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TechCHAT: Using Book Creator With Lead Tech Integrator at NY’s Avenues School

Kristen Paino is lead technology integrator at New York’s Avenues School. She discussed using Book Creator with Education World.

The Book Creator app has been used to created 10 million ebooks so far. Students and teachers have found that the tool provides a simple way to turn a classroom tablet into a publisher of share-ready content.

 

Kristen Paino is lead technology integrator at New York’s Avenues School. She discussed using Book Creator with Education World.

 

How has creating ebooks on classroom iPads enhanced students' skills?

 

Students exhibit the 21st Century Skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity when they create digital books on the iPad. Creating digital books has motivated and empowered students to develop their own stories, do retells, journal, and even create presentations. Digital books are multipurpose, interdisciplinary, and an effective tool for helping students communicate. Using the iPads helped engage students in storytelling because they were able to use various forms of multimedia including their own text, photos, drawings, audio, and video.  

 

 

Provide an example of how you’ve used Book Creator to align activities and/or lessons to Common Core Standards. 

 

Digital literacy is an integral part of the Common Core Standards and Book Creator can be used to meet many, if not all of them. The skill of critically navigating, consuming, and producing digital text can enhance students’ reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language use. By writing digital books, students are able to show what they know about any topic in any subject matter. 

 

For National Poetry Month and Earth Day this year, we celebrated through a special collaborative project that featured poems written and illustrated by our kindergarten students and other students from around the world. Students began their project by proposing possible Earth-related topics for their class poem. Every student was encouraged to collaborate in the poem’s creation and given the responsibility of contributing at least one line. Students spent time brainstorming and discussing their ideas with one another before finally coming up with an individual line in the poem that they would share.

 

To accompany the words and ideas in their class poem, students were encouraged to create an image, using the Drawing Pad app on their iPads, that would represent their poetic lines. All of the illustrations were then compiled and published alongside their collaborative poem using Book Creator. The completed multimedia poetry book features their poems as well as other poems from students around the world. It can be viewed and downloaded from the iBooks store. 

 

 

Have you shared the books you’ve created beyond the classroom? If so, what was the response? 

 

Using Book Creator is a fantastic way to help students not only show their understanding to the teacher and their classmates, but they can publish and share their books to a greater audience. 

 

Global collaboration is a integral part of our curriculum. The Global Book Series is a series I helped develop, and includes collaborative multimedia books that have been authored by educators and students from around the world. So far, we have published a total of four ebooks to the iBooks Store (with more on the way). The books were developed from our kindergarten, first grade, and second grade units of study: Poetry, Shelters, Food and Schools.   

 

Authoring (and publishing) a book is one of the most empowering things  students can do. By creating these global books, we wanted to demonstrate how classrooms around the world could come together to publish something unique and creative while learning from each other at the same time. The global books were a valuable resource and provided an authentic learning experience for the students. 

 

The students took an active and leading role in the learning process. They were able to learn the importance of connecting and collaborating with peers in order to create valuable learning experiences beyond the four walls of the classroom.

 

 

Book Creator has received wide acclaim, but when applied used in the classroom, what really happens? Explain the benefits as well as the challenges. 

 

Book Creator is incredibly simple to use, allowing kindergartners as well as high school students, the opportunity to create professional looking books. Students can create their own multimedia ebooks that contain text, images, photos, videos, links, as well as their own voice recordings. Book Creator also allows you to combine books, making it easy for students who are collaborating on a project. Because the book making process is so simple, students can focus on creativity instead of figuring out how to use the app.  

 

 

Have you needed to use online support? What were the results? 

 

I have not had to use the online support, but the developers of Book Creator have an extensive help and FAQ page on their website. They even include a sample book within their app that doubles as the app’s tutorial. There is also a link to the support page in the “My Books” section of the app which, when clicked, takes the user directly to the support website. Very helpful! 

 

 

At a price point of $4.99, what makes Book Creator worth the cost over free alternatives? 

 

There are many other apps that can create books, but what makes Book Creator stand out to me (in those that I have used), is the smooth interface and ease of use. Book Creator is one of the most versatile apps for students and teachers. Plus, there are no ads or in-app purchases. In my opinion, Book Creator is definitely worth the price. 

 

 

For more on Book Creator visit here

 

 

Thoughts on this TechCHAT? Share them in the comments section below.

 

 

Article by Jason Papallo, Education World Social Media Editor

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