Thursday’s Tip: Authentic Projects/Products

A goal of eMINTS classrooms is to actively engage students in learning experiences with real world connections and/or authentic contexts. This means that students often times create products that are authentic or something that someone in a real job somewhere would create. Below are a couple of product ideas that meet this goal and could be authentic assessments of learning. These products could be used in many projects across all subject areas and grade levels.

The Student Author: Students create eBooks (electronic books). There are a lot of debates about traditional books versus digital books and the benefits of each. Why not teach  students how to create both? After following the writing process, students can publish books traditionally or electronically. Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano shares step-by-step instructions to create eBooks that can be loaded onto iPhones or iPads alike.  It is as simple as creating a document in Word, Pages, or even a PDF then using  ePub Converter to convert the files that can then be easily dropped into iTunes and synced with the iBooks app on a device.

InfoGraphics: Kathy Schrock put together a presentation/webpage called Infographics as Creative Assessments to help teachers plan lessons where students make Infographics as end products. She provides links, ideas, and tips for planning authentic learning activities. Watch the Vimeo video (below) to learn what Infographics are, why you might use them in lessons, see examples, and learn a process to have students follow to create their own Infographics. She has tons of links to help you plan lessons and to support students in creating their original graphics. Schrock also shares the importance of teaching about copyright, design, font use, layout, and citing sources other media literacy skills.

Please share your authentic product ideas with us. Leave a comment telling about your projects and include links to your examples.

Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can read more at her blog Higgins Helpful Hints Blog.

Tuesday’s Tool: My eBook

Create electronic books for free at MyeBook. Their simple and easy to use online tool offers many options for creating original books. You can use one of their templates or start from scratch with blank pages. The tool is so easy to use that an author can simply click on the text tool and start typing to begin.


The online book creator uses drag and drop technology allowing an author to drag items around on pages placing them exactly where they want them even offering the ability to create 2 page spreads. MyeBook includes a Gallery where users can upload their own images or choose from the hundreds of images and backgrounds MyeBooks provide. The gallery also allows users to upload flash items, files, audio clips, and video or embed code to display an online video. Users can drag items from the gallery directly to where they want them on the page or make them the entire background for a page or set of pages. Formatting the book is easy with the formatting toolbar that changes to the tool you need depending on what items you have selected on your page.

MyeBook will save your books to their site and will give you a link directly to it or you can copy and paste the code into your blog or website to display your original creation. To create your free account you must have an email address. The site will allow you to log into multiple locations at one time with one account and work on the projects simultaneously. There is not a printing option for the eBooks

Check out the book I made in a few short minutes. The password is: rocky

Myebook - The Adventures of Rocky - Part 1 - click here to open my ebook

Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center and writes for her own blog, Higgins Help.