Pro-D at Apple Inc!

iBooks Author & iTunes U!

We had the privilege of going to the Apple offices in Richmond this week to learn about iBooks Author & iTunes U. What an experience! For over 2 hours we participated in a “Beyond the Basics” session on Apple’s book creator software, iBooks Author. There are many book creator apps available, but once you choose to create within iBooks Author, you can clearly see a difference in the features available. Even better, a book created in iBooks Author can be ‘dropped’ into an iTunes U course, along with other media such as Keynote presentations! You can even embed a live Twitter feed!!

iTunes U allows educators to put complete course content directly on your iPad. Courses created within iTunes U allow students to have everything they need for their course right on their iPad, from the lessons, to materials (direct links to online resources or downloads) along with push notifications telling a student that an assignment is due. The Social Studies 8 students will begin their Renaissance unit through iTunes U in 1 weeks time, and as the creator of this unit I can already see how my students learning experience is going to change by learning through this app. The use of the iPad, iBooks Author and iTunes U is not a substitution of the material that we are already using in the classroom, but rather a redefinition of how we are presenting the information!

Some key take aways from our session:

  • Books through iBooks Author are interactive in too many ways to mention
  • Elevates the learning environment
  • they benefit the disorganized mind because they are highly organized (i.e. they will open to the last page you visited)
  • this is the way that books are supposed to use
  • clearly evident that content delivered via iTunes U changes the way students learn
  • courses benefit the visual learner, the kinesthetic learner and auditory processors
  • easy to create and easy to use
  • we have created the material, why not put it into the iTunes format
  • this is the way our kids like to learn

Many thanks to John Maschak and Jeff Booth for offering and delivering a great morning of learning. They really took Confucius at his word when he said “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand”.

More posts to come as we venture into iTunes U & iBooks Author!

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