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When iBooks Author launched last year I was able to immediately see how this could be a potential game-changer for education, particularly when it comes to the creation and delivery of content.
Initially however, I was unable to make it do anything useful or functional. At its heart, it's a good enough engine to create content, but some of the truly amazing things it seemed to be able to do (download some of the professional textbook samples to see what I mean) seemed out of my grasp.
Then came Bookry.com and suddenly, we were in business!
This section of the site will show you how to use Bookry with iBooks Author to create some pretty amazing content for your classroom!
Step 1: Build your Toolkit!
(Mac only!) (Free!)
Video editing software (
works, but I recommend
and/or Adobe Premiere Elements but
here are some free alternatives
Photo grabbing and editing software (I recommend
from TechSmith, but
here are some free alternatives
(available for free)
Step 2: Learn the basics!
How to build a simple book
A quick walk-through of iBooks Author's basic capabilities. I demonstrate how to copy and paste text in (or write it right in IBA), building a simple widget, and dragging and dropping an image in, etc.
How to preview a book on an iPad
Want to see what your simple book looks like from the student side of things? This brief walk-through is for you!
Take iBooks Author's capabilities further with a wide array of ready to go and easily customizable widgets (see also Intermediate section). This brief tutorial helps you get the lay of the land so to speak on Bookry.
What the heck is a Widget anyway?
Widgets? Apps? Software? Hardware? What's the difference?
How to distribute my book
While there are a multitude of options, including the iTunes store, Bookry provides a simple way of getting your content out to the people you want to get it out to!
Step 3: Add some engaging content:
Individual Widgets from Bookry: (There are a ton more, but these are the ones I use the most frequently)
Want your kids to be able to draw on a canvas and share it with you? What about coloring an image (such as filling in an outline map?) Sketchpad is your answer.
Notepad allows your students to take notes. It can also be customized to behave like a simple chart. The information students type is shareable.
Drag and Drop
Drag and Drop is a good alternative to having students sort things into columns. Give students headings and subheadings which they can manipulate on their screen.
It doesn't get any simpler than this! Create a checklist that students can complete within their book. Making a cook book? Use it for ingredients!
In Social Studies, having an up to date map of the places you study is sometimes easier said than done. Google Maps Widget allows you to embed a Google Map right into your book. Change between map view, satellite view, and terrain view right in the book!
Office Document Viewer
Easily embed an Excel, Word, or PowerPoint document into your book for students to view. While they cannot manipulate the information in the document, they can read through these three formats with this widget.
A textbook is up to date the day it leaves the printer. After that, it becomes the equivalent of a car being driven off the lot. What happens when information changes quickly? Worry no more! With the Browser Widget you can embed a website into your book. Even cooler? Should the website disappear you can easily edit its live settings and push it out to your readers.
Embed a YouTube video into your textbook allowing your students to review a lesson you've pre-recorded, the hot new video from History.com, or anything that exists on YouTube!
Reader Cloud is a simple widget that allows a student to "log in" to their book, making things like sharing their work with other widgets a snap.
Step 4: Make iBooks Author your slave!
Locking your book into "Landscape Only" format
If you leave "Portrait" as an option you run into the problem of having to almost develop two texts, one for each format. This very brief tutorial will show you how to use the Inspector to hit one button and lock your readers in to Landscape whenever your book is opened.
Embed your own video directly into a book
iBooks Author has the ability to embed videos into your text, but it's not necessarily as easy as you might think, particularly if you're used to using one program to create your movies. This tutorial will show you how to use iMovie as the intermediary to get your videos into your book.
Changing "Live settings" on widgets you have already created
Embedded a great webpage into your book only to discover that the day you need it, it's gone? This tutorial will show you how to update the "live settings" on widgets you have created on Bookry to push out a minor change to everyone using your book.
"Hack" (okay, not really) your iBooks Author toolbar to customize your commands
Sorry iBooks...your default toolbar just isn't working for me. This will show you how to change your default toolbar to one that includes the commands you use the most.
Collaborating on iBooks
Probably the achilles heel of iBooks Author is the inability to collaborate. In my work with digital texts I've found a few work arounds which I describe here in this tutorial.
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"