Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Using iPads to Create eBooks With 2nd Grade

I just shared the below on our school's 21st Century Learning blog. Being my first time using the iPads to create an eBook with students, I found that the learning curve was high for me. I think we started this project in November or December, and today, February 28th, I have finally "published" the eBook in a format that parents can access on their own iPads. 
Some of the issues were not learning-curve related, but were the usual school stuff: waiting for a sick student to return to school, scheduling problems, etc. 
The bulk of the issues were more related to management than actually using the iPads. The part where the students used Book Creator for iPad was very straightforward and quite easy. It was management and organization, as well as the post-production that posed a challenge for me. I definitely became fluent with the process of taking screen shots and editing them on the iPad. The most challenging part was converting the ePub file to pdf for sharing on issue. In the end, once I found out how to do it (using Preview), this wasn't difficult either. 
Was it worth it? I definitely learned enough to do it better next time. I hope that the kids are still excited about the book and that the parents will read it with them on their iPads. 

In the course of our iPad explorations in 2nd grade, some students made the choice to read ebooks that were in the iPad library. One of those books was the butterfly book, written by the first graders. Second graders loved reading the text and looking at the illustrations and photos in this beautiful book. They were also inspired to create an ebook of their own.

Julia, who loves looking at the daily agenda, suggested that it would be fun to write a book about a day in 2nd grade. After discussions with the class, we settled on the plan to collaboratively create a book detailing, "A Week in 2nd Grade." The first step was a collaborative brainstorming session to decide the most important and interesting things to include in the book. It was decided that each student would be responsible for writing and illustrating (via a photo taken with the iPad) one page. After deciding what to include and assigning pages, students used a graphic organizer as a pre-write to brainstorm ideas for their topic.
The next step in the process was to write a paragraph using paper and pencil. Finally, students were ready to use the Book Creator app on the iPad to create their page. As students worked on various stages of the writing process, teachers met one-on-one with the students to help them edit their writing. Because this process was quite long, not every piece of writing was perfectly edited. We felt that it was important to actually finish the project and publish the book and teachers did not edit student work without the student's participation. The writing you see, therefore, is authentic 2nd grade work and may contain some errors in spelling or grammar. If you own an iPad or iPhone, you can download the ePub file  and directly drop it into your iTunes library. Once you sync your device with iTunes, you are able to read our ebook . If you are reading this post on your iPad, simply click on the ePub file and choose to open in iBook.

Open publication - Free publishing - More 2ndgrade


Lacie Brothers said...

Hi Andrea,
I am a student from the University of South Alabama and am enrolled in an EDM310 course. I loved your blog about using iPads in the classroom! I found it encouraging that I am not the only person who has trouble getting used to such incredible technology. I just recently downloaded an eBook for the first time last week and am excited that you and your students will be enjoying the wonderful world of reading with me in such a unique way.


Allison Cullars said...

Hi Ms. Hernandez,
I am a student at the University of South Alabama and I am currently in EDM310. Your blog post was very interesting. I am amazed at how students in the second grade are able to work together and use an iPad. The activity seemed enjoyable and a creative way to learn. Your post has made me want to learn more about using an ipad.


Miranda Bounds said...

Hi Ms. Hernandez,

I am a student at the University of South Alabama and I am currently in Dr. Strange's EDM 310 class. I love that your students are utilizing iPads to create eBooks. I was interested to read about what a day in the life of 2nd grade is like. I have a little boy who is in 1st grade. I hope that he will be able to do some of the same projects that you and your class are doing on a daily basis.


Abigail Cooke said...

Hello again!
I love to watch elementary students use technology in the classroom. They get so excited and seem to be more interested with the project or work when they get to use technology. In EDM 310 we have watched first graders use computers and blogged with second graders. I am still shocked when I watch a first graders navigate through the computer. Thanks for the great blog post!