Canvas / Instruction · March 1, 2021

Digital Interactive Notebooks

Digital interactive notebooks are a fun, new way to help keep students engaged and organized digitally.  

What are Digital Interactive Notebooks?

Originally, interactive notebooks were spiral or composition notebooks that students used to enhance class notes.  Notes were taken on the right side of the notebook, and on the left, students would color, glue, add their own take on the notes.  Eventually, other papers, foldables, vocabulary lists, etc., would be glued into the notebook.

Especially now, it is extremely helpful to re-create this tool into a digital format.  Digital notebooks can be created in Google Slides.  

What are the Benefits?

Benefits of using these interactive notebooks include having all student work in one place without needing multiple submissions, they can include multiple sections such as notes, handouts, interactive worksheets, etc., and are not easily lost.  Students may be more engaged with interactive notebooks.

You can even use Collaborations in Canvas to share interactive notebooks.  Here is a video to show you how.

How do I Make Interactive Notebooks?

Interactive notebooks are created in Google Slides.  Each slide represents a different cover or page in the notebook.  You can put background color, permanent text boxes, moveable text, shapes, images on the slide for students to manipulate.  This manipulation can actually enhance a student’s learning.  Videos can also be inserted to be viewed.

There are many examples of templates out there for teachers to use.  One great source of templates, as well as advice and how-to’s, is Slidesmania.  Of course, you can always create your own.

By creating master slides, inserting text boxes, placeholders, and images, notebook design options are limitless.  You can even create tabs that link to different sections of the notebook so it functions like a real notebook.

You could create a notebook for the year, or simply by unit.  Unit notebooks are less bulky as they will contain fewer slides.

Further Resources

There is an interesting website called Ditch That Textbook that provides advice on creating a digital notebook, but also includes 20+ activities that can be used within the notebook.

YouTube is a great source of information on creating interactive notebooks.  I found this video to be extremely helpful.