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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Making e-books with elementary students

Making e-books with elementary students

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Hi everyone, One of my instructional goals for this year is to have my 5th grade students make e-books that reinforce elementary science concepts. Have you done this? What program did you use to create the e-books? What worked really well and what would you do differently? Terri

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Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Director of Programming and Innovation @Edutopia

Hi Terri -

I was just speaking to a teacher about this, and he recommended this one:

Adobe for eBooks http://ow.ly/2XnNH

Hope this helps!

G P Witteveen's picture
G P Witteveen
outreach educator & multimedia producer

There are ones to read on LCD screen and/or ones to read on Kindle or Nook, sony eBook reader and so on. An easy way for Kindle (free software to use on desktop or laptop; but also on the portable device) is the free converter Calibre.com Just compose in Word then convert to the format of your choice.

Whitney Hoffman's picture
Whitney Hoffman
Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

PDF's can be imported and read on the ibooks app on iphones and ipads as well, so creating a book in something like Pages on a mac and converting it into a PDF will make it readable as an ebook in those programs as well.

I know I have a link for a friend's step by step in creating ebooks for the kindle- and as soon as I locate that, I'll post it here as well.

Whitney Hoffman

Blanca Duarte's picture
Blanca Duarte
Founder, LogicWing

There are so many ways to create ebooks and so many ePublishing websites that it's often hard to figure out the "best" kind for the students you are working with.

In my last project creating eBooks I used a website called http://www.Storybird.com. Educators can sign up for a free account and set up a class with usernames for students. Storybids are stories created online, in the browser. Students write books using an interactive storyboard and can illustrate their writing with art from artists from all over the world. In addition to a collaborative function which allows them to co-write with another student, parent or teacher, there is the ability to publish the work online, which can be viewed as a flash file (for iOS mobiles not user friendly) or as webpages (good for iOS users!). "Public" Storybirds can be "hearted" the equivalent of "like" and they can be commented on.

Finally, the books can be downloaded into a PDF format for a few dollars (at last view) or made into a hardcover book, like Apple allows with their iPhoto tool. You can always convert the PDf into other formats as well for viewing on an ePub app.

I suppose one thing I would have done in addition to the Storybird is embed the story with an audio file. Since Storybird didn't have audio at the time it was too hectic to do in the time allowed. I would look at CAST's UDL Book Builder as well. Storybird has some gorgeous pictures that children can use to illustrate their writing. One piece of advice is to narrow down the artists before the students start to create their book. This way they stay focused on the story and not the thousands of pictures. :)

There are many other sites that allow books to be created and share online like CAST's UDL Book Builder at http://bookbuilder.cast.org/ and http://www.epubbud.com/ like Sheri mentions earlier. The wiki is a great place to start! Thanks for sharing!

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