A ‘know-why’ guide to iBooks Author

Its well known that giving easy digital content creation tools into the hands of more teachers and students is a great way to encourage focus on higher order thinking skills in the curriculum. For schools with Macs and iPads, the release of Apple’s iBooks Author software in January made this even more possible.

Attached to this post is 1.0 draft of a ‘know-why’ guide to using iBooks Author to make digital content thats localised and personalised just for your students. Download and enjoy, plus leave comments if you have questions or feedback.

To load, just download directly onto an iPad with iBooks 2 installed, and tap ‘open in iBooks’, or download to your PC and sync via iTunes.

I’ll also attach a PDF version for those who want the info but don’t currently have access to an iPad with iBooks 2 installed.

DROPBOX DOWNLOAD LINKS: 

(If tapping to download on an iPad, please wait 1-2 mins for the download screen to appear, then several more while it downloads)

UPDATE – have taken the iBooks file link down as enough time for the feedback version to be up has passed. Will post the final one hopefully in the near future.

iBooks file link (45mb)

PDF file link (51mb)

Easy HTML5 Animations in iBooks using Tumult Hype and iBooks Author

I’m sure a whole ecosystem of support products will arise to help educators get the most out of the interactive features in iBooks Author – 3D object galleries etc. The tips below are even better in that it concerns a program that’s already out so you can start right now:

iPhone 4 – not much for educators? (updated)

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While I wait for a decent Android tablet to ship (be it iPod touch or iPad sized), I’ll instead post here about the just released info on the iPhone 4 and its OS (iOS4). Why? Well because in my state alone there are many many schools using the iPod touch to enhance learning. Here are some thoughts:

iPhone 4 new wiz-bang features:

  • 960x 640 ‘retina’ IPS display, antenna’s integrated into the case, front facing video camera, all glass casing thats much thinner than the 3GS, noise-canceling mic, Apple A4 processor, LED flash, fast 802.11N wifi, gyroscope, 5 megapixel camera with 5x digital zoom, 720p HD video recording, iMovie for iPhone and ‘Facetime’ wifi video calling.

I can’t see much there that will actually help me do my job as a teacher any better than what the 3GS does, perhaps except that it’ll be a bit faster at switching from say reading a pdf to showing a picture etc. UPDATE: Looks like from the tech specs on the iPhone 4 site that it will support VGA out to projectors like the iPad – NICE!

Perhaps of more interest from a school perspective is what the iOS 4 update will bring on June 21:

  • iBooks – plenty of free books AND will soon be able to act as a standard PDF reader and bookshelf
  • Multi-tasking – this is why I say iOS4 – not much for schools, because the vast majority of us are using 2nd gen iPod touches in our schools, and these won’t support mulit-tasking. Will have to see what price the 3rd gen iPod touch drops down to around september when the 4th gen iPod touch should be released, but when the 2nd gen is now available for under AU$200, its hard not to be getting these for schools
  • Spellchecking is listed as one of the new features – didn’t we have that before?
  • bluetooth keyboard support – now this might be a big one for students – what does everyone think? Screen still too small to type with a full keyboard?
  • The update will at least be free for iPod touches now!