App info: Book Creator for the iPad / Cost: 4.99$
Quick overview: An app that allows students to create interactive eBooks on an iPad. The app is extremely easy use, even for beginners. Books can contain images, student voices, and music. A must see for language teachers!
How can I use it in the classroom? I’d highly recommend that you take one or more classes to help your students create their short texts (just a few descriptive sentences) before even touching the app. Once that’s complete, ask your students to gather images on the iPad using the built-in camera or images from the Internet to support their text. If you’d also like to make this into a speaking exercise, you can ask your students to narrate their written text using Book Creator’s built-in voice recording tool. Books created in the app can be exported (e-mailed) as a PDF file or Apple’s iBook format to maintain the audio recordings.
Who is this most suitable for? I’ve found that this activity works best with lower to intermediate levels of English or FSL students. We have also used the app to create interactive storybooks with Ruth Thomas and Eugene Abram’s “Step-Up” students, a special needs program at ACCESS Riverside. The goal is for students is to create a short situation using only a few sentences of text revolving around a central theme. The activity helps students with basic writing skills, grammar, and (optionally) speaking. Please watch the following video for a brief overview to see how the app works:Can I see an example of some actual student work? Yes! Two students in Tina La Rosa’s ENG-B124-4 Accessing Services course at Galileo Adult Centre wrote their own text, took pictures, and recorded their own spoken dialogue for their eBook. To demonstrate what is possible, they have graciously allowed me to share their work on the Blog. You can download their book in either PDF or ePub format. Alternatively, if you’d like to see a video of their work (including their recorded dialogue) please click on the video below:
Source: Karen Rye, RECIT at Riverside School Board. A special thanks to Tina La Rosa and her two students Kader and Fateh for their contribution to the blog, along with Eugene Abrams, Ruth Thomas and the Step-Up students at ACCESS. I would also like to thank Susan Powers, and Sharon Meehan at ACCESS for being the first teachers to explore this resource with me.