Omninox

A blog about education technology, teaching, learning, and startups

iBook Author's Effect on Education

A look into the iBooks Author application and what it can do for teachers and students

iBooks Author is a relatively new platform by Apple that came out only last year and that allows the user to create digital textbooks for the iPad. The digital portion is only half of the equation as the program also allows the implementation of interactive widgets that make use of the iPad’s touchscreen interface. This post is an overview of how the program generally works and a little preview into how it can be used in the educational sector.

Tell me more about iBooks Author please oh please!

You can think of the program as the original typewriter for most aspiring authors back in the day, but better, like 10 times better because now everything is done on a digital medium. Authors can format their text, change font colors, choose different book themes, all with a click. The customization functionalities available for the program are immeasurable and it is so easy to change what you’ve done to try something else out.

Widgets

These are what iBooks Author is all about. Interactive widgets that take advantage of the touching capabilities built into the iPad. Here are a few of the standard ones that come with the program:

  • Interactive Images -This widget allows for the importing of an image in text with the ability to be opened in a full screen mode with description cursers that you can place on the image itself so that when touched, it will zoom in with a more detailed description of the image.

iBooks Author Interactive Image

  • Gallery Images - If you have a multitude of images that are related to each other and want to save space, this widget allows for images to be housed in the same unit where the user can just flick through images as if they were scrolling through a photo stream. It is extremely useful when trying to keep images on the same page and prevent page space from being lost.

iBooks Author Interactive Image

iBooks Author Interactive Image

  • 3D Images - This is by far one of the coolest features of the widgets. It allows for three-dimensional importing of images that can be brought full screen. The touch screen allows for easy maneuverability of whatever image placed in the widget so that it responds to the direction that you swipe the image.

iBooks Author Interactive Image

  • Review Widget - Review quizzes that can be set up by the author that allows for various types of interactive questions that can be asked. Multiple choice based responses, drag and drop functionality, and image importation are just a few of the great features that the review widgets provide.

iBooks Author Interactive Image

What's so great about it?

Well, just about everything. This is a fresh and new take on how teaching and learning can be changed to fit the new technological advanced society we live in today. If teachers can figure out the most optimal way to use the program, then students can be engaged in a whole new way that can most likely appeal to them.

The digital age is here and the students from the kindergarten to high school level are exposed to so many different technologies 24/7 that traditional teaching methods are starting to become out of date. Being able to harness the capabilities of the iPad provides so much potential for improved and engaged learning. The best part about it is that this program is relatively young, considering it’s been out for only about a year. This means that there is so much potential for this type of software to grow such that new methods for engagement will continue to be developed. With this platform, the face of education will change forever.