Book Creator has long been a favorite app on the iPad, and now it’s available for Google Chrome. Students who use Chromebooks, PCs, Macs, iPads, or any other device can now create books with this versatile, easy-to-use app.
Right now, my students are creating books about their heroes. We've been using Joseph Campbell’s model of “the hero's journey” in our class, and each of my students will be creating a six-page book on his or her hero. They’ll be adding photographs, videos, audio and text about their hero.
Standards: I’m using this project as a summary of all the graphic design lessons that I’ve taught my students, everything from color to fonts. I'm expecting them to use these principles in their books, but I’m also hoping that they'll create a great keepsake commemorating why their hero is so special to them. Many of my students have chosen to write about their parents or grandparents, so the results could (and should) be outstanding.
Interactivity: Book Creator is different from many other tools because you can actually record your voice with it, as well as linking to videos in these fully interactive books. Kids can create them in a snap and use them as portfolios of their work.
Collaboration: With a click of a button, we can combine the books and publish them as a class. So when this project is over, each of my students can proudly point to their work in a combined book called The Book of Heroes.
Audience: Remember that audience improves student learning—nobody wants to do wastebasket work. Students will be able to download their books as PDFs and print them. They can also send them as eBooks that people can read on their mobile devices or computers. They’ll be able to do this with their individual books as well as with the class hero anthology.
Book Creator Features
Some of my favorite features include:
- Many different book sizes
- A range of styles from traditional books to comic books
- Each classroom gets 40 free books
- Customizable font, colors, shapes, and background images
- Ability to add video and audio (Note: these won’t be interactive when you print, but they’re powerful additions to the 21st-century book.)
How Does Book Creator Work?
I made the above tutorial to show you how to set up Book Creator, but honestly, you don't really need it. All you have to do is go to the Book Creator landing page and click the “I am a teacher” button. They’ll set you up with a free teacher account, and you'll be ready to go! You'll have your 40 free books, and you’ll also get a demo book that will guide you through using Book Creator. Just follow the instructions in the book, and you'll know what to do.
The demo book is a great place to practice—you can't hurt anything, and everyone gets their own individual little practice book. Call this a sandbox, and let them play there to learn about all of Book Creator’s features.
Possibly the best way to introduce students to this tool is by having them understand that they can put their best work on display for people to look at. Kids want an audience, and Book Creator for Chrome gives us that. This fantastic addition to your class lets students create audience-facing works for authentic assessment that can also be keepsakes from their year in your classroom.
Vint Cerf, one of the “fathers” of the internet, often talks about something called “bit rot.” We put so much online yet we're not really making an effort to preserve it.
Well, Book Creator is a great way to preserve student work because you can print these books to create an archive. However, you can still keep them in easy digital reach on your phones, digital ebook reader, or any electronic device. This tool is the best of both worlds.
Who Can Use Book Creator?
Book Creator is perfect for kids of all ages. I’ve seen books made by kindergarteners, college students, and special needs kids. I’ve mentioned it in many of my podcasts, and I'm excited that such a useful, versatile app is coming to Chrome.
Get started. So set up your Book Creator for Chrome today, and tweet me a link to your books when you get them done.
Privacy Settings. Remember that the privacy settings can be adjusted. You can have the students see just their own book and share them only with you. But after you're done with the project, it’s possible to share these books with others—and even publicly if you choose.
As the teacher, I can publish the books I choose to share and that have parent permission.
Let your students’ imagination and expertise run wild. Give them a chance to proudly own their work. See what they can create when they know their work truly matters.