iBooks Author Widgets on Mavericks Desktop

» 24 October 2013 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, How To, Publishing » 8 Comments

ibooks mavericks desktop

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the chance to see if iBooks Author (iBA) widgets would make it to the desktop in the new Mavericks version of iBooks. I’m pleased to report that all the iBA - created widgets run perfectly. Plus, viewing an iBook on 27” Thunderbolt display is awesome.

iBA presented a great vehicle for re-envisioning the textbook, but I was never happy with some of it’s features - multiple choice questions and note cards are so old school. When designing my Homefront iBook series, I looked for ways to feature more student interaction with the material. Nonetheless, working in multiple apps on the iPad is challenging.

But with the new Mavericks desktop version, readers will be able to interact with an iBook and simultaneously use other desktop apps to greatly enhance the learning experience. Desktop iBooks easily shares text material via email and social media. You can copy and paste text from an iBook to another app. While you cannot copy / paste an image, I included hyperlinks to all the images I used in my Homefront series so that readers could use digital images to curate their own collections or as part of a design project in another desktop app.

Bottom line - with more screen “real estate” than the iPad and easier use of multiple apps, the desktop version of iBooks provides exciting new opportunities for innovative projects designed using iBooks Author.

Here’s a short video to demonstrate iBA widgets on the desktop.

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Are iBooks Author 1.0 Files Incompatible with iBA 2.0?

» 07 December 2012 » In Ed Tech, Publishing » 10 Comments

some errors -featured

Discussion boards and post suggest that there are file compatibilty issues between iBA 2.0 and 1.0. Users are reporting that iba files created in iBA 1.0 are being abused when opened in iBA 2.0. What’s your story?

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Why I Haven’t Upgraded to iBooks Author 2.0

» 30 November 2012 » In Ed Tech, Publishing » 6 Comments

iBA 2 update featured

While iBA 2.0 offers some improvements, it greatly increases the video file size and wipes out subtitle tracks (unwelcome news for accessibility). Here’s some video evidence comparing iBA 2.0 video file conversion to Handbrake.

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Read This Before You Upgrade to iBooks Author 2.0

» 04 November 2012 » In Commentary, Ed Tech, Publishing » 6 Comments


The optimization routine in iBooks Author 2.0 is well intentioned but the execution of those intentions is quite poor. In addition to bloating the size of your videos and, hence, your iBook, it can also degrade visual quality in dramatic fashion. If you are writing a textbook or any kind of book containing video that requires providing soft subtitle tracks to address accessibility and other important goals or alternate audio tracks to reach a wider, multi-lingual audience, be aware that this optimizer will strip out those valuable assets without notice.

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Do Not Use iBooks Author to Author an iBook

» 12 October 2012 » In Commentary, How To » 10 Comments


Thinking of publishing your own work using iBooks Author? Be careful what you call it.

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Five Reasons to “Like” Project Based Learning

» 01 August 2011 » In Presentations, Strategies, Students » No Comments


The traditional approach to instruction is failing our students. Here’s activities and sample projects to illustrate five reasons to “like” project-based learning. The post includes links to PBL resources, videos and more.

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OMG! Google+ Is Now Open To Anyone With a Google Account!

» 07 July 2011 » In Commentary » No Comments


My first post on Google +. (I’m guessing I will do more). OK, I admit it’s starting to grow on me. Still this Extranormal video nails it.

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What Happens as the Cost of Hating Pigs Approaches Zero? Focus, Literacy and Angry Birds

» 16 January 2011 » In Commentary » No Comments


Angry Birds cost me $.99. I just checked my app stats and I’ve played the game for more than 15 hours. Thus, my cost of Angry Birds is below 6 cents per hour – and dropping. The price of information is rapidly approaching zero. Normally as cost of a commodity drops, we consume more of it. But unlike all the other cheap stuff we buy, and then later discard, cheap information demands our attention. The ability to selectively filter out unwanted information and stay focussed on a task is emerging as the most significant literacy.

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Teaching with Historic Photographs: The Google LIFE Photo Archive

» 01 March 2009 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, How To, Strategies » 1 Comment

Google has posted ten million photographs from the LIFE photo archive on their online gallery of images. It's a great source of material for teachers and students who support a document-based approach to teaching history. While I wish that Google had done more to curate the collection with robust search tools and more specific categories, I think […]

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Creating Presentation Handouts in Apple Keynote

» 06 January 2009 » In Ed Tech, How To, Presentations » 21 Comments

I'm a recovering PowerPoint user that's been using Apple Keynote for my presentations for about a year. I find it much friendlier to graphics and media. It took me a while to figure out how to create B/W six slide / page handouts that I could easily PDF to clients. Thought I'd pass it along. […]

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