I have a new respect for an app that I've had for a long time. Book Creator looked to me like a nice little app where kids could write their own stories and illustrate them. And that is true, but it is so much more than that! Students can not only add their own illustrations, but upload images saved to their device, and even record their own voice. Here's how to use it:
3. Once you have your cover the way you want it, you may decide to record your voice. Choose "Add Sound" from the menu. Press the red button (be sure to allow the app access to your device's microphone) and then talk away!
4. When you are finished speaking, press the red button again, and choose "yes" or "no" to indicate if you wish to include the recording in your project. If you decide to keep the recording, a small circle icon with a speaker symbol is placed on your page. You can resize and move this icon anywhere on the page.
5. The picture top left shows how to add images saved in your camera roll.
6. Once you have text (or a drawing, or an image, for that matter) press the "i" icon to edit. This give you options such as resizing text, changing text box shape, font, font colour and more (see top right).
7. When you are satisfied with your book, or even if you just want to see what it's like so far, I like to open it in iBooks to view as if it is now a published book. In iBooks, you turn the pages by swiping, and click to hear the recordings you've included, just like a real talking book that you buy!
8. You'll see in the photo at left how you can share books between iPads. Just click the AirDrop icon to load all of your students' books onto one iPad to make it easier for sharing or assessing.
9. And finally, here's what I learned to do today! I installed the Reflector app onto my Mac computer. Now I can see my whole iPad on my large Mac monitor. I can also use QuickTime to do a screencast of the book I've made, which turns the book I've made into a movie. My colleague Mandy (@Mandy_S_24) wrote about how to do this on her blog (click here.) Now I can share this with parents who don't have an Apple device.
I have used this app now with a class of Kindergarteners who made a counting book about winter. They each made their own page and then we combined them into one class book. Their voices are so cute!!! "Three snowmobiles - vroom vroom vroom!"
I used this with a Grade 1 class, who used Book Creator to retell the story of Jan Brett's The Mitten. In that book, a little boy loses a mitten in the forest, and one by one, more and more animals squeeze into the mitten as it stretches and stretches. The Grade 1s not only illustrated their retelling, but counted the animals by 2s, making it an excellent Math/ELA integration project.
I also used this app with a Grade 3/4 class who used it as a travel journal. Their class was studying India, and every day their teacher had virtual excursions planned for them. After their day trips, they wrote about their experiences in their journal as if they were really in India. I have to say, these journals turned out wonderfully! After their yoga class, for example (they followed along with a yoga instructor), many of the students took photos of themselves in various yoga positions to add to their journals. Voice recordings were included for each day. Awesome!
It is the sharing of these journals that really adds to the significance of using this app. Book Creator can be exported as a PDF or as an ePub via email, print, iTunes or opened in other apps such as GoodReader, Evernote, DropBox, Google Drive and more! With every update Book Creator is easier to use and includes more options. Can't wait to see what they have in store for us next!
If you have some ideas for using Book Creator in your classroom, please share them in the comments below!
Travelling Curriculum Support Teacher