Low Country Teacher Creates Interactive Textbook - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/21/03

Low Country Teacher Creates Interactive Textbook

For most of us, school days were all about books and papers. But that's changing with the times. A Low Country English teacher's created some software to make learning more fun. We all know kids love to play on the computer and play video games. So by designing a interactive writing tool on the internet, Beaufort Middle School English teacher Kelley Blackston is hoping students will also learn to enjoy learning, too.

It's an interactive how-to writing manual called Writing Made Easy. With just a few clicks, this interactive textbook allows students to navigate their way through the website to learn basic writing skills.

"I think it's our only alternative with this commercial age, video games, computers," Blackston said. "That's what they're at. That's what they want to be and so that's what we need to move to in education."

The new technique, students say, is more convenient and conducive to learning. Student Mac Bustard told us, "It's not like you have to look it up, you just have to type it in and it's right there in front of you." Fellow student Marie Bellnier noted, "You can always go back to it."

"It benefits them a great deal to go through and discover these things through the presentations rather than for me to stand there and tell them to put this in their paper," explained Blackston.

Because this software is online, parents and students can access the program on the internet in their own homes. For those students who need a little extra help, it's a good way to review.

"They don't have to bring home their grammar books, they don't' have to bring home CDs," said Blackston. "They can go strait to the computers and work on it at home."

Blackston says she is seeing more of her students using the techniques they picked up on the website in their writing samples. The website is free for students and parents who are in Blackston's class, but for others there is a charge. 

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Reported by: Dmitra Denmark, ddenmark@wtoc.com

Today, more and more colleges are requiring students to own personal computers.

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