Building Collaborative eBooks on an iPad via DropBox and Book Creator App

Right now I’m lucky enough to be collaborating with the amazing educators, Michelle Hiebert and Jason Graham. They’ve invited my class to work on creating a collaborative book. The idea is for one class to write a bit and then pass it on to the next class who in turn adds a bit and then passes it on etc. We’ve decided to use the Book Creator app on the iPad to create our book. My kinder students have had success in creating books with this simple to use app. We have decided to use DropBox as a way to share the book back and forth with each other. (I recently learned this process from @KLirenman, another awesome educator.) What I thought I’d do is provide a simple how-to on this process.

First thing you need is to have the Book Creator and the DropBox app installed on your iPad.  (You will also need a DropBox account, but don’t worry it’s a free cloud based storage app that pretty slick.) Once you have these two things you are all set!

First, someone needs to create a new book in Book Creator.

Tap the “+” box to create a new book.

Next you will be asked to choose a book shape (portait, square, & landscape) this is a personal preference and totally up to you. After you have chosen your book shape you’re ready to start creating your book! To start adding text, audio, and images simply tap the “+” icon in the upper right hand corner as seen in this picture.

Tap “+” to add text, audio and images.

Take some time to play around with the “i” button as that allows you to change font type/size, page color, alignment as well as some other editing features. Once you are at the point you want to send the book to DropBox you can do it one of two ways. You can either do it from the book view screen or from within the book itself. It is my experience that either way is pretty much the same. The below screenshots were taken when I shared the book while I had that particular book open. If you have the book you wish to share open go to the upper right hand corner and look for the box with an arrow coming out the top . This will allow you to open/send this file in DropBox where you can then share with other classes/people.

Click “Open in DropBox” blue and white icon.

After you click on the DropBox icon you you will be taken to the DropBox app where you will be prompted to “Save to DropBox”.

Save to your DropBox.

You are almost done! From here you just need to share this with whomever you are working with. As you can see in the image below you must choose the file you wish to share (right side) and then choose to share it via our friend the square with an arrow poking out of his head icon.

Choose the book you wish to share and choose to share it via email.

Now you have officially shared your book with another person/class. You are on your way to completing a collaborative project that will undoubtedly bring joy and learning to you and your students. The benefits will be far reaching and vastly surpass the creation of book itself.

The person on the other end must simply open DropBox on their iPad and select the book from the list of DropBox items on the left hand side. Once they select the book they must then look to the upper right and choose the blue and white icon of the arrow pointing down into a little tray. As you can see the screen is very similar as to when you shared the book.

Choose to “Open in Book Creator”.

They must simply choose to “Open in Book Creator”. Once they have done this they will automatically be taken to the Book Creator app where they can add/edit the book. They simply follow the steps above to share the book again!

Now of coures this is not the only way to do such a project but it’s a process that we can all commit to. Since the kids can drive an iPad this process provides the possibility to puts the kids in the drivers seat every step of the way. I’m excited to see what the kids come up with!

Do you think this type of project is something worthwhile? What other ways have you found success in doing similar projects?

 

Avatar of Benjamin J Sheridan

About Benjamin J Sheridan

MS technology coordinator at the American Embassy School in New Delhi, India.
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7 Responses to Building Collaborative eBooks on an iPad via DropBox and Book Creator App

  1. Ben,

    Thanks so much for sharing this. It’s a must-do for English teachers like me :) Do you know if this App is available on Mac desktops/laptops?

    Thanks,

    Chloe

  2. Becca says:

    I am Sunday school teacher in our church. I think I can use this idea.
    thanks for sharing.

  3. Allyn Miller says:

    Hi Ben! I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to come read about this process, but I’m finally ready to start helping teachers use it. Our Dutch school teacher is ready to help her class write a book together, and I’m sure our K and 1 classes can incorporate this process into their writing workshop plans for a fantastic collaborative project. Thanks for the easy-to-follow guide!

  4. Richard Arsenault says:

    I’ve just been reading up on how to use book creator with my grade sixes. Since I only have a couple of iPads in my class, I’m looking forward to the collaborative process this will enable. What a genuinely authentic way to write for a purpose and audience.

  5. In my school grade 3 teachers are working on a book creator project and we just ran into a dilemma on how to save the project if we had to stop halfway as we were going to update our iPads. Trying to research on finding a solution I came across your blog. Talk about timing. Thank you so much for all the great screen shots and tips. Just makes it so much more easier now. I love book creator and now that you have given all the fix it solutions I am so excited. Inspired to start working on a few projects.

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