Thursday, May 26, 2011

Creating your own iBooks

The iPad uses the free, open e-book standard, ePub format. Being an open source format, ePub books are already widely available on the net.

But you can also create your own electronic books in ePub format which can then be opened in the iBook app on the iPad

Using Pages on a Mac
You will need a Mac, the Pages software and your iPad.
Create and save your document in Pages.
Go to the Share menu select Export choosing the ePub format.
Documents exported to ePub format will look different than their Pages counterparts. If you want to get the best document fidelity between the Pages and ePub formats, style your Pages document with paragraph styles and other formatting attributes allowed in an ePub file. Documents created in page layout templates can’t be exported to the ePub format.
Currently the Pages iPad App does not have the option to export to ePub format. You need to use the Mac version.

Using a web service - ePub Bud
You can use a PC or a Mac and utilise the free webbased software.
Very easy to use, students can quickly create their ePub format book on their PC or Mac.
Once created and saved students can either save the ePub format book to iTunes for syncing to an iPad or they can use Safari on their iPad to access the ePub Bud site and download the book directly into iBooks that way.

Currently the ePub Bud website capability is not optimised for the iPad. So you do need to create the ePub book via the laptop first. ePub Bud are working on an iPad app for ePub Bud that will allow this capability.

Download my ePub Bud ebook from your iPad in to iBooks to see how easy it is. A very simple book with photos and text and a hyperlink to a website.

Sparky and Shadow Explore by Lisa Nash - download the free ebook now from ePub Bud!

iPad keyboards

One of our team has recently bought a Logitech Keyboard Case by ZAGG for iPad
The keyboard in the case connects to your iPad 2 via Bluetooth, and the inside of the case is lined to make sure it protects your iPad. The advantage of this case is the form factor - slim, with the same colour as the iPad 2, and the ability to have the iPad in landscape or portrait. You also get iPad 2 dedicated control keys.

Find reviews of other keyboard cases at Mactalk.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Interactive Bible App

From the makers of the Glo Bible Software comes the Glo Bible App for iPhone or iPad.

Glo is an interactive Bible that brings the text of Scripture to life through HD videos, high-resolution images, articles, 360-degree virtual tours, and much more.

The app includes text of the Bible in a choice of King James Version or New International Version (British). Along with the text the app provides photographs of archaeological sites, reconstructions of places featured in the text, artwork, photographs and videos. As you read the text, you can access definitions of various terms, and images relevant to the text.

There is a free version Glo Lite and a paid version.

Upgrade to Glo Premium in-app for access to 3500+ media elements linked to the entire Bible for $50.

Learning Exchange has a CD-ROM PC version of this bible that can borrowed by emailing Learning Exchange to

Friday, May 20, 2011

Digital Storytelling with the iPad

Digital Storytelling with the iPad is a very useful website providing:
  • a listing of relevant apps, including Storykit, Storyrobe, Sonicpics, ideasketch and more
  • summary of the features of each app
  • Video tutorial of how to use the Apps
  • links to other resources to support Digital story telling
Teach with your iPad wiki also has a great resource page on Digital storytelling with the iPad. It includes other apps like Toontastic ($A4.99) which I highly recommend too for story creation.
This website also includes a description and some visuals from the App.

One App that is not in these lists but could possible also be a good addition to Digital Story telling is Comic Life ($A9.99). Only released early this month it does seem to have a few bugs as noted by some reviewers, so maybe try the cheaper Comicstrip ($1.19) or Toontastic first until Comic Life gets these issues fixed.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Highly interactive ebook apps for Secondary

Our Choice (just released 28th april 2011)
A follow up by Al Gore to his climate change documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth'.

This App for $A4.99 would be a good addition to ebook apps for any secondary school. The documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ is to be included in the Australian national curriculum as part of a bid to educate students on environmental sustainability across all subjects. So this followup would be a very useful resource for students. The App is notable for its high interactivity and rich media features. Watch this TED video for more details information about the features of this ebook.

Eureka Sports Science (free)
A fantastic app for all PDHPE or Science students and for anyone interested in the science of sport. This is a special digital edition of The Times’s monthly science magazine. This highly informative app looks at how the science of sport is changing the human race. The interactivity and enhanced graphics as well as stunning photography make this a very engaging app that you just want to keep exploring. And the best thing is that it is free. Note: this is a very large app and will take a while to download.

War of the Worlds $5.99
Produced by Smashing ideas this ebook app makes you feel like you have stepped into early 20th century London under siege from the aliens, with great interactive illustrations and matching audio. At one point while wiping the fog away from each window pane a sense of impending doom comes over you as each quarter image begins to reveal the alien looking in at you.

Dracula: the Offical Stoker Family Edition and A Christmas Carol ($5.99 each) by PadWorx Digital media.
In Dracula as you read you can uncover images, original score audio and film. You can light up the words on a page with a lantern, unseal the mysteries of letters and journal entries, blow the leaves off of tombstones to reveal the writing beneath, and even use your own “blood” to reveal hidden text on a page.

A Christmas Carol has steampunk-style animation, illustrations, original score, sound effects, and hidden Easter eggs of bonus content will draw you into the story's unforgettable lessons of darkness, despair, joy and life. Read a review of this version of A Christmas Carol.

A taste of more great ebooks to come for our secondary students is Level 26 - Dark Prophecy. Unfortunately only available in the USA at the moment but have a look at the promotional video to see the sort of interactivity that publishers are moving towards in ebooks for young adults.