If you have been looking at the same standard Book Creator app over the past few years, I have some exciting news: It's time for an update!
Before outlining some of the key new tools and changes in Book Creator, let's do a check to see if your Book Creator app is up-to-date. Pictured below is the newest Book Creator home screen. Open up your iPad, start Book Creator, and compare.
If your Book Creator app does not look like the one pictured above, you will need to do an update of the app (and so will your students). Once updated, welcome to the marvels of Book Creator 5.3.0. This is an opportunity to re-ignite your enthusiasm about Book Creator, no matter what grade level you teach. (Seriously, Book Creator is robust enough to handle every subject and all grade levels!)
New Feature for Teachers: Teacher Resources
The Book Creator developers and community are committed to supporting educators who use their product. In the newest update you'll see an offer for teachers to join the Book Creator community in the lower left of the screen (it will later be located in the upper left under the menu icon, which looks like three blue horizontal lines).
Signing up for the Teacher Resources is easy, and can inspire new ideas for educators at all grade levels. If you have stayed away from Book Creator because you cannot determine how it could be useful, take a few minutes to explore the sample books made by students and teachers from across the world. These books unveil how the tool is being used to showcase learning in every subject area. These books also show off just how powerful Book Creator really is with a creative mind.
New Feature for Teachers: Publish Books Online
One hang-up of Book Creator has been sharing student work with others who do not have the Book Creator app. The developers have tackled this challenge for classroom teachers. Once teachers have created a free teacher account, they can now publish these books online using the ePub format. This keeps video and media (including audio recordings) in place, and makes them accessible to anybody online, regardless of the device they use to view the book.
Learn more about the free online publishing of Book Creator projects for teachers by visiting this link.
New Tool: Updated Pens and Auto Draw
The pen tool has gotten a makeover in this update. Book Creator pens now come in varying sizes, ink colors, and styles. Draw with the pen, color with the crayon, use the highlighter, change the size of the drawing tip, and add some flare with Magic Inks.
However, the most notable update is the AutoDraw pen. Sketch noting is a powerful method for taking notes intertwined with drawing, but for the artistically challenged, later determining what the drawing was supposed to be can be a brainteaser of its own. Start drawing with the Auto Draw pen and Book Creator will offer some clip art suggestions based on what it thinks you might be trying to draw. Tap the preferred image and immediately have a professional looking icon representing your thinking or ideas. It's hard to believe it is as easy as I have explained. Give it a try to find out for yourself.
New Tool: Include Maps
Geography is hardly something that can be overlooked when studying any topic, but it is also a subject area that is difficult to generate interest in when taught out of context. Book Creator now allows users to embed a map from anywhere in the world that will allow geography to be a part of the showcase of learning. And it's easy.
Tap the Map tool in Book Creator. Then simply search for a location, pinch to zoom, select the layers of the map you want to view, and click Done. You now have a map inside of your Book Creator project. Mix that with the pen tools and you have a way to annotate directly over the top of your maps.
New Tool: Adding Files from Other Apps
Things are about to get very exciting for teachers who want students to incorporate all of their work in one place (this can be read as: "If you are thinking about portfolios, consider exploring this tool!").
Book Creator users can now add Files from other apps directly into the pages of their Book Creator project. This can include files stored in Google Drive, stored in the Files app on the iPad or even stored in iCloud Drive. Teachers will probably want to try this one out before jumping into a full class demo of it, but the possibilities this opens up are quite awe inspiring. Learn more about how to add files to Book Creator projects by clicking here.
New Tool: Embed from the Web
Want to bring the flashiness of the Web into your Book Creator projects? With the Web Embed tool you can. This actually is incredibly easy to use by simply pasting a web address into the provided box and letting Book Creator do the rest. It is equally powerful, allowing users to incorporate a specific web object using embed code. If your aim is to focus students on a specific website, or point them to unique experience on the web, without having them get lost down the rabbit hole of web searches, this might be a great tool to consider. Learn more about the Web Embed tool in Book Creator by clicking here.
Tool Update: Incorporate GarageBand Recordings in Book Creator
This one is not a new tool, but still a noteworthy feature. Book Creator does have an audio recording tool built in, but in many cases students want to have more flexibility and creativity with their audio recordings. GarageBand will allow them that flexibility. The question for some teachers is, "Where do we go with GarageBand recordings when they are finished?"
There is a method for incorporating those GarageBand recordings into Book Creator projects (quite easily, actually. I'm going to refer you to the experts on the subject here, as the Book Creator team is committed to continually updating their documentation on subjects like these with each iOS update. Take a look at the tutorial available here to learn how to incorporate GarageBand created audio files right into your Book Creator projects.