DEN Fall VirtCon Recap – I Just Fell in Love with Techbook and You Should Too! Here’s Why

Rafranz Davis is an IT specialist for a Dallas/Fort Worth area school district. This presentation was her first at a VirtCon and she did amazing! Rafranz has an amazing personality, is candid, and showed a lot of passion for her new found love, the Science Techbook. You can watch her presentation here, and view the rest of the archives here.

Rafranz started her presentation by introducing the web-design tool Canva that she used to create her slides. The site is in beta, and you can receive an invite directly from Rafranz or you can sign up on the website. She also shared how science has been her Achilles heel since Jr. High, but when she was invited to the Texas Techbook Connect, it completely changed her outlook!

At the Texas Techbook Connect, she participated in a 50 minute group collaboration session as a 5th grade student learning about heat transference. After that, she went to a session to learn how to implement the participatory session as a teacher. Everything she did was found in the Science Techbook. She also learned that any device can be used to view Techbook whether it’s an ipad, android, cell phone, or chrome book. All of the elements within it are built with Flash and HTML5 and it changes automatically depending on the device.

Student Perspective
A general account can be created for all students, but this tool can be put to better use if each student had their own log in. This way, a student can personalize their experience with Techbook and assignments can be personalized from their teacher to help each student in their learning. Teachers can input students themselves, or a district administrator can input all of the students. The website may need to be unblocked in some districts.

In the Student Centre, students can find the Techbook link under the Resource Centre tab. Some elements of the Techbook for students are: an interactive glossary, video, games, and readable chunks of information separated into 5 categories: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. There are also special tools that are provided for the student’s use: the ability to highlight text, have text read aloud, note take, read and/or hear the text in Spanish or French, and have the ability to save to their “My Favourites” folder.

Teacher Perspective
In a teachers account, we can view a unit and all of it’s parts. Unit information includes details such as: lesson objectives, a lesson outline, essential questions, a concept review, student materials, key vocabulary, editable 5 minute prep slide shows, and additional lesson resources. Assignments for students can be differentiated by the teacher, for example, reading material from 4th or 6th grade for a 5th grade student, in order to meet the learning needs of any student.

I enjoy using the Science and Social Studies Techbooks as a resource. I agree with Rafranz when she explains the Techbook as a live, always changing, amazing, interactive resource that helps students to think and challenges them to push farther than they would have from a traditional textbook. I’m looking forward to seeing the Math Techbook when it is released!

Rafranz can be contacted via Twitter – @rafranzdavis and through her website –


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