Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bringing Digital Books to Life

Book Creator and My Story are two great apps that my grade one students use to write their fiction and non-fiction stories.  Both apps allow them to draw or add images, type, and add voice to their stories. They are both easy for my grade one students to use independently.  However as easy as they are to use to create stories, they are much harder to share outside of an iOs device.  This bothered my students and I and we needed a solution.

As my class and I were working with our high school friends creating books in Book Creator a solution came to my head which was easy enough for my grade one students to do independently.  First my students created their books in Book Creator (although the exact same thing could be done in the My Story app).  At this time they did not add voice to their stories even though they easily could with in the app.  Once their books were created they sent them to iBooks.  iBooks creates a polished book version of their hard work.

From iBooks my students took a screen shot of each page in their story. In case you’re not sure how to take a screen shot you push the sleep button and the home button on the iPad at the same time.  Before they took their screen shots I reminded my students that they wanted to make sure no signs from  the iBooks app are showing (such as library, or small page versions of the book at the bottom of the screen).

My students then brought each screen shot into a voice recording app to read what they had written on their pages.  If you know my class at all their go to app is Draw and Tell and so one by one they brought their book pages into Draw and Tell and recorded themselves reading their text. Once the recording was finished they saved them back into the camera roll.

With all the images saved in the camera roll and with voice added to the screen shots my students then went to iMovie and created a new project.  For this project they uploaded each page of their book (with the voice recording on it) and created an iMovie.  The iMovie was then saved to the camera roll and easily up loaded to their blogs and presto, their books were available for the world to see. 

Now while my class loves to use Draw and Tell and are very familiar with how iMovie on the iPad works, this could be done in other apps too. The screen shots from Book Creator could easily be uploaded into the app Explain Everything and the voice recording could be done there as well.  In addition my students wouldn’t have to go to iMovie to create a movie because it could all be done in Explain Everything.  Explain Everything shares to a variety of locations including, very conveniently, the camera roll.

The screen shots could also be easily added to Educreations and again the recording can occur there.  When you make a project public in Educreations you can get an embedding code, which can easily be shared on a student or class blog.

So while none of these options are ideal, they do demonstrate a few different ways to share iDevice created books on the web.  How are you sharing your iBooks with the world? I’d love to know other options.


  1. This is great! I love the fact that you're sharing how you problem solve and how students' voice is always present. You and your class continue to amaze me...I wish we could visit your class. Have you ever thought of recording a "Day in the Life?"
    Thanks for sharing the great work you do with your students.

    1. Thank you. If you ever head west please let me know. We have had several visitors through our room this year from a variety of school districts. My students are quite amazing learners, but very typical grade one students too. I'm curious to hear your thinking behind "A Day in the Life" and how you would see that looking like. It could be something we could do.

  2. I have wanted to export our Scribble Press books and also found it was hard to do unless I saved it into iBooks! Thanks for this tip! I have been leary using the ipads in my class because we do all this work but can't show the world! Now I have another publishing tool - they will LOVE adding their voices!

    (I teach in the district and in grade 2!)

  3. I'm so glad you've found this post helpful. My kidlets want to put EVERYTHING on their blogs to share with the world. My goal is to find ways that they can do this independently because I certainly don't want to have to do all of their work. :-) I'm please with what they are able to do on their own. I am more than pleased, I am very proud.

  4. This is fantastic! Do the pages still turn on the blog? Do you have an example of a blog so I could see the finished product? Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. This is really good, Karen, a slight twist on the idea of screencasting the book using Reflector. In some ways your solution is better as it can be done entirely on the iPad.