CAST UDL Book Builder

Common Sense Media says

Read, write, share -- there's no wrong way to enjoy a book.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Book Builder sends kids the message that there are lots of different learning styles, and that whatever works best (visual, auditory, etc.) for individual kids is A-OK and supported by their system. It also promotes self-esteem, which is created when a kid writes his or her own book and is able to share it with the public.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

An email is required to log in, and controls are in place to make sure all the books published on Book Builder follow site guidelines and are appropriate for young audiences.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Book Builder is a website that allows kids to read, create, and share their own books online. Some of the books are educational, written by adults to help kids learn in their own ways, and others, written and illustrated by kids of all ages, are just fun to read. Because it's a self-publishing tool, the quality varies, but kids should enjoy browsing titles and gathering inspiration for their own story or idea. They may need a parent's help with the more technical aspects of the site (scanning and uploading pictures, formatting pages), but the tool is pretty intuitive and kids will love being a "published" author.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • presenting to others
  • reading
  • writing

Arts

  • drawing

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination
  • making new creations
  • producing new content

Self-Direction

  • academic development

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Kids will get engrossed in writing their own story within the site's simple format, and the ability to share their finished book and read the work of their peers will keep them engaged.

Learning Approach

The combination of text, audio, and video caters to all types of learners, which is helpful in the classroom as well as at home. Kids learn the basics of storytelling when they create a book.

Support

There's a lot of support for teachers along with information about UDL practices and how to implement them. Kid users will find step-by-step guidance through the book creation process.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • presenting to others
  • reading
  • writing

Arts

  • drawing

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination
  • making new creations
  • producing new content

Self-Direction

  • academic development

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn how to write their own book and pick up some online publishing skills as well. Book Builder shows kids that people learn in different ways, and offers its writers advice on how to reach the widest audience with their words using UDL (Universal Design for Learning). From page layout to learning styles, kids will gain practical experience with something to show at the end.

This Learning Rating review was written by Polly Conway

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What's it about?

CAST UDL Book Builder is a free online tool that allows visitors \"to create, share, publish, and read digital books that engage and support diverse learners according to their individual needs, interests, and skills.\" Many books include a learning guide that helps parents and teachers facilitate discussion and enhance the reading experience for kids. Kids can also use the tool to publish their own stories and lessons, including illustrations and photographs.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Kids will be thrilled to see their own book in the Book Builder Public Library (or use the option to share only with family members and friends). There aren't too many bells and whistles in Book Builder -- no fancy fonts or ways to resize photo, but kids will appreciate the straightforward, simple program. Parents should be pleased to see that many books in the Book Builder Library cater to various learning styles as UDL's mission is to make information easy for all students to understand.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what inspires people to tell their own story and share it with the world.

  • Families can talk about what it means to publish something online. Who can see it? How does it feel to share your work?

  • Families can also talk about individual learning styles. What works best for your kid?

Website details

Genre:Educational
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free

This review of CAST UDL Book Builder was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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