Free: How To Get Started with iBooks Author

Quick Start: iBooks Author

Isn’t it time you created an iBook using iBooks Author? It’s a free Mac program that creates multi-touch interactive eBooks that can be viewed on an iPad or Mac desktop running the Mavericks OS. It’s easy to publish your iBook on iTunes or (if it’s offered for free) share it as an iBook file via network or drive.

I’ve been teaching iBooks Author workshops and found that in just a few hours most people can master the basics of iBA - navigating the app, adding widgets and styling their iBook.

I’ve captured the essence of my workshop in this free 20 page iBook. Quick Start: iBooks Author free at iTunes 

Sections include:

  • An interactive tour of the program’s main window.
  • Widget sampler with examples and settings for all native iBooks Author widgets.
  • Tips and tricks for designing your iBook and managing your work flow.
  • Links to my free library of online resources.

Link to more of my posts tagged iBooks Author

See all my iBooks at iTunes

iBA tips

See You At integratED Conference #iPDX14

I’m looking forward to presenting at integratED Portland 2014 February 26–28, 2014
Sheraton Hotel Portland Airport Portland, Ore. It’s a premier edtech conference features active hands-on sessions with an impressive team of presenters. I’m honored to be doing two workshops.

integratED Portland

Getting Started with iBooks Author
You’ll leave with workflow secrets for using iBooks Author, confident in your ability to create and share your own iBook. Here’s your chance to see how easy it is for students and teachers to create multi-touch iBooks using iBA. We’ll demonstrate the key steps in designing an iBook that can be published to iTunes or shared within your school. BYO Mac loaded with iBooks Author and some content you’d like to work with (text files, images jpg or png, Keynote decks, video m4v, audio m4a). You’ll learn efficient workflow strategies for creating and sharing your own multi-touch iBook. You’ll leave with a demonstration iBook and the confidence to keep going.

Right From the Start: Infusing Tech and PBL in Teacher Prep
Many are critical with the quality of teacher prep in the US. Here’s my attempt to get it right by infusing his University of Portland social studies methods class with practical tech applications and community-based PBL projects. Students utilized tech tools to support instruction and collaboration – LearningCatalytics, WordPress, Evernote, Learnist.

They served as consultants to the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center – a Japanese American History Museum in a variety of projects – designing curriculum for traveling exhibits, building an online museum, and a iPhone app walking tour of Japantown PDX. (In collaboration with PDX mobile app developer – GammaPoint) Student also collaborated on developing an iBook showcase of their work. Some of the grad and undergrad students will be on hand to discuss their reactions to the course and lead participants in a LearningCatalytics – powered reflection on their own teaching prep experience.

How to Add Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Images to iBooks Author

iBA SVG enlargedHere’s another great iBooks Author (iBA) “how to” – cross posted from Dr. Frank Lowney (Projects Coordinator, Digital Innovation Group @ Georgia College). See Frank’s original post a watch his demo video here. Frank writes:

The primary advantage of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) files is that a very small file can be scaled up to yield large images without the aliasing (jaggies) that appears when a bitmapped graphic is scaled up. SVG files are resolution independent, usually non-photographic and carry the suffix *.svg. There are lots of free SVG files available on the Internet and there are many applications for creating SVG files such as the free, open source Inkscape. For an excellent primer on vector graphics, see this Wikipedia article.

However, it is not possible to use SVG images directly in iBooks Author. If you attempt to drag and drop an SVG file onto an iBooks Author project, nothing will happen. You’ll get no error messages or feedback of any kind. Similarly, apps in the iWork suite (Pages, Keynote and Numbers) will also refuse to accept SVG files. Since it is important to keep the size of iBooks Author output low for easy downloading and to avoid the 2 GB limit in the iBookstore, we need to pursue this further.

The iBooks Author application has its own Text, Shapes and Graphs menus with which a number of vector graphics can be created. Another option is to use the vector graphics created by Keynote, Numbers and Pages. These can be copied and pasted directly into an iBooks Author project. Graphics created in iBooks Author or any of the iWorks suite applications are vector graphics in PDF containers, not SVG files. PDF files can contain text, bit-mapped graphics and vector graphics. [The $99 OmniGraffle application is a considerably more sophisticated graphics toolset and is capable of exporting both SVG vector drawings and PDF vector images. The latter are compatible with iWork suite and iBooks Author.]

That’s useful but there is an Internet full of already drawn SVG images that are in the public domain or CC licensed. It would be a shame not to have access to that vast library of free vector images. The trick is to use this free on-line conversion service to convert SVG to PDF and then drag and drop that PDF directly into an iBooks Author project or into one of the iWork apps or OmniGraffle for further manipulation.

Download an *.ibooks file here that shows how vector graphics created in iBooks Author compare with vector graphics converted from SVG files.

Vector image creation - Cheat Sheet
Vector Image Creation and Editing – Cheat Sheet was created by First Site Guide Team>.

How to Use iAD to Create an External Video Widget for iBA

iAd

The three iBooks in my WWII Homefront USA series started with an idea for single iBook. Then as I began to uncover so many long-forgotten videos,  I realized there was a trade off between creating a media-rich iBook and keeping the file size manageable.  I considered keeping file size smaller by simply linking to the videos from the iBook. (I would provide a hyperlink in the iBook and the reader would tap on it to be led to the video on YouTube or Archive.org.) But that required that the reader be on a network to view the iBook’s videos. And I didn’t think that a hyperlink was a very visually appealing approach.

Use iAd Producer to create a high quality HTML widget for iBooks Author without writing a single line of code.

So my single iBook project idea turned into three iBooks with file sizes running roughly 600MB each. I carefully edited the videos and used file compression – but the 13-18 videos in each iBook demanded a lot of file space.

I was pleased to hear that my go-to guy for iBooks Author –
Dr. Frank Lowney (Projects Coordinator, Digital Innovation Group @ Georgia College) had posted a video how-to for using iAd Producer to create external video widgets of iBooks Author projects. No coding required!

He agreed to let me cross post his work here with a slightly edited version of his original screencast. 

Frank posts – The iAd Producer application from Apple has grown considerably since its inception. Originally, it was a highly specialized application that created advertisements for mobile devices from Apple. Those iAds were composed of sophisticated HTML, CSS and Javascript.

Since that inception, it has been expanded to create iTunes LPs for music albums sold in the iTunes Store and iTunes Extras for video sold in the iTunes Store. These, too, rely upon HTML, CSS and Javascript web technologies. Most recently, iAd producer has added iBooks Author HTML widgets to its repertoire. Thus, the following screencast tutorial showing how easy it is to use iAd Producer to create a high quality HTML widget for iBooks Author without writing a single line of code.

This example focuses on creating an HTML widget that plays a video hosted on an external server. This keeps the size of your *.ibooks file down making for quicker downloads and avoiding becoming a burden to iPads already nearly filled to capacity with other books and media.

You can see Frank original video here - it includes comparison of various video strategies for iBooks Author. Download the example book to an iPad to get an even better view of how this looks and feels in the hands of your audience.

Download iAd Producer (free developer registration required)

I highly recommend  Frank’s iBook The Coming ePublishing Revolution in Higher Education
on iTunes. It’s an insightful guide to etextbook revolution – winners, losers, and the factors that will determine the outcome. (67 pages, 20 graphics, 28 media files, 25 video files and 5 interactive widgets.) A bargain at only $0.99!

Work, Duty, Glamour: How They Sold War Work To Housewives

Ive found the job where I fit best

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.” Most people’s visualization of Rosie is based on J. Howard Miller’s poster “We Can Do It!” Lacking copyright protection, it’s everywhere from history textbooks to coffee mugs. (I confess to using it for my cover below) But it’s a much bigger story than Rosie. The era is rich with public domain films, posters, pamphlets and cartoons that provide the contemporary reader with insights into the gender, race and class stereotypes of the period.

recruiting rosie cover

I’ve been exploring Homefront America WWII in three media-rich, multi-touch iBooks – Why We Fight, Workers Win the War, and now Recruiting Rosie: The Sales Pitch That Won a War. (All are free at iTunes.)

The Homefront series use WWII-era media to document the US government’s propaganda efforts. “Recruiting Rosie” focusses on how Washington’s media campaign targeted women – first coaxed them out of their homes to fill the jobs left vacant by men going off to war – then reversed course four years later to convince women to give up their factory jobs to returning servicemen and return to the roles of wife and mother in the home.

While there was great diversity in the women who did war work, the media campaign almost exclusively featured white women.

Women have always been employed in the workplace, especially minority and lower-income women. They needed little encouragement to move to higher paying war jobs. But the demand for wartime labor was so great that the US government launched a propaganda campaign to recruit previously unemployed middle class women into the workplace.

I'm proud... my husband wants me to do my part2

There was little reference to women working to make money – not traditionally an acceptable role for married middle class woman. Instead, propaganda was filled with themes of patriotism, sacrifice and duty that depicted war work and military service as fashionable and glamorous.

The documents in “Recruiting Rosie” explore the many facets of the campaign to mobilize women in WWII. For example, an often neglected part of the story is the extensive effort that was put into convincing factory owners and male co-workers that women could make efficient employees. As a foreman at an aircraft factory noted, “I honestly don’t believe any of us expected them [the women workers] to last the day.”

“Women scare me … at least they do in a factory.”

“Supervising Women Workers” a 1944 film designed to train plant managers opens with a male foreman telling his boss “women scare me … at least they do in a factory.” His boss replies “women are not naturally familiar with mechanical principles or machines .. you have to separate every job into simple operating steps.”

women want to get it over-4

A 1943 article called “Eleven Tips on Getting More Efficiency Out of Women Employees” includes:

Tip #1. Pick young married women. They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters, they’re less likely to be flirtatious, they need the work or they wouldn’t be doing it, they still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently.

Tip #3. General experience indicates that “husky” girls — those who are just a little on the heavy side — are more even-tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters.

WWII-era middle class couples needed to be convinced that it was acceptable and safe for women to take jobs outside the house and work in a factory. A well-coordinated sales campaign churned out films, new stories and posters that lauded former housewives who readily mastered new industrial tasks.

It's Your War TooWomen were also needed to fill the ranks of many service jobs on the homefront, as well as enlist in the military to replace men who were being moved to the war front. The glamour of travel and the chance to meet men reoccur as dominant themes. “Its Your War Too” a recruitment film for the Women’s Army Corps (WACs) spends much of the film proving that WACs are fun, feminine, and glamorous – they get to wear makeup, choose their own hairstyles, and travel the world – always with handsome male officers as escorts.

Free Bomber Trip to Berlin

Out of the Frying Pan Into the Firing Line

WWII required an enormous commitment of American resources and labor. Here at home, millions of families were called upon to make personal sacrifices and work harder to provide the resources needed to fight the war. Women were told to give up all luxuries and devote their energies to help win the war. “Recruiting Rosie” documents it all from asking women to volunteer on farms to a 1942 Minnie Mouse cartoon explaining how to recycle used cooking fats for armaments.

victory girl

With women stretched between the demands of the workplace and home, childcare emerged as critical issue. “Recruiting Rosie” includes a section detailing the growing fears that without parental supervision, WWII would spawn a generation of juvenile delinquents. As one report noted, “Mothers in large numbers are engaged in full-time employment and are therefore absent from the home the greater part of the day. Home life is greatly changed for many children today, and lack of consistent guidance and supervision from their parents gives them opportunities for activities that may lead to unacceptable behavior.”

“How well a man fights depends a little on how well you’ve done your part in the USO and how nearly ideal an American girl you are.”

“Recruiting Rosie” features a 1943 film that depicts youngsters smoking, kids hanging out in shady bars listening to the jukebox, and young women taking up with soldiers as “Victory Girls.” “How well a man fights depends a little on how well you’ve done your part in the USO and how nearly ideal an American girl you are.” Changing sexual roles and mores of the era are explored in variety of documents from soldier-crazy “khaki-wacky” girls to a 1943 etiquette guide for teenage girls serving as junior hostesses for troops relaxing at USOs which states, “How well a man fights depends a little on how well you’ve done your part in the USO and how nearly ideal an American girl you are.”

last chance marriage

War production demanded large-scale migrations to industrial centers. With a shutdown of non-military construction, housing was limited and expensive. The wartime challenges to families are well detailed in “Recruiting Rosie.” Men and women were torn between putting marriage off or hastily “tying the knot.”

This dynamic is captured in the 1944 US War Department pamphlet “Can War Marriages be made to Work?” (illustration at left)

Front_Cover

“Recruiting Rosie” concludes with the dramatic about-face as the war came to a close. The focus shifted to fears of unemployment for returning servicemen. A 1944 pamphlet entitled “Do You Want Your Wife to Work After the War?” opens with:

Will wives be only too glad to give up their strenuous jobs in war plants to return to the job of being homemakers? … If they must or prefer to stay at home again what will be done to make the tasks of homemaking more attractive? If a woman wants to keep on working after the war what will her husband’s attitude be? If there are no longer jobs enough for everyone should a married woman be allowed to work? Does she have as much right as her husband to try to find the work she wants?

The collection is designed to allow the student to “be the historian” as thought-provoking questions guide them through the archives while building their critical thinking / Common Core skills. The book also provides web access to the public domain content so they can remix the historic documents into their own projects.

how to interpret a poster

Document analysis guides are provided in the book. “Stop and Think” prompts accompany the documents and guide student in close reading to reflect on essential questions:

  1. How did WWII impact women and the American family? What opportunities and challenges did the war create for women?
  2. How did the US government craft its propaganda campaign to shape the attitudes of women, their husbands and employers?
  3. How do the documents and their WWII-era depictions of women reflect the historic time period?

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