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.
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) files are very small files can be scaled up to yield large images without the distorting “jaggies.” Here’s a quick how-to that will allow you import SVG images into iBooks Author. Use the same process to import SVG files into Apple Keynote, Numbers and Pages. Download a free demo sample iBook.
iBooks can be enriched by videos, but they quickly expand the file size of your iBook. Here’s an easy-to-follow video tutorial that shows you how to use iAd Producer to create visually appealing widgets that allow you to link to external videos outside your iBook project. Keep the file size of your iBook manageable. No coding required.
Rosie the Riveter is an American icon that symbolizes the hardworking and self-sacrificing women who left the household and filled the war jobs that turned America into WWII’s “Arsenal of Democracy.” But it’s a much bigger story than Rosie. Explore the films, posters, pamphlets and cartoons that give us insights into the gender, race and class stereotypes of the period.
The Pop-Over widget is new in iBA 2 and provides a custom image that acts as a trigger to display a scrolling region similar to the Scrolling Sidebar. The Pop-Over may also contain text and graphics. Here’s a how-to design a hack that does the opposite – a text trigger that display an image.
Our goal was a practical hands-on workshop that fused technology, critical thinking, and strategies for students to be the “historian in the classroom.” We were focused on ways to use iPads for content creation, feedback and reflection. Plus we showcased a variety of other critical thinking digital tools for the classroom – iBooks Author, Haiku Deck, Evernote, nGram Viewer and GapMinder.
My latest multi-touch iBook “Progress and Poverty in Industrial America,” is now available for your iPad – FREE at iTunes. Critical thinking questions based on Common Core skills help students “think and write like a historian.” It’s a great resource for use in the classroom, and serves as a model for teacher or student curation of historic content into interactive digital DBQ’s.
This 18-page iPad DBQ guides students through the historian’s process. “Stop and think” prompts encourage a deep reading of many notables of the Gilded Age – including Russell Conwell, Henry George, Andrew Carnegie and Stephen Crane. Visual source material includes posters, 1908 Sears Catalogue, a gallery of photographs by Lewis Hine and video of one of Edison’s early Vitascope films.
CCSS offers an incentive for teachers to use historic documents to build literacy skills in a content area while empowering students to be the historian in the classroom. But document-based (DBQ) instruction in this context requires four key elements to be successful:
1. The right documents.
2. Knowing how to look at them.
3. Letting students discover their own patterns, then ask students to describe, compare and defend what they found.
4. Basing the task on enduring questions, the kind that students might actually want to answer.
My new multi-touch iBook – “Workers Win the War: Toil and Sacrifice on the US Homefront” – embodies that approach. Here’s how.
Two years ago, three junior high teachers were thinking about how to better motivate their social studies students. They decided one way to get kids more excited about learning was to get rid of their traditional textbooks. Here’s a guest post on how these teachers teamed with their school and district leadership to create their own textbook.
We focused on getting started with using iBooks Author (iBA) in the classroom. Our discussion includes iBA workflow specifics, tips for getting started, project ideas and how to use iTunes to share student work with an authentic audience beyond the classroom. Listen and learn more about how to create and publish your own ebook. Includes links to more iBA resources.