Saturday, 6 October 2012

October 3, 2012 - Second Class Reflections

October 3, 2012

Our second class was mainly learning about IBook Author. This is a program I had never heard of before or used. My main background, in regards to technology, centers around the use of the PC. I have gotten into using Apple products, such as the Ipod and Ipad but I have never had much experience with Apple laptops, such as the one I am using for the course - MacBook Pro. I decided when taking B.Welsford's course I would be consistent in developing my knowledge and skills with as many experiences using the MacBook.  So, it was great to have a second class center around a Mac program that can be used by teachers for students and students for students.  Below is a short introduction to IBook Author.  Amazing stuff!!!

The possibilities of how to utilize this program for the students in my school are endless. I few that I have mulling around in my head are: 1)Social Stories - to be able to create the story for the student in IBook Author and then the student be able to view on the Ipad or computer itself would be great. The stories describe situations, skills, or concepts in terms of relevant social cues, perspectives, and common responses. The ability of the program to use pictures and video for modeling is critical for the Social Stories to be useful for the student. Very excited about trying this out with my students.    
2)Cognitive Cards-They are described as being is a "metacognitive tool for developing schema to enhance student memory". Well, what better tool than IBook Author to aid the student in that area.  The student could use the Ipad with the Cognitive story on it, at their desk while taking the test.  Cognitive Cards are a great tool used by students with Learning Disabilities and this program would only enhance that tool for those students. 3)Emotions-Zones of Regulation-To be able to use the program to teach about the four Zones would be a creative and attention grabbing technique for the students.  The Zones uses "a cognitive behavior approach, the curriculum’s learning activities are designed to help students recognize when they are in different states called “zones,” with each of the four color-coded and "road sign" oriented for clear recognition and reinforcement." 
4)Academic Units of Study-Teachers would be able to use this program to present information to the students any typical unit of study. For example: Grade 4 Social Studies Curriculum asks teachers to teach about Explorers. What better way to present an overview of the unit to the class but through IBook Author. The ability of the program to embed video would really capture the attention of the students with the unit. Using the trailer at the beginning would be a great start.  
5)Professional Development Presentations-Using the program to educate our fellow professional teachers would not only be educational but lets be honest it would also capture the adult audience.  PD sessions for educators are important to teach new techniques to be used in the classroom.  If I were sitting in a session that the presenter used this program it would definitely grab my attention. 6)Creating IBooks by students-The ability for the student to create their own book and transfer it to IBooks on their Ipad is incredible. I have used the IBook App on the Ipad with students before and the students have really enjoyed creating their own stories. This program takes that ability and expands it to the extreme. I think many students will love creating their own stories and publishing them in IBooks for other students to read. 7)Student Led Conference-I think IBook Author offers the possibility of using it during student led conferences. At out school we hold these conferences once a year, what a great opportunity to display their (student's) work to their families in an innovative way. 8)Physical Education Class-This program would be a great way for Junior and Senior High PE teachers to introduce units of study for their students. Through IBook Author the students would learn the rules, techniques, watch examples and even discover the history behind the activity/sport.  After the PE teacher had shown their Book for the students, this would be a perfect spring board for the students to create a Book for a group project. At our school I could envision the older students teaching PE games for the younger students through IBook Author. How much fun would this be for all students involved. 9)Project Based Learning-Project Based Learning is a method of comprehensive approach to instruction. Students participate in projects and practice an interdisciplinary array of skills from math, language arts, fine arts, geography, science, and technology.  I can not think of any better tool than IBook Author, for teachers and students to use to be incorporated into their projects.  Our school, at the Middle School Level, has recently embarked on using Project Based Learning and technology will be a major force to fuel the learning of the students. 10)Leadership Skills-I was not sure on what to call this but what I envision is the opportunity for students, especially students who have disabilities or challenges, to be able to demonstrate strength, leadership and knowledge to their peers.  Students could use the program to teach about a topic they are familiar with to their peers, also by demonstrating their knowledge of the technology that they are using. I also think it would be a great forum for students to describe and teach about their disability.  What an innovative way to teach their peers about what their LD is like, how it feels etc.  With knowledge comes understanding. I realize there are many other ways to use IBook Author, but thought I would share 10 ways that might be of use in your school.  

Before I end my latest blog entry I wanted to post a video I watched on the Apple Website yesterday.  You do not have to be an Apple supporter to appreciate all that this man did in the field of technology and how it has impacted the eduction of all the students we teach.  

Looking forward to next weeks class.  Happy Thanksgiving!!


  1. Thanks Scott! Your Apple journey has only just begun!

  2. Scott,

    Great ideas for the use of iAuthor. I like the idea of using it to reinforce the Zones of Regulations for students. I can see me using it, as an administrator, to produce our staff handbook! Wouldn't it be more engaging for teachtes to learn all about their school in such a dynamic fashion!


    1. Thanks Janet :) Great idea in using it for the staff handbook, see you Wednesday in class.