iBooks Author Training Video and Free Guide

IBA DesktopHere’s session one of my recent iBooks Author (iBA) training workshop. This one-hour session was designed to introduce iBA to about a dozen teacher at LaSalle Catholic College Preparatory in Portland Ore. I covered what can iBA do and workflow suggestions for next steps. I stressed it’s not about  the technology –  book design begins with content, audience and purpose. Their next step is to gather content, think about how to present it with iBA’s native (and second party) widgets.  

Here’s a resource site I built for the session Get Started with iBA 

If you want to follow along with my widget review -download my guide – Quick Start: iBooks Author free at iTunes I’m demonstrating all the widgets found in chapter 2. 

We shot a video of the session using a stationary webcam. Not the best quality (off center and off mic) – but some may find it useful. Here’s a rough outline of what I discussed.
1. Widget intro (chapter 2 in Quick Start: iBooks Author)
2. I demonstrated project work flow using my latest iBA project “Lost Japantown PDX” (working title).  See reveal widget video demonstration here

  • Gather content and archive in Evernote
  • Format content – edit video, crop images, edit text
  • Begin layout of book pages in a program like Keynote. Remember that it’s not easy to rearrange pages in iBA. Keynote provide a simple way to get you content in order
  • Begin to build iBook in iBA.

3. Considerations – file size, user experience, copyright
4. A collaborative iBook design project I did with my University of Portland students Exploring History – free at iTunes.

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

iPDX14 Session Preview: Getting Started with iBooks Author

Getting started with iBooks AuthorI’ll be teaching “Getting Started with iBooks Author” a two hour workshop at the integratEd / #iPDX14 conference in Portland OR.  (Feb 27 – 10:30-12:30) 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 as iBooks files. To effectively participate you will need to bring:

  1. A Mac loaded with iBooks Author. If you are running Mavericks, you will be able to preview your iBook on you Mac. If you are not running Mavericks, you may wish to bring an iPad and connector to preview you work.
  2. Content you’d like to work with (text files, images jpg or png, Keynote decks, video m4v, audio m4a).
  3. 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.

Quick Start: iBooks Author

I’ve created a 20-page guide that will give you a quick start to creating your own interactive iBook using iBooks Author. If you’re attending #iPDX14, download it in advance and we’ll flip my workshop. 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.

My blog posts tagged iBooks Author

Looking for inspiration? Download one of my iBooks at iTunes 

Here’s a few useful links for content:
Library of free interactive widgets at Bookry
Creative Commons Image Search
Internet Archive Search for videos, audio and images.

For more iBooks Author how to tips – see my free guide on Scoop it Publishing with iBooks Author.

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.

Tips for Motivating Student Writers with iBooks Author

Exploring_History

I just finished teaching a Social Studies Methods class at the University of Portland.

We took a very hands-on, project-based approach and even worked with a local historical museum where my students served as curriculum consultants.

As someone who has long advocated student publishing, I wanted my students to have the chance to design an iBook.

I’m pleased to announce that our book: “Exploring History” is available free at iTunes

This post will offer a rationale for student publishing, some tips on managing the project as well as student reaction to working with iBooks Author.

It’s about collaboration and content, not the technology.

My goals for the iBook project included:

  • Think like historians – if my pre-service teachers are going to inspire the next generation, they need to learn to behave like a historians and social scientists.
  • Explore technologies that support instruction – some educators are tempted to chase “bright, shiny objects” and forget that it’s about good teaching, not the technology. My students would have a chance to use a variety of tech tools and assess their efficacy.
  • Participate in a multi-stage, project-based learning experience to experience the challenges and opportunities of PBL.
  • Have a publicly shared product for their portfolio.

iBooks Author Lab

Here’s a few tips on student publishing with iBooks Author (iBA). For details on the original assignment see our class blog.

It’s about collaboration and content, not the technology.
Each step of the project involved peer review. For example, long before students even began research, they had to go through a “speed dating” session to “pitch” their research idea to one another for feedback.

Later we used Learnist as a online location for student to post their historic documents and scaffolding questions. Learnist is a web-based curation site with built in social media tools – it can collect and comment on videos, blogs, books, docs, images or anything on the web. Their peers reviewed the drafts and left comments on the site. Since Learnist boards are public, some students received comments from folks outside our class. See their draft Learnist Boards here.

Multi-touch iBA widgets are fun, but do they help tell the story?
Before using iBA, we spent time looking at iBooks and considering how various widgets might be useful. Students thought the scrolling side bar and gallery widgets would be effective design tools. Many students wanted to include YouTube videos.   (Our iBook readers would need wifi to access the videos, but since the actual video file does not reside in the iBook, the iBook file size is kept small.) You can use Bookry to embed a YouTube video. After a free account sign up, you’ll find many other useful widgets there.

The computer lab is for production not planning.
I staged a series of assignments that all folded into the development of a finished iBook. For example, I asked students to write a blog post reflecting on what they learned from developing their DBQ. That reflection later became the concluding section of their iBook chapter. By the time we were heading to the Mac lab to get started with iBA, they had their chapters finalized with all the content for their iBook chapter stored on a drive – including all image / sound / text files, citations and URLs. Students were able to copy / paste all their content into their iBook chapter in only a few hours of lab time. iBA Tip: If you don’t have a Mac / iBA station for each student, you could have a production team transfer the work of their peers into finished form. iBA Tip: It’s easy to copy / paste chapters or sections of chapters from one iBA file to another. Be warned that you cannot copy / paste individual iBA pages – thought you can copy / paste the content elements from one page to another in iBA.

Minimize the need for editorial clean up. Collaborate using a design template.
If you’ve every worked with a group in a computer lab you know how much time can be lost while they explore fonts and other design elements. We discussed some template options while we were looking at other sample iBooks. We arrived at consensus and I pre-loaded a template chapter into each work station. Few design decisions were made in the lab. The template began with a chapter “Photo and Text” page. iBA Tip: it’s easy to mess up iBAs Table of Contents view. Click here for my tip on how to avoid that. 

After the opening chapter text and image the rest of the template chapter consisted of blank pages with a few different text formats that we planned on using. iBA Tip: Unless you’re creating a largely text-only iBook, I find that chapters with flowing text are much more challenging to manage. Inserted widgets and images have a habit of repositioning as text is edited or deleted. Remind students to clean up any of the placeholder font that iBA inserts into widgets. iTunes will not approve an iBook that contains any placeholder text. (“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, donec ornare vitae…”)

Ibooks author lab 2

Here’s some feedback from my students on the project. BTW – only two of my 12 grad / undergrad students were experienced Mac users.

I liked how simple and hands-on the process was.The iBook making process is something that I definitely see myself using in the future.  I see this as a viable avenue for me and my teaching style. – Tom

iBooks Author is easy to use and the end product looks fantastic. I’m sure students would feel a real sense of accomplishment and pride after creating something with this program. This project gave us a nice taste of what this platform is capable of. Like everyone else, I can see myself using it in the future, for myself and for my students. – Damian

 

The prospect of an audience always inspires an extra amount of effort – Peter G.

 

I really enjoyed working on the iBook. It was a very fulfilling experience and I cannot wait until I can show my friends and family my section of the work. Looking back on it now, if my classroom had the resources I think this would make a fine project or lesson as the program itself is easy to use. – Cory

Working with iBook tonight was a great experience! iBooks is actually fairly simple and intuitive. After just a bit of instruction we were on our way. Now that our chapter in the iBook is finished I am excited to see how the whole iBook looks together. It is exciting to think students will be using our work. – Christina

I’m excited to wrap up our work on the iBooks. I’ve been thinking recently about how creating an iBook in the classroom gives students the opportunity to take ownership of their work. The prospect of an audience always inspires an extra amount of effort. – Peter G.

Working on the iBooks was a great experience. It’s actually much easier to work than I previously thought it would be. I thought of a good idea for a DBQ at the end of class today and I want to make it an iBook during winter break now. – Stephen

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