Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Using iPads to Create eBooks With 2nd Grade

I just shared the below on our school's 21st Century Learning blog. Being my first time using the iPads to create an eBook with students, I found that the learning curve was high for me. I think we started this project in November or December, and today, February 28th, I have finally "published" the eBook in a format that parents can access on their own iPads. 
Some of the issues were not learning-curve related, but were the usual school stuff: waiting for a sick student to return to school, scheduling problems, etc. 
The bulk of the issues were more related to management than actually using the iPads. The part where the students used Book Creator for iPad was very straightforward and quite easy. It was management and organization, as well as the post-production that posed a challenge for me. I definitely became fluent with the process of taking screen shots and editing them on the iPad. The most challenging part was converting the ePub file to pdf for sharing on issue. In the end, once I found out how to do it (using Preview), this wasn't difficult either. 
Was it worth it? I definitely learned enough to do it better next time. I hope that the kids are still excited about the book and that the parents will read it with them on their iPads. 

In the course of our iPad explorations in 2nd grade, some students made the choice to read ebooks that were in the iPad library. One of those books was the butterfly book, written by the first graders. Second graders loved reading the text and looking at the illustrations and photos in this beautiful book. They were also inspired to create an ebook of their own.

Julia, who loves looking at the daily agenda, suggested that it would be fun to write a book about a day in 2nd grade. After discussions with the class, we settled on the plan to collaboratively create a book detailing, "A Week in 2nd Grade." The first step was a collaborative brainstorming session to decide the most important and interesting things to include in the book. It was decided that each student would be responsible for writing and illustrating (via a photo taken with the iPad) one page. After deciding what to include and assigning pages, students used a graphic organizer as a pre-write to brainstorm ideas for their topic.
The next step in the process was to write a paragraph using paper and pencil. Finally, students were ready to use the Book Creator app on the iPad to create their page. As students worked on various stages of the writing process, teachers met one-on-one with the students to help them edit their writing. Because this process was quite long, not every piece of writing was perfectly edited. We felt that it was important to actually finish the project and publish the book and teachers did not edit student work without the student's participation. The writing you see, therefore, is authentic 2nd grade work and may contain some errors in spelling or grammar. If you own an iPad or iPhone, you can download the ePub file  and directly drop it into your iTunes library. Once you sync your device with iTunes, you are able to read our ebook . If you are reading this post on your iPad, simply click on the ePub file and choose to open in iBook.

Open publication - Free publishing - More 2ndgrade