Thursday, April 25, 2013

iBook Creation

Over the past year, we have worked to integrate the iPad into our curriculum in a number of ways.  We were initially able to place some iPads in each of our primary classrooms, which enabled our primary teachers to utilize them for interventions or enrichment in centers.  The students responded to the introduction of the iPad in dramatic fashion, as they were all completely engaged and were actively working to support each other's work on the devices!

One of the projects the students were working on involved creation of their own iBooks.  The students wrote their own stories first, complete with illustrations, and then used the My Story app ($1.99 in iTunes) to bring their stories to life.

My Story is very intuitive and easy to use.  The students are able to create their own illustrations within the app, and can insert images and their own narration as well.  Text can be entered in a separate text box that appears below the illustration.  Books can be shared via a link, email, or can be opened in iBooks.  Below is a sample text with narration that can be played in iBooks:

My teachers inspired me to start an afterschool club for students in our intermediate grades who also wanted to publish stories they have written on their bookshelves as iBooks.  We were considering a number of apps to use, including ScribblePress ($3.99 in iTunes), Book Creator ($4.99 in iTunes), and Creative Book Builder ($3.99 in iTunes.)  I did like the easy integration of art into ScribblePress, as well as the ready-made templates.  Creative Book Builder has clearer integrated structure with chapters, table of contents, and glossary options included, along with the ability to add text and media from almost any source imaginable.  Books can be published to iBooks, Dropbox, and Google Drive (among other options.)  In the end, we opted with Book Creator as a "happy medium" of the options.

Book Creator seems to offer the "best fit" of options for our students at this point.  Text, images, and sound are all easily integrated into a story.  There are three different layouts to choose from, and books can be published to iBooks or added to Dropbox, Google Drive, or Schoology (among other options.)  Students quickly learned the basics of the app, and were adding pages to their books right away:

Our students and our school are still in a nascent stage in working with these apps, but I am incredibly excited by the students' enthusiasm, engagement, and work thus far!  Who knows what great future author we can inspire?


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