Help Students Create Educational E-Books with iBooks Author iPad App

Using iBooks Author, students can create and publish e-books for iPad. iBooks Author enables students to write e-books for iPads that integrate media, interactive elements, 3D objects, and more. Educators can use iBooks Author to publish educational material for iPads used in their classrooms.

iBooks Author is designed to differentiate e-books by including compelling, interactive content that was never possible on the printed page. It's no coincidence that Apple announced the release of iBooks Author at the same event that introduced the new iBookstore category for e-textbooks.

One of the more popular applications of iBooks Author is intended to be the creation and self-publishing of textbooks for the education market. The software works on Mac computers running the Mac OS X operating system (10.7.2 or higher) and is available for free download in the Mac App Store.

Creating interactive multimedia e-books could certainly be the subject of a book all its own an e-book of course. This article only scratches the surface of how to use iBooks Author. The interface will be somewhat familiar to anyone who has used word processing or presentation software, and it's particularly close in nature to Apple's Keynote presentation software.

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The highlights of iBooks Author includes the following:

  • Templates: Start by selecting a template that has predesigned layouts you can select and adapt.

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  • Text import feature: You can import text from any Word or Pages documents directly into the Book Navigator.

  • Image implementation: Drag and drop any images on to the page and your text will automatically flow around the object.

  • Widget power: Including widgets for interactive photo galleries, movies, keynote presentations, animations, interactive images, and 3D objects, this feature gives users the capability to create truly customizable objects in books. If you know some coding, you can even get your hands dirty creating HTML widgets that display custom content.

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  • Chapter reviews: Add chapter reviews for readers to measure their understanding. Question types include multiple choice, choose the correct image, label the image, or a mix of all three. What's more, authors can include up to six alternative answers to each question.

  • Publishing: Preview your e-book on your iPad. When you're ready to publish, you can submit it to the iBookstore for purchase or free download. You can also export and share your e-book on iTunes U or give it to anyone with an iPad.

You can review the conditions and common distribution questions on the Apple support website.

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