Showing posts with label ebook publishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ebook publishing. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Two New Ways for Kids to Create Stories on WriteReader

WriteReader is one of my favorite tools for elementary school students to use to create multimedia stories. The outstanding feature of the service is the option for teachers to write corrections directly beneath a students' original writing in their ebooks before publication. Students can record their voices on the same pages that they write on in their ebooks. And students can use their own original artwork or select artwork provided by WriteReader to include in the pages of their ebooks. This fall WriteReader added two new artwork options for students to use in the creation of their multimedia ebooks.

WriteReader's first update this fall added comic speech and thought bubbles to the design tools that students can use to create their ebooks. Students can now place comic-style speech and thought bubbles over any image on a page in their WriteReader ebooks. Students can write within those bubbles and still write below the images on their pages. Students could use that combination of options to write a dialogue between characters in the speech bubbles then use the space below the images to write narration or setting descriptions.

The second update that WriteReader made this fall introduced a new 3"x 4" image bank. This image bank features sets of cartoon scenes designed to be used as story prompts. Students can mix and match scenes to develop the sequence of a story and then write their stories based on the scene sequences that they create.

Applications for Education
In addition to the features mentioned in the opening paragraph of this post, WriteReader offers students tools to hear their words read aloud as they write their books. This gives students immediate feedback as to whether or not they have spelled words correctly or are close to spelling words correctly.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

5 Ideas for Making Multimedia eBooks With Students

For many years Book Creator was my go-to recommendation for teachers who wanted to have their students create multimedia ebooks on iPads. So when the folks at Book Creator launched an online version to use Google Chrome I quickly added it to my list of recommended web tools too. Book Creator can be used by students to create multimedia ebooks that include video, images, audio, text, and free-hand drawings. You can watch an overview of Book Creator here. After getting familiar with Book Creator consider having your students make one of the following types of ebooks.

1. Multimedia Comic Books
Book Creator offers a half-dozen page layout templates including three specifically designed for students who want to make their own comic books. Within those comic templates students will find options for adding speech and thought bubbles, word art, comic stickers, and clip art to the pages of their comic books. They can also add utilize all of the other Book Creator tools like recording audio and inserting videos into the pages of their comic books.

2. Digital Portfolios
Book Creator supports uploading many kinds of media and then adding that media to the pages of an ebook. This can be a great way to have students build digital portfolios of their best work.

3. How-to Guides
Combining text, pictures, and video on the same page can be an excellent way to build a how-to guide for everything from conducting science experiments to tuning a lawn mower's engine.

4. Creative Writing
Students can enhance their creative writing by adding sound effects, mood music, or spoken words to the pages of their Book Creator ebooks. Students can do this by selecting the option to import media into any page of their ebooks.

5. Multimedia Reports
Watching videos and listening to podcasts is increasingly a part of the research that students do when beginning a research assignment. Rather than just writing summaries of the content of those videos or podcasts, students can embed them into the pages of their reports written in Book Creator.

Book Creator is available for individual registration as well as school-wide registration. From now until the end of September Book Creator is offering a great discount on their school-wide package

Disclosure: Book Creator is currently an advertiser on

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

WriteReader - Honoring the Emergent Writing of Young Learners

This is a guest post provided and sponsored by WriteReader.

Last spring, I discovered WriteReader. Sign-up was easy and free, and the site is very user-friendly. I was pleased to find that it didn’t take hours of my time to figure it out before using it with my students.

Most importantly, it’s “kid-friendly.” It’s designed with K-5 students in mind. They can log-in easily and the simple format allows young learners to manage the site independently. There are embedded supports for students, such as large buttons and an accessible picture bank or a safe search for photos. It’s appealing, engaging, and fun!

Emergent and Conventional Writing
Our elementary school was so impressed with WriteReader that we quickly bought subscriptions for the upgraded version. The students, parents, and teachers all love it! One thing that we really love about it is that it honors the "emergent" writing of young learners. Audio support can give either the letter name or sound to the students to encourage independent work. Also, there are two spaces for writing on the screen – one for emergent writing (child) and one for conventional writing (adult). The adult does not edit or delete the child’s work. The space below is for the parent or teacher to offer feedback or encouragement, or to transcribe the child's writing into "adult" writing (using language conventions, such as correct spelling, grammar, sentence structure, sequence, and punctuation).

Another feature that we love about this app is that it encourages fluent reading. Once students have finished writing and an adult has added conventional writing underneath, the child uses his or her own writing for reading practice. Since the writing is about the child's own experiences and knowledge, it makes word prediction much easier; not all words need to be "sounded out" because the child already knows how the story unfolds. This is known as the reading-writing connection, which is deeply grounded in educational research and is widely recognized as a necessary component of effective literacy instruction.

Cross-Curricular Tech Tool
WriteReader is a cross-curricular tech tool. Other than story books, you could also use it for math/science journals, lift-the-tab books, dual language texts, makerspace logs, cards, song booklets, poetry collections, or self-assessment statements. Check out their website for lesson plans; their blog and monthly newsletter offer lots of innovative teaching ideas too.

You’ll be amazed at how engaged the children are when using this app. They are proud of their creations and are excited to read their stories aloud. Young writers and readers deserve no less.

Vicki Den Ouden (M.Ed.) is a Reading Intervention Teacher in Kelowna, BC, Canada. She has been a sessional instructor at several Canadian universities and is the TV host of “Learning Lab.” Her blog is and you can find her on Twitter at @vicki_den .

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Book Creator is Now Live for All Chromebook Users

Earlier this summer Book Creator, a massively popular iPad app, was made available in a beta version for teachers to try on Chromebooks. As of this week the Chrome version of Book Creator is available to all teachers and students. You can access the new Chrome version of Book Creator at

Book Creator's Chrome version supports creating multimedia books containing videos, images, drawings, and text. To create a book on Book Creator's web app just sign and choose a layout for your book. There are comic book layouts as well as traditional book layouts. After you have selected a layout for your book's pages you can add pictures and videos by either uploading them, by using your webcam, or by using a new integrated image search tool. You can add text and drawings by using the drawing and typing tools built into Book Creator. Your completed book can be saved as a ePub or published online with a private Book Creator link.

More features are promised to be added by the Book Creator team. Among those features are a Google Classroom integration and improved printing options.

Applications for Education
Students can use Book Creator to create multimedia fiction stories, to publish non-fiction stories, or to create digital portfolios of their best work.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Booktype - Open Source Digital Publishing

Booktype is an open source program for creating ebooks and preparing them for distribution on Kindle and iBooks. Booktype is designed for collaborative use by a group of writers. You can update your books and redistribute them even after your initial publishing date.

Booktype, the open source publishing platform. from Sourcefabric on Vimeo.

To clarify, Booktype is not a service it's an open source program that you can download and install on your own server. If you have the skills to manage it, Booktype could be a good in-house solution for digital publishing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Calameo - Multimedia Publishing to iPads and More

Calameo is a great way to publish your documents in a manner that makes them accessible across a wide variety of platforms including the iPad. Peter Vogel told me about Calameo a couple of weeks ago. I finally got a chance to try it out this week and I really like it.

Using Calameo you can publish your documents in a flip-book or magazine style with page-turning effects. You can add a background soundtrack to your document. You can also specify the sounds that viewers hear when they turn the pages in your documents. Your Calameo documents can be published and shared using Calameo's HTML5 embed codes (makes your document iPad compatible). Published documents can be annotated by content publishers and viewers (that option can be disabled).

I've embedded a sample document below. I did not use the sound effects option for this document.

Applications for Education
Calameo offers a nice way for students to showcase some of their best works. The annotation option could be good for having students comment on each other's works. You could also use the annotation option to compliment students on something that they did particularly well.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Moglue - Create Interactive eBooks for iOS and Android Devices

Moglue is a new program, available for Mac and Windows, that enables you to create interactive ebooks and publish them to Android and iOS devices. Your ebooks created with Moglue can include videos, images, and audio files that you import from your computer. Moglue supports a wide variety of file formats for image and video content. When you have completed constructing your ebook you can publish it to the Moglue bookstore where it can be downloaded onto your Android or iOS device.

The following video, despite annoying background music, offers a good overview of what you can do with Moglue.

This video provides an overview of the Moglue bookstore.

Applications for Education
Moglue is still in a beta development phase and right now all aspects of it are free. That could change in the future. Moglue has the potential to be a great way for students to build interactive stories. Educators could use Moglue to develop interactive etextbooks to match the content they teach.