Many of us have heard about the success of the iPad and competing tablets that seem to be coming to market everyday. Look around, more and more people are on their tablet devices while not on their iPhones or Androids. In fact, “17 million iPads were shipped in Q3 of 2012” (Apple). That is 44% more than the amount shipped in Q2! So what does this mean for education and for us here at the Convergence blog?
It means an active, engaged audience already exists and better yet, they are ready to learn! I see this as exiting the honeymoon stage with iBooks. Apple has completed their keynote speech in Cupertino. They have provided the necessary tools and software. Now it is up to educators to develop content for the iPad that wows learners every time they open their devices. If learners are going to remain engaged and identify the iPad as a tool for learning, interactive content must be created from the classroom level up.
What are iBooks? In brief, they are multi-touch books that can be viewed on the iPad and are made up of a combination text, image galleries, quizzes, interactive diagrams and more. They are the type of books you imagined would be available in 2012. iBooks can range from textbooks created by major publishing companies all the way to a personalized iBook for a particular class. There are a number of ways to distribute iBooks from selling them on iTunes Bookstore to delivering them through the UCSF CLE.
How are iBooks created? They are created using iBooks Author on a Mac. iBooks Author is free software available on the App store. The three requirements for creating iBooks are: an Apple computer, an iPad, and the iBooks Author software. Don’t have an iPad or a Mac? Don’t worry, the following UCSF Library resources have you covered:
- Reserve a Mac Workstation with iBooks Author installed in the Tech Commons
- Reserve an iPad through the UCSF Library iPad Loaner Program
- Download iBooks Author 2.0 software from the App Store
Patty Nason, School of Medicine’s Technology Integration Specialist, successfully helped implement iBooks into the School of Medicine curriculum. “Using iBooks Author has allowed us to replace bulky paper anatomy dissection manuals with attractive, media-rich iBooks. Faculty are able to create these resources themselves, without the need for a graphic designer. Distributing the final results was a bit complicated, but we found that sharing the iBooks through the CLE and Dropbox was a workable solution.”
Now is the time for a call to action. University faculty, students and staff have access to the resources needed to design the textbooks and course materials of tomorrow. A good place to start is looking at what is currently available on the iTunes Bookstore. A number of free books are available for download and serve as a great catalyst for starting to create your own content. Remember there is a wealth of support resources available both online and in-person. LTG staff is available Monday-Friday, 8:30am – 5pm on the 2nd floor of the UCSF Library for support and troubleshooting. There are also plenty of online resources (both free and paid) from Lynda.com to YouTube.
LTG staff will also be participating in the TLC Educational Technology Event on November 14 and 15. Patty Nason and I will be teaching the ‘iBooks Author: Create and Publish for the iPad’ workshop on November 15, 3-4pm at the UCSF Library. The workshop is open to all UCSF faculty, students and staff and registration is now open here tinyurl.com/TLCevent.
We hope to see you there!