We appreciate this guest post from Book Creator. We think it is a great app and deserves consideration in any technology toolbox. We are beginning to explore templates for Book Creator and invite you to check out the product listed at the end of the post.
You may already be convinced about the potential for using educational ebooks in your classroom. But have you thought about actually creating the textbooks yourself?
Book Creator is a super-simple app for combining text, images, audio and video into an ebook that can be shared across the classroom and beyond.
Create meaningful ebooks that your class can relate to
For teachers, this means you can tailor your ebooks to the level of the class, or even to each student. This is what Math teacher Cathy Yenca did with her 7th grade students.
Teachers could create templates for their students covering any topic – vocabulary notebooks, informational research, music books – you name it. Book Creator books are easy to create, and simple to share – you can export the books as ePub, PDF or video. Use a cloud app like Google Drive or Dropbox and you have the power to create a classroom resource library that everyone can access with ease.
Turn your students into published authors
Students often have a greater level of motivation when they know they are producing work for an audience beyond their classroom. Book Creator is so simple to use that the app gets out of the way and allows for creativity to take precedence!
And when you’re done, why not publish the book to Apple’s iBooks Store and turn your students into published authors?
Half price for schools
Book Creator for iPad a best-selling app on the App Store, with over 25 million ebooks made with the app worldwide. What’s more if you don’t have an iPad, there will soon be a cross-platform web version of Book Creator available.
From time to time we like to highlight interesting opportunities outside the ebook world. We are going to do that today by looking at Seesaw.
Seesaw is a student driven digital portfolio and parent communication tool.
For Students: Seesaw empowers students to independently document their learning and provides an authentic audience for their work—their peers, parents, or the world. With built-in content creation tools, like photos, videos, drawings, voice recordings, text notes, PDFs, links and integrations with 1000s of other apps, students can demonstrate their learning in the way that works best for them.
For Families: Seesaw gives parents an immediate and personalized window into their child’s school day, helping to answer: “What did you do at school today?”. Through the Seesaw parent app and website, parents can view their child’s work, leave comments, and really understand how their child is progressing. Seesaw also provides automatic notifications for parents about new work for their child – so they can stay in the loop wherever they are!
For Teachers: Seesaw saves teachers time on organization and parent communication, makes formative assessment easy, and provides a safe place to teach 21st Century skills. In a 2015 survey of teachers who used Seesaw actively in their classroom, 92% report an increase in parent involvement and engagement since using Seesaw.
This week Apple® made a major announcement about their upcoming update to their mobile operating system, called iOS 9.3.
My family has been loyal Apple® fans since my husband and I first saw one in a technology lab in the 80’s. So we always take great interest in all the announcements and updates that are released by Apple®. Yet this update includes a particular upgrade or new feature that we thought we should bring to your attention.
The features are currently in beta, and will be available and free for current Apple device users upon it’s release. Teachers, administrators or schools who are interested in participating in the beta can contact Apple at email@example.com.
The Apple website this exciting and bold statement regarding these changes.
Apple goes on to state:
Technology can reshape education. And iPad, with its powerful features and apps, opens up new, more engaging ways of learning. With the iOS 9.3 beta, you’ll find a preview of new features that will make it even easier for schools to put devices where they’ll have the greatest impact — in the hands of students.
A recent article by Edsurge, provided a more comprehensive breakdown of the new features that will be included with this latest update.
For Students and Teachers
Easier to share iPads with “intelligent caching”
First up, Apple has introduced “intelligent caching,” a feature that the company says was added in response to the large number of iPad carts and necessary iPad sharing they recognize exists in schools around the world. With this feature, students who share iPads regularly can now log-on and reach the same screen that they last left when they stopped using the iPad—the same apps, the same settings and whatever content they downloaded onto the device.
Additionally, students now have the ability to enter a simple four-digit pin that logs them into their device and their iCloud account, right from the lock screen. (That particular feature will sound familiar to any iPhone user.) Or, for younger students, there is now a Photo ID feature where teachers can assign photo log-ins to students.
A second feature is the new Classroom App—which allows teachers more specific and remote control over student iPads and laptops.
In the app, teachers can launch and lock specific apps, websites or textbook pages on every iPad in their class. Additionally, Classroom offers teachers the ability to view any student’s screen as they are working. Additionally, teachers can project student screens to any Apple TV with AirPlay.
And for those students who forget their password? Teachers can now use Classroom to reset their password directly from their iPad.
New way to create and manage Apple IDs
After hearing from school administrators who wanted the ability to create Apple IDs on behalf of the student, Apple’s third feature is the answer to that—“Managed Apple IDs.” Administrators will now have features to easily reset passwords, audit accounts, create IDs in bulk, tailor privacy options and create customized roles for everyone in a district.
Apple School Manager
Connected to the aforementioned feature is the debut of Apple School Manager, a central place for administrators to conduct Apple iPad deployment from web browsers on any Mac or PC. In the Apple School Manager, can manage IDs all from one central place—including that ability to create IDs in bulk that was mentioned above.
But wait, there’s more. Thanks to integration with student information systems (SIS), schools can pull SIS data directly to create Apple IDs for students.
Apple has also added a feature that allows for an ID to be “graduated,” meaning that students can take their work with them after they leave a school. According to Apple reps, students have full control of the account and will get to take their Apple ID with them, as well as all associated content and data.
We feel this is an exciting new update, bringing power back into the hands of the classroom teacher. If you join the beta, we would love to hear what you think and will do a following article sharing your thoughts on these new features.
Don’t forget that Apple is accepting beta testers of these new features, for more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here at Dedicated Teacher, we would love to bring to you educational iOS apps that we come across that might be of interest to you. Some will be free for a limited time and others will just be educational apps that we think you might enjoy!
Our first installment is a Free(for limited time) App called ‘Spell ’till you Drop from Reading Laboratory 2.0′by McGraw-Hill. (Regularly 99¢)
More info from iTunes: Are you reading for a spelling adventure? Do you think you have what it takes to survive the challenge? Then Spell ‘til You Drop is for you!
In McGraw-Hill’s Spell ‘till You Drop game you will encounter over 600 words. Players choose a level, listen to a word, and attempt to spell the word. Get it right, and move on. Miss too many words, and watch your intrepid explorer drop from the bridge.
images owned and acquired from iTunes
Listen and Spell—Listen to the word, spell the word, and submit to see if you are correct.
Cross the Bridge—Each correct answer adds a plank to the bridge, but each miss brings you closer to danger.
Beat the Clock—Move on to a new board with each set of five words you spell correctly. Use Power Up—Extend the game by earning and using power ups.
Features •Three levels to conquer •Listening and spelling practice •Large set of words for replay fun •Engaging animated gameplay with sound effects