Do you need to teach kids how to use Book Creator? Probably not, as Kristi Meeuwse found out.
I came across Book Creator on the app store whilst searching for a better ebook creator.
My students use Book Creator every week from January (after they’ve been in school long enough to learn how to write a few sentences!). This is the story of how my students benefit from being able to pass their learning on to other classes.
For a short time, I considered that it was highly possible I had lost my mind. I was going to teach my kids how to use Book Creator on a Friday. Not only that, they were going to teach another kindergarten class how to use it later in the day.
Simmer down…my sanity is still intact. I worried needlessly.
My iPad proficient five-year-olds created a 4 page book on penguins in less than an hour. They illustrated their pictures in Doodle Buddy, saved them to the camera roll, imported them into Book Creator, typed their text and exported the book to their iBooks app in the morning. I demonstrated how to do this on the SmartBoard prior to their starting on their own.
The engagement was instant
In the afternoon, we hosted another kindergarten class to come learn from us. At one point, there were 50 kids in my classroom. They were in groups of 2 or 4, working together. By the end of our session, the other class had at least the book cover completed and some had their first page finished.
My children loved, loved, loved teaching them. The engagement was instant. Their conversations were instructive, relevant, and meaningful. There were conversations about word choice and details in illustrations. We even discussed getting back together and sharing our finished books with each other.
My students, in the end, wanted to know if they could show another class how to create their own books. What a great way for all of my students to have an opportunity to be a leader! Even the quiet and reserved students, who may otherwise be reluctant to share in front of the group, took a leadership role in the small groups.
A complete success
While the finished products are going to look great, the process in getting there was priceless. Not to be forgotten, the science facts they acquired as they wrote about penguins, their life cycle, and their habitats. Combine that with the literacy aspect and the cooperative learning on the iPads, and I’d say today was a complete success.
Kristi Meeuwse is a long-time advocate of Book Creator. She’s a kindergarten teacher who has pioneered the use of 1:1 iPad teaching to improve literacy. She’s also an Apple Distinguished Educator and Book Creator Ambassador.