This week, Book Creator has been my app of choice for two very enjoyable lessons at both ends of Key Stage 2. It is such an intuitive and versatile app and despite its simplistic interface it is very powerful. Book creator is both the best known and easiest to use app for making E Books. Pupils simply assemble and format text , images and even sound on digital pages. These books can be shared via email, shared as a PDF or published to iBooks, the iPads virtual book shelves. I love the way that when a child has finished creating their book they can publish it in this way. Seeing it sit on a virtual bookcase alongside other books by real authors has thrilled many children this week, as it did me when I had made my first E Book.
The Year 3 pupils that worked with me on Book Creator enjoyed making books about themselves and their friends. They also experienced my coding club/Year 6 ICT rule of asking their friends/ neighbour for help before asking an adult. This is to foster greater collaboration and independence in tech related work and to try to break the assumption that the teacher can fix or know everything. I was thrilled the way that the children began to take this on board. And of course, due to the mobility of the iPad children cold carry their queries around with them to other pupils t other desks. This independence and collaboration is becoming the norm for many lessons involving iPads.
Moving on , and in my class we took our learning about rationing and World War 2 a little deeper. The class used a custom google search I had created for them and were given the challenge to create a book about rationing for their contemporaries. Leaving aside iPads, Custom Google searches really helped the children find what they needed fast. Custom search engines are a recent discovery for me. You basically create your own mini google, so children can search through just the sites you select for them. You could argue children don’t need this filtering, but I find it brings greater efficiency and speed to research work.
Year 6 enjoyed presenting their newly extended knowledge of Rationing in Ebooks format. It showed once again that the iPad can bring research lessons to life as it provides motivating and attractive canvases to present what has been learned. I am always maxed by this..