Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

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“Booktrack” Lets You Read Books With Soundtracks & Make Your Own

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booktrack

Booktrack Classroom has books in the public domain online to which they’ve added “soundtracks” — music, street sounds, etc. In addition, students can create their own soundtracks to books that they write. Even better, teachers can create virtual classrooms with assigned readings and/or to share their own creations. And, best of all, it’s free.

You can read many of the books without having to register, but must do so in order to create them. It’s very, very easy to create your own books — the site has lots of sounds and music you can add to the text. Oddly, though, it doesn’t seem to provide the option of recording your own narration or sound effects. With those features, it would make it particularly useful to English Language Learners and also make it a more engaging creative activity for everyone.

Also, unfortunately, only people registered on Booktrack can see your finished product. It would be nice if it would be accessible — either though a link or an embed — to others.

Without those last three options, the book creation tool could still be a nice alternative to “mix it up” a bit after using other tools on The Best Places Where Students Can Write Online list.

I could see the ability to read the public domain books as helpful to non-English Language Learners (the books available are too high level for ELLs). I know some students like to listen to music while they read, and having this as an option could make it an attractive option that provides audio that might be less distracting and more classroom appropriate than other music students might choose.

Check the comments for Booktrack’s response to some of my concerns

I’ll be adding this site to The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. Hey Larry,

    Thanks for this great post on Booktrack Classroom! To clarify, students can definitely upload their own music and sounds to use with the Booktracks they are creating. There is a video tutorial for this on our help page (“Uploading Your Own Audio): http://cdn.booktrack.com/education-studio/index.html#!/help

    We are also working on the embed functionality to allow you and students to share more easily. For now, if you want to share Booktracks you students are creating with parents, you can create a parent account as one of your class accounts and give the parents that login info. This ensures that your students’ work stays private an is only visible to other classmates and users you choose.

    Best,

    Jason Hovey
    VP Business Development
    Booktrack

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