Monday, 3 August 2015

Book Creator: the Panacea App?

Over the past few years I have had the privilege of being a beta-tester for the Book Creator App.

It all started with a reach-out via twitter to Dan Amos who created the app. Soon after I was invited to join the book creator basecamp. A place where teachers and users could contribute idea's and solutions in order to improve the overall experience of book creator.

The app has come a long way!

Initially an iOS only ePub app the team at Book Creator have continued to push the boundaries of the app. Nowadays it is a cross platform publisher that is easily used by students across the ages.

In fact at my school I have seen it used by 5 -16 year olds, each in their own unique way. The ease of use and familiar controls make using the app a breeze.

Some examples I have seen done at my school or used by myself are:

  1. 13 year old students creating 2nd language readers for 7 year old students. Using a little trick that allows the younger student to have the book read to them by touching the writing. (PS thanks @Joe_Moretti for that one)
  2. Project progress reports at age 12/13 level. The reports include research interviews, photos and video's of progress, reflection, feedback and self-assessment.
  3. Instruction booklets for Lego Robotics. The students were required to design a complex machine and then create an instruction booklet for younger students. The feedback loop for this project was extraordinary as students got to see whether the instruction they created made sense and, often, they had to go back and add steps or explanations.
  4. Age 7 research projects. A book created on a specific topic presented by Grade 2 students.
  5. Age 5 my holiday projects (This one is by my own daughter #proudfather).
However, more important than the uses the app has is the ease of sharing. Book creator allows a student of teacher to share book in 3 ways:
  1. As an editable ePub (and therefor into the ibooks store)
  2. as a PDF
  3. and, amazingly, as a video
Once an option is chosen the student is able to share into any app that allows 'open in...', including Showbie, Google Drive, Dropbox, mail, messages, Evernote, Box and dozens of others. This makes book creator extremely versatile.

Once the book is shared, teachers and other students can download them to read or to add to their own book by combining existing books. 

One thing is for sure, if it's not the actual panacea the book creator app is as close as it comes currently.

Version 4.0 gets even better with comics!! Red Jumper Studios haven't yet sat on their laurels. Don't expect them to do that soon either.