They say everyone’s got a novel in them, but if you’ve ever spent a frustrating afternoon trying to get your Kindle to acknowledge paragraph breaks or embed a cover image in a HTML document when you can’t actually read HTML, you’ll probably have decided not everybody is a potential eBook author. Thankfully, that’s all about to change.
What’s so different about iBooks Author?
Apple’s new iBooks Author app makes creating an eBook incredibly easy – if you or your students have ever used desktop publishing software or know your way around iWork, you’ll pick it up no trouble.
While other authoring apps rely on you having someone tech-savvy developing a set of rules and specifications for each document (actually, there’s an idea for an IT lesson…), the iBooks Author interface is basically a more interactive version of Pages. You simply type in text then drag and drop images and interactive elements into place. You can wrap text to images, format heading and sections and even create tables of contents just as you would in Pages – they’ll even auto-update when you edit content. All of which means you can spend less time creating resources and more time making the most of them.
How to make an iBook in 8 simple steps
iBooks Author boils the eBook-making process down to eight simple steps. You can read them below, or take a look at the video to see one I made earlier.
1. Open the iBooks Author app on your Mac.
2. Choose a layout from the Template Chooser.
3. Drag and drop elements like images, tables and video into your layout.
4. Don’t worry about fonts, spacing or headers – they all get automatically formatted.
5. Connect an iPad to your Mac and hit Preview to check everything’s working (you can keep it hooked up if you want to check your progress as you go along.)
6. Save your work.
7. Upload the finished textbook to the class iPad deployment.
8. Make a cup of tea, catch up on marking, finish your lesson plan or whatever else you’re free to do now that you don’t have to spend an hour formatting or reformatting an eBook.
The simplicity of it means that as well as being great for teachers, iBooks Author is actually a powerful tool for peer-led learning or project work. Students can put together interactive reports, create revision guides, or write their own eBooks on different areas of a topic to supplement and reinforce lessons from existing course materials. The key advantage over traditional note-taking and handout-making activities is that students can share their iBook through iTunes U, a VLE or a Wiki, meaning that they can access key content at any time, and easily review each others work as part of group projects or peer assessment, no matter where they are.
Want to know more about what iPad can do for your classroom? Give us a call on 03332 400 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. For the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page.