I have found a new favorite classroom activity…eBooks! I learned a lot more about them at the TCEA conference and can’t seem to get them out of my mind. Luckily, I have found a few teachers who have fallen in love with this activity as well. I tried getting on the bandwagon a while back, but struggled with the apps I was trying. Working with elementary students, I knew I had to find an app that was simple, intuitive, and fun. I had hit a dead end until I was introduced to Book Creator!
I can honestly say I have not worked with an easier app to use when creating anything on the iPad. It is so easy to manipulate! Inserting and re-sizing images and text at the touch of your fingertips. The best part is recording audio! Press a button to start recording, the same button stops recording. It prompts you to use the recording…choose yes and it is inserted for you. Move the icon where you want it, done.
Sharing these books is just as easy too. Click the action button to send it straight to iBooks. Want to share with others? Email the .epub file to them or upload it to a website for download. If they open it on the iPad, or another device that supports .epub, they are prompted to open with the correct app.
While I was working with it the first night…because yes, I had to download it while I was still in the session…I started wondering where students would be locating images to use. Obviously, they could browse the internet and save to the camera roll. They could also use the camera on the iPad to capture images…even take pictures of artwork they have created. Then it hit me…how about using other apps? Any drawing app could be used for illustrations. If the drawing app doesn’t support exporting the image, then take a screenshot and crop. What I became most excited about for images, however, was using story/animation apps, such as Puppet Pals or Toontastic, to create your backgrounds.
These types of apps work great! Choose your characters and background, then place the characters where you want keeping in mind you will be adding text to the picture. Take a screenshot, then go to your camera roll to crop and save the image. You are now ready to insert your images into your eBook.
Think of the possibilities! Students can create their own review books. ELL learners can set up their own dictionary that they themselves narrate. Create time-lines, document a Science experiment, talk through Math problems, the list goes on and on. I have not even hit the ELA side yet!!! You have other great ideas? Please add a comment and share with all of us.
Want to see a finished product? Here is a Paul Wagner original. Visit this post with a supported device, such as an iPhone or iPad, and click “On the Farm” to download it and take a look. Be careful though…you’ll be hooked as soon as you see it!