to our blog. This space is designed to share ideas and methodologies that we use to teach Turkish teenagers. In particular, there is a strong focus on ICT-ELT, which means if you like visual and technological support for your style of teaching, this blog is for you. My colleague, Brentson Ramsey, has been working alongside me for three years. He is also a big proponent of the ICT-ELT Paradigm, which means he will also be posting from his own teaching perspective on the blog.

2010 was the beginning of this new journey, and although there is no definitive ICT-ELT road map available for everyone to follow, it is exciting to explore the technological means to make teaching more fun and affective for students. Our main message is for teachers to ADOPT & ADAPT the paradigm shift for their own needs, and remember that

Friday, 14 September 2012

Interactive Flipbooks: A Quirky Way to Read

Let's face it. The majority of our students don't like reading. Not at all. Even with all the cool gadgets available, which allows to keep thousands of novels in one place, students are just not interested it seems, but I empathize with them. I also wasn't into reading in high school. With playing sports, doing homework, watching my favorite television shows, and keeping up with friends, sitting down and reading for pleasure just never came to mind. It wasn't until college that I discovered reading can be fun and interesting.

So, what can we do? Our suggestion is to get ICT involved. According to statistics, young adults and children read more on their IPads, tablets and mobile phones than they do from books, and that number is only going to increase in the coming years.  Whether right or wrong (I also love buying books), we are going to have to use technology to teach reading, in order to keep up with the times. It probably won't make your students enjoy reading, but it might engage them for a bit longer.

Interactive Flipbooks

If you have been teaching for a few years, you probably have lots of short stories in Word document form that you have printed off for your students. I also used to have hundreds of photocopies made every week. Well, here is one way to reduce the number of copies you make, in addition to getting a little more technology in the classroom. We call them  Interactive Flipbooks.

Simply put, there is a brilliant website called flipsnack.com that automatically converts your documents into a visually engaging flipbook on the net. It even makes a quirky sound when your turn the page.   On top of that, you can also add any external links from different internet websites, which would then make your flipbook truly interactive.  As your students are reading along, they could click on a link, and it would automatically take them to a site to further improve their understanding of the text.  For instance, if you are reading a short text about bullying, you could add a link to a Youtube video that could be a real-life story of bullying and how it affects people.


If you are keen to give it a try, just follow the steps given below:
1. Prepare your reading document on Microsoft Word as you normally would.  However, for best results, you should make the font size at least 26 or 28.  It will expand your documents by several pages, but it will make the document much easier to read, especially if you are planning use a projector.

2. Include any internet hyperlinks that you want.

3. Save the document as a PDF. You do this by clicking on File, then Save As. Click on the little arrow, and then there will be an option for PDF. However, this option is only available on the least versions of the Microsoft Office Suite.

4. Go to flipsnack.com, sign up for free by using your Facebook, Twitter, or Gmail accounts.

5.  Click on New Flipbook, and upload your PDF by clicking the Browse button.

5. After uploading, click Next, and then you can choose the cover and background color.  There are several options to choose from.  We enjoy using the coil flip.

6. Click Finish, and copy the URL link and share it with your students. You should also save the link for yourself for future use.  Then, of course, have a look at your newly made interactive flipbook!


We have also prepared a video tutorial showing you these same steps.

Again, these interactive flipbooks are not going to solve the huge problem today of children who don't like to read.  Nonetheless, it is likely to be something that your students have never seen before, and that will engaged them.  It may even get them excited about reading for a bit. Just make sure, as noted before, that if the font on the original Word document is too small, it will be difficult to read on an IWB or projector in front of the class.  Thus, make sure that you use a large enough font before converting it to a flipbook.  Furthermore, it is even more effective if you students have their own laptops or tablets in the classroom.  That way everyone can read it easily, and at their own pace.

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