Monday, February 6, 2012

Creating Digital Books with Kids

My son has the assignment to write a book about a star, planet, or solar system. Great! I thought! This will give us the opportunity to experiment with several different types of ebook creation tools. We started with an App called Scribble Press. I absolutely love this app because it is so easy to use and allows users to create their own artwork in the app. It provides a variety of templates for users or allows you to create a book from scratch. Once you create a book you can share it to your scribble press account online. The advantage to this is that you have a place to put all of your books. The disadvantage is that you will then have to share the link from the scribble press website for a teacher to view your book. Obviously, if the teacher doesn’t have an account or isn’t knowledgeable about it, it might be challenging to share the book. Also, if a student isn’t comfortable with their own artwork he or she might not like the outcome of their book. It has a lot of tools, but even my own drawings looked a little messy.

Next we played with This one is cool because you can create, share, and even sell (if you so choose) your books you create directly on their site. My son found this one to be a frustrating way to create a book because while you write your book it looks more like a blog post than a book. Each page has a blank space in which to type similar to what you might find on blogger. He had difficulty imaging how his book would turn out and it seemed a little counter intuitive to the whole creative aspect of writing a book. Needless to say he didn’t complete this book on epubbud. However, I did like that he could easily import images from the web.

Our next application we used is ibooks Author! I am so excited about this one, because the format is easy to follow and looks similar to what my son is used to - Pages. What's cool about ibooks Author is that you can email it to your teacher and she can read it directly in ibooks on her ipad. When she gets the email she just holds her finger down on the icon that she receives and opens it in ibooks. If she doesn’t have an ipad or an iphone she can open it from her mail in her ibooks Author app on her computer! I think of all three of these applications, ibooks author is by far the easiest and funnest one to use. If a students wants to use his or her own artwork then scribble press is the way to go, but if you’ve got a savvy Internet user then ibooks Author is the way to go. You can also publish this ibook to itunes using itunes producer, (an easy download). Very cool Apple as always!!! Can’t wait for his next assignment to write a book!

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