This year too I am so inspired by the work that students in my computer class have produced. Their capstone project is a 24-page eBook, and this year I relaxed the guidelines and let them choose any topic. I wanted to see how they use this moment in time to come up with ideas, rather with no boundaries.
I wanted to see what has been brewing in the minds of young people. I was in for a shock! This semester, I noticed more fiction emerging than all the semesters before, combined. Even the non-fiction was telling. Topics include, “The most tragic events in history,” the solar system, and one on somewhat gruesome events of World War II. But the outpouring of fiction made me have to allow them to go beyond the 24-page requirement.
Here are some of the topics:
“The Mind Traveler,” “The Girl Astronaut,” “A Vacation in the Woods,” “The Mystery Letters.” Two books on Softball as a backdrop to drama, two on dance techniques, a romance, one on the harmful technologies affecting young people, and one two on mental illness. There’s more….
My students design the front and back covers using only copyright-free images, they control margins, and on my insistence, ad nauseam, use plenty of white space. Take a look at these, and let me know if what we are seeing an explosion of creativity in 12 and 13 year olds. Perhaps this year with so many ups and downs has rekindled the urge to read, imagine and tell stories. I hope I am right.
It makes being a teacher so rewarding!
Click on the images and they link to actual eBooks.
As a final project to wrap up their mastery of layout and editing tools in Microsoft, my students created a 22-page book. Each book was published as an eBook.
To kick it off, they brainstormed themes for their book. Followed by a unit on creative book titles, I was fascinated to see them come up with titles such as these:
- Is Amelia Earhart Dead?
- Oh, the Creatures You’ll Find! – Mythical creatures
- A Helping Paw – On dogs that risked their lives for humans
- The Ultimate European Bucket List – no explanation needed
- A Pigeon’s Eye View of Europe
- Johnny B. Goode Tonight – Classic rock songs
- Tragic Waters – The most disastrous storms
- Geek out with Dragons – For readers with a serious Harry Potter obsession
More than a 100 books are being uploaded today and tomorrow! Here are two. Click on images to launch the books!
As I mentioned yesterday I’m trying out different publishing tools for eBooks. Here’s the second option, using SimpleBooklet. It is at www.Livebooklet.com. Click on the image to open the book
- Simply upload a PDF and the site converts it to an eBook.
- You could start with a blank page and add content –including audio and video.
- You could change the layout of the book, the way the page flips, and also add a contact card.
- Sharing is a big deal here. It generates links and embed code for social channels.You could also email directly from the website to your network.
- QR Code generator. Very neat feature lets you generate the QR code –on the right.
- You can check Stats on the dashboard (it uses Google Analytics)
- My best feature: A unique URL livebooklet.com/yourtitlehere
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NOTE: The previous eBook Was created using YouBlisher.com.
I am testing a book creation tool called YouBlisher. The goal is to learn how it works so I could teach my students next year how to ‘publish’ in more ways than one! Test it out and let me know what you think.
Click on the icon to view a digital book that lets you flip pages. Then read below the pros and cons:
What’s good about Youblisher:
- It’s free, so I don’t have to download any software.
- The content has to be created on a local computer, and not on the provider’s website.
- You need to convert your document into a PDF to upload it. Which means you create your book as a Microsoft Word doc, or Publisher. Alternatively, you could create a photo book using Photoshop or Powerpoint. As long as you save it as a PDF.
- The pages flip like a professional ebook.
- YouBlisher gives you a link to embed (which is not what I did here – I just linked an image of the cover, back to the site.) They also give you a Facebook embed code.
What I wish was possible:
- A way to download the entire ebook, and save it on any device
- A custom URL would be terrific! Right now it’s www.youblisher.com/p/1391665-Full-STEAM-Ahead. But hey!
- I wish the links within the content worked. There may be a way to fix this…
Note: The content for this eBook was culled from several posts on this blog. It took me just 20 minutes.
Forget the analog is dead predictions about books and newspapers. There’s a new one being resurrected, about the death of the computer mouse. Yes, indeed, touchpads have eroded the usage of mice. Pen devices and laser mice have emerged, too. But I don’t believe the mouse will “die” anytime soon, just as much as I don’t believe that analog and digital will be an either/or option. (I say this having written two letters on real paper yesterday, in addition to sending of some outstanding emails.)
It’s not just the digital versus the analog options we need to consider, but the hybrid form that might emerge. The Amazon Kindle may not replace my book – yet- but someday something like this eTouchBook application could make its way into my life. What’s the eTouchBook? It basically in the lab stage, where a book could be printed in a way that certain elements on the page could bridge into a digital environment. Imagine being able to move from a magazine article to an online video on your mobile device, or being able to “save” a short story you just read in an airport lounge as a text-to-speech podcast? I could visualize a time when we would enhance, not kill off our analog devices.
FREE IDEA: And here’s a mouse-based throwaway idea. Rather than bury my cordless computer mouse, I would be in the market for someone who could turn it into an MP3 player that downloads content direct to it. That way, when I shut down my laptop, I can still carry my reading material and listen to it offline.