How one educator used student creativity to enhance retention

Shady Hanna with the Ottawa Catholic School Board is always looking for ways to keep his seventh and eighth grade students engaged in their lessons. It’s not always easy.

He knows that lessons built around collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking hold students’ attention, but repetition could weaken the effects of this four Cs approach. He needs new tools so that students don’t get bored.

Fortunately, Mr. Hanna discovered Book Creator, a Chromebook creativity app. Soon, he was working interactively with students in his science, English, and French classes on digital books; he wrote the instructions and some of the content for the book, and the students filled it in with images, text, videos, and audio. Because the experience of using Book Creator is the same whether a student is in a physical classroom or at their kitchen table, projects and learning continued without interruption, ensuring educational continuity during the pandemic—and after.

When students finished, they uploaded their work. Mr. Hanna used the books as students’ class notes for each unit. He could track if they were progressing through their tasks. Students could use the book as their study guide for tests and quizzes.

“One thing I really like about using it as a unit book is that it has everything—their notes, their assignments, their personality. It has everything we’ve done,” he says.

That part about personality is important: Book Creator provides a blank slate to free students’ creativity and personality—and templates to help nudge that creativity along.

It’s easy to be creative

Students don’t have to wait for teachers to start the creative process of building a digital book. Teachers can assign students to build an eBook from scratch.

Bringing elements into the digital books is easy because Book Creator integrates music, YouTube, PDFs, spreadsheets, code creation, and more, and students just need to work two buttons throughout the process.

Students can work on the digital book alone or in teams across devices, on a single topic or across the semester or school year.

In the end, they have a self-produced digital book that showcases not just their knowledge but also their creativity and personality. Students all around the world have used Book Creator to create:

  • “All about me” stories
  • Cumulative study guides
  • Science reports
  • Poetry books
  • Digital portfolios
  • Instruction manuals
  • Research journals
  • Comic book adventures

Really, the only limitations are the teacher’s and students’ imaginations.

Why administrators like Book Creator, too

The experience of using Book Creator is the same whether students and teachers are in the same room or miles apart. That’s important for ensuring a seamless learning experience no matter where the learning is taking place.

That flexibility and capability to enable educational continuity is why Lenovo is partnering with Book Creator. We’re dedicated to helping you maintain the same learning experiences remotely as in-person, and Book Creator facilitates that.

Book Creator is easy to provision and manage through Google Admin Console. Your technology team can buy and install it with the click of a button in the Google App Hub, activate and assign licenses to different users, and track usage throughout the school year, all from the console. By tracking usage, you can ensure licenses are being used, easily redeploy ones that aren’t, and only pay for what students and teachers are using.

To learn more about how Mr. Hanna and other educators are using Book Creator to engage students, in-person or remotely, check out our playbook Unlocking Student Creativity.

Please contact us at for more information.

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