LiveBook & LivePlanner

9/5/2012 By: MaryAnn Karre

www.livebookpd.com Retail Price: Mapping to the Core: LiveBook - $34.95; Mapping to the Core: LivePlanner - $194.95 (LivePlanner includes full access to its accompaning LiveBook)

LiveBook 360 by School Improvement Network is a multimedia learning experience that combines author interaction and content updates, webinars, links to Web sites, video, audio, polls, downloadable content, notes, and forums with the author’s text. LivePlanner is an ebook that provides users with application, implementation, and practical use exercises that they can apply to the “theories” found in LiveBook.

Quality and Effectiveness: A LiveBook is so much more than a standard ebook. Any highquality text by an internationally recognized expert is impressive, but when that text grows and changes, and can be supplemented and augmented by the author and the readers, it becomes a learning and teaching tool that is far more effective than the digitalization of a printed text.

Authors have the opportunity to pair their LiveBook content with a companion “LivePlanner,” as seen in Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs’s work. For example, Dr. Jacobs’s Mapping to the Core: LivePlanner provides step-by-step guidance, examples, and templates to help the participants translate the LiveBook content to a working curriculum product. While the LiveBook presents theory and builds comprehension, Mapping to the Core: LivePlanner focuses on implementation, creation, and hands-on experiences for the community of learners.

Ease of Use: A LiveBook is as easy to read as an ebook, but because it is in electronic format, it is also an interactive tool. Icons that float with the text by using a mouse-over feature allow the reader to contribute, share in discussions, and build knowledge.

Creative Use of Technology: Because the LiveBook 360 platform is cloud-based, the latest author updates and content can be available every time it is opened, without downloads or re-purchases. The book becomes a host site, allowing users to take part in polls, surveys and forums, add and upload artifacts and download tools, take notes, and bookmark sections for review. These features cannot be accessed without using Flash; therefore the LiveBooks are not readable on iPads and do not include the read-aloud option (NOTE: full iPad compatibility will be available in Fall 2012).

Suitability for Use in a School Environment: School Improvement Network created the LiveBook 360 platform specifically for teachers and administrators. Each book hosts its own community. Users and authors can designate forums dedicated to one section of the text and generate focus groups within the community.

TOP FEATURES

• LiveBook learning grows and improves as more users become part of the LiveBook community and as more titles are added.
• Because it is online, this professional development opportunity is accessible from any Internet-based computer.
• LiveBook 360 provides a platform with the same interaction and features as a personal workshop. Educators can participate in forums and collaborate with peers as they turn the theory in LiveBook into practice with step-by-step instructions and customizable tools.

OVERALL RATING: LiveBook 360 has morphed ebooks from static, individual tools to high-quality, interactive professional learning communities.

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