A rundown of Apple’s iBooks and iTunes

Corey Carson, an Apple representative, talked to us about iBooks and iTunes for education. This is the afternoon session for the University of Wyoming Technology Bootcamp.

iBooks Author helps you create an entirely new kind of textbook that’s dynamic, current, engrossing, and truly interactive. This session will cover how to create a textbook that is immersive and fun to use.

iTunes U will also be shown in this session, which now allows faculty to create and share complete courses, so students can carry their coursework wherever they go on iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone.

iBooks Author

Corey is showing us what is possible with iBooks Author, and he is showing us how to build a book.

iBooks folder
iBooks shelf

In iBooks, you can view PDF files, epub files, and iBooks files. Apple has decided to make iBook tools only for Macs. Corey is demoing the iBook, Life on Earth. He is showing how easy it is to browser through chapters. You can zoom in to articles on a page and work with interactive elements on a page. He explains that you can use a PowerPoint file to begin to create interactivity. It is also possible to highlight text on a page and add notes to a iBook.  It is possible to search through definitions on the book as well as search the Web or Wikipedia for definitions. Everything that is highlighted can be transferred to study cards. All the notes taken will automatically be backed up to the iCloud.

You need iOS 10 Lion to build with the iBook Authoring tool. If publishing to the iBookstore for a fee, it can only be sold through the iBookstore. The most that you can sell a book is $14.95. Apple gets 30%, and owner gets 70%. The iBooks Authoring tool is free to download and use.

Building a book

You get to choose from six layouts to start building a book. The template has place holders that helps to shape the image imported. When the book is first started, it comes with some features you may not want, you can delete these items. You can drag in MS Word documents or sections. You can preserve styles from your original document. You can drag in new images from your file folders. It is possible to check view in landscape and portrait orientation. Corey showed how to insert an image gallery. He pointed out some of the accessibility features. If you wanted to use a presentation, take your PowerPoint presentation and run it through KeyNote. Once the file is in Keynote, you can then add a widget to your book and add the presentation. Different types of media can be added with widgets. It is possible to control how the media is displayed. Corey demoed how to create interactive images. You can also link within the iBook to reference various topics or artifacts in the iBook. It is possible to create a glossary through some keyboard shortcuts. Finally, you can add multiple choice review questions.

iBook Author could be a great tool for creating weekly student notes.

iTunes U

There have been 700 million assets from iTunes U. Can use a browser to see iTunes U courses. Best seen through iTunes. You can upload full courses with video, documents, apps, and books. Students can watch videos online or download for offline viewing. Students can check off items as they complete them. Students can highlight and make notes on content you provide. Students can filter material based on type.

Stanford is recording 80 percent of lectures and placing them on iTunes U. Common Sense Media has courses useful for teachers.

Creating Courses

iTunes site manager gets to decide who can create courses. Course creators can decide what content to put in a course. Can upload content from computer, from iTunes store, or Web site. Students who subscribe to a course with an iOS device will receive notifications from instructor automatically. Start building a course with course settings.  It is important to select course type (self-paced or in-session). Also select creative commons licensing. Once the course is created, you can then share the link with others. Courses are hidden through obscurity.

Interesting demonstration of two interesting tools.

Recommended course

Cedars School of Excellence – Creating iTunes U Courses

Calibre is a tool for creating epubs, and it is free.