iBooks Author in Foundations – RKMCLarry Jay
iBooks Author in Foundations
Everybody has heard of iBooks but how difficult are they to make and why should a Foundations teacher create them? We asked the Level 3 and Level 4 team leaders at RKM for their opinions.
Catherine Hill, Level 3 team leader
iBooks Author takes a long time to master, especially if you are a relative newcomer to the Mac. However, any time spent will be worthwhile. It is fun to use and offers lots of ‘cool stuff’ that allows you create attractive, interactive materials. I tend to create short iBooks to cover a few lessons, rather than full-length books. This makes it easy to share the materials with students using tools like DropBox.
I find iBooks Author to be great for teaching reading as you can have scrollable frames for the reading text and the associated questions, meaning both are visible at the same time. Overall, I find iBooks Author to be more useful for teaching than testing. It does take a lot of time and effort to learn but the results are rewarding and the students really seem to benefit.
David Patent, Level 4 team leader
iBooks Author is a really powerful tool, but it does require a lot of effort to learn and the learning curve is steep. I make use of it all the time to teach reading, and some of the features help me to provide extra support to the students.
Interactivity is one of the strengths of iBooks Author. You can embed audio clips, videos and Keynote presentations, and you can provide glosses within reading texts. The gloss feature allows you to define key words within a text, so that the student can check on the meaning of the word without interrupting the reading process too much. At the same time, the feature automatically creates a flashcard to help the student learn new words.
One great addition to iBooks Author is Book Widgets (www.ibook-widgets.com), which adds lots of powerful features, including the ability to include a whiteboard space for students within a reading activity. The quiz tool is also really useful and student results can be sent automatically to the email address of your choice.