cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by billaday

The announcement of new education tools at the ‘Apple Special Event’ excites many and leaves others with a range of concerns. Here’s a guide to this Apple education initiative if you do not watch the presentation.

iBooks Author is what excites me. I think Apple’s hype is justified and this tool will be a game-changer. Publishing just became a whole lot easier and other companies will play catchup with Apple, spawning an ecosystem of opportunities. You can read some interesting comments and debate at this post.

I would love to have students writing their own ‘textbooks’ to display their knowledge and a range of other skills using this free tool. Writing for an authentic audience just took on a whole new meaning. Here’s how you publish and sell your book online. This blog post is also very useful in understanding the mechanics of the process. I do have questions about ‘quality’ and ‘control’ but believe the benefits outweigh any concerns. I intend to explore these concerns with students…a good debating topic after they have played with the tool.

How do you feel about this tool? What opportunities can you see? Concerns?



  1. Like you, I’m excited by the possibilities that this latest development offers. Of course there are problems and concerns, but as educators we are also ‘big’ at looking into things and finding out how to make a difference in our classrooms. For me iBooks Author is where students and teachers can easily work together to make learning even more engaging, demonstrate achievement, inspire sharing and collaboration. We need to work out how best to learn with and from this new tool. It might be new now, but undoubtedly iBook Author or similar derivatives will be the norm in our kids’ futures. I can’t wait to see how this evolves!

  2. I’m excited by the new possibilities and potential directions. As Judy says, educators are very good at coming up with ideas that transform the technology into something innovative. I’ve been trying to make sense of all the concerns people have been raising, but above all that, I’m thinking ahead to what this means for us at Melbourne HS where we’re putting iPads into the hands of all teachers and year 9 and 10 students. This might make those who say the iPad is just a device for consumption sit up and take notice. Meanwhile, there are still many educators who are not coming on board with any technologies.

  3. I am also very interested in this initiative. Yes, creation of text books is limited to Macs at the moment but other companies have been quick to jump on the bandwagon in the past.
    Some might argue that this could simply end up being another form of information dowload rather than student active learning. That will depend on the nature of the activities that are included and more importantly, the tasks teachers create around the text books. This has always been the case and no one has yet come up with a replacement for quality teaching.

      • Darcy Moore

      • 12 years ago

      Thanks Eva. I agree. However, I propose that we focus on ‘quality learning’ in the future. We need to shift the focus from ‘teaching’ to ‘learning’. Sounds trite I know but it is an important distinction. Students need to take responsibility for their own learning (with appropriate guidance). I suspect that many educator need to focus more on learning too.

    • carlaleeB

    • 12 years ago

    Hi Darcy . This is my 2nd attempt at an iPhone
    reply :0 . I read a lot of responses with interest
    this morning and while my concerns are about
    Textbooks from publishing companies on ITunes
    Re equity , access , students learning in isolation on
    online environments with silos of info and such
    , I love the idea of iBook Author . Last year my 12 Modern
    created a book using Flipsnack as assessment for
    learning about Leni Reifenstahl . They included
    a Dipity timeline as an overview of the major features
    of her life ( syllabus outcomes) , an evaluation of her
    role as a propagandist or not , vusuals, historiography , footnotes , bibliography
    and several documentaries . IMHO , with a lot more to explore
    and learn about this process , it was an awesome
    learning experience for the students and myself . This
    structure was used for the whole topic , support
    from me but their research and publication . iBooks Author
    could really extend something like this further. Imagine the
    application in English !! I would post an example
    here if I could but happy to share a link when I can .
    Late holidaying at present ! Excuse if this iPhone post looks
    like a dog’s breakfast 🙂

  4. Having a play with iBook Author today, makes me want to start publishing! Anyone want to join me in creating some Stage 3 content? 😉

    • Darcy Moore

    • 12 years ago

    Good licensing discussion here

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