Description of the App
Book Creator is an app that allows users to create their own book or comic book from scratch. Starting with a blank slate, the possibilities are endless.
Analysis of the App Platform
Book Creator is available on Apple products, Android devices and Windows. In the Grade 1/2 classroom, we accessed the Book Creator app using an iPad.
Below is the home screen of the app. It allows users to browse through already created books as well as offers an informative tutorial on the app.
This tutorial would be beneficial for middle years and higher students. I did not use it with my primary classroom. When introducing the app, we watched a video about the app, I showed the class a book I created, demonstrated the tools available in the app and then they explored. I was impressed with how quickly the students adjusted to using new features and began creating.
This is what students see when they begin a new book. They have 6 options to choose from.
Once an option is chosen, they see a page similar to this (book option). Their blank page can be transformed with a few taps on the iPad. The addition and “i” symbol are the two main areas where students work from. Here, users can add photos from the camera roll or take a photo, draw with the pen option, add text, change the font, colour and resize. They can move objects around by dragging and releasing and resize easily. Once learned, the primary students adjust quickly to how to operate in the app. They would create new pages in minutes, adding to their complex stories.
Here is an example of the beginning of a book. The title was typed, font and colour changed and resized. The photo of was borrowed from the internet and resized by dragging.
Here the user used the pen option to add the fish to an underwater scene.
Once the user is satisfied with their work, they are able to upload it to a variety of places. To keep it on the iPad, they can upload it to iBooks. As a class, we uploaded the books to the students Seesaw learning journal so they could be shared with parents. In the learning journal it is viewed as a PDF and parents can choose to save it on their device.
The website offers a great support page that is easy to follow and extremely useful when you “just can’t figure out how to do that one thing you want to.” When first learning about the app back in October, I used the “your first book” help page often, as well as reviewed the videos.
Educational Value, Usage and Experiential Component
Introducing students to a program that was not prefabricated for them, with clip art and other quick functions was a great experience. Like mentioned before, the students imaginations were their limits. Watching them learn how to use the app and be able to use previously learned skills of how to navigate the iPad, accessing the internet, utilizing the camera and camera roll was impressive.
Once students were comfortable with using the app, I used it in a couple of ways in the classroom. During Daily 5, I set the app up as a station for students to work on their own imaginative story, using the drawing option and practicing typing text. The entire class enjoyed this and looked forward to their time at the station. The next way I used the app was to have students demonstrate their learning in Science. They are in the process of creating their own books teaching about an animal group of their choosing. Through these two experiences students are able to learn about the features of fiction and non fiction books while creating their own.
This application is easily tied into the English Language Arts curriculum as well. Currently students are learning about non-fiction text structures and features. Our next project with Book Creator will be for students to use their newly gained information and create a non-fiction book using some of the features learned about. I find that using the technology is much more engaging to students then asking them to do a paper project completing the same task. They enjoy using the features of the app; speech bubbles, photos from the internet and the camera roll, different font, etc.
I believe this app is so valuable because students can begin to hand these assignments in using the connection with the Seesaw app, eliminating paper use all together. I foresee education eventually becoming paperless. Other educators in our building are already making an effort using programs such as Edmodo. Thinking forward, if schools could become BYOT, apps such as this could essentially eliminate the necessity for school supplies. Markers, pens, pencils, scissors, glue, all can be done with the technology available on the iPad and in this app.
The students enjoyed learning how to use the Book Creator app. It was unlike anything they had used before, starting with a blank page and relying completely on their imagination to go forward.
I found the app was inspiring for children to use their imagination, they are excited to complete work and share it with parents. Like all of the apps I was able to explore during my major project, I will continue to use this in my primary classroom. I look forward to projects that students will complete in the future using this app, as they will only begin to operate the functions of the app with more efficiency in the months to come.