The AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Committee members have chosen an excellent group of sites for you to peruse and try this year. This month I will continue sharing ideas in how to use Best Website winners in libraries and classrooms. This month we will be featuring the digital storytelling site Booktrack Classroom (https://www.booktrackclassroom.com).
Booktrack classroom is where students, teachers, librarians, and readers overall can write stories and choose soundtracks for their text. Teachers can create informational text and then make them more informative, fun, and engaging by allowing students to select suitable audio to accompany the words. Students can write their own stories both creatively and for informational purposes and then can add in their own soundtrack to their writing. Booktrack classroom also has a library available with free, fun, and engaging soundtracked books. Booktrack is also available for read-aloud opportunities where students and teachers can read stories, poems, and plays with an accompanying soundtrack. Booktrack is overall a wonderful tool for engaging students at a new level with their reading. Booktrack classroom also has lesson plans available for teachers with recommendations on how Booktrack can be used in classrooms and libraries.
Booktrack classroom is available for free. Be aware that there are two different sites with Booktrack. There’s Booktrack Classroom as well as just Booktrack. The non-education based Booktrack is publicly available to all. Booktrack classroom is specifically built for the classroom and students, teachers, and librarians. Stories and text that are created with Booktrack classroom are private, specifically written by and for students. Students can create their own stories and share them among students in their class, they can also read from thousands of titles available on the Booktrack Classroom site.
Take a look at Booktrack Classroom, I encourage you to view some of the books that are already available. Have students read through and take a look, or listen to the books that are available in their library. See how the site works and let students create their own stories with accompanying soundtracks. Booktrack Classroom works toward strong reading comprehension, student retention, student engagement, and enjoyment of reading. It’s a very interesting site and the AASL Best Websites Committee is excited for it to be recognized this year in 2015.
Written by Heather Moorefield-Lang
Author: Heather Moorefield-Lang
Heather Moorefield-Lang is an associate professor at The University of South Carolina in the School of Library and Information Science. To see more of Heather’s work visit her website at www.techfifteen.com, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter @actinginthelib.