Disclosure: Book Creator is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com. This blog post was written by me, Richard Byrne.
Book Creator is a versatile digital publishing tool that I have used and recommended for years. And every school year it seems to get better. This year is no exception to this trend as they have just launched a great collection of new resources for teachers and students. Let’s take a look at these resources and how you could use them at the start of the new school year.
If you’re reading this on August 10, join Book Creator’s free webinar at 3 p.m. ET, Creative Digital Citizenship Activities with Book Creator.
As I featured earlier this summer, Book Creator now offers a collection of digital citizenship resources designed to help teach good digital citizenship habits to elementary school students. The books, written by Common Sense Education, teach students to stop and think before they click or type, to think about their responsibilities as digital citizens and how to handle online interactions with their friends. The three e-books on digital citizenship include audio components as well as activities for students to complete in Book Creator. You can make copies of the books and distribute them to your students in your Book Creator account by following the steps I have outlined in this video.
Royalty free images
As part of the announcement of digital citizenship eBooks, Book Creator reiterated the point that students should learn to respect copyright when it comes to using images in their books. To this end, Book Creator includes a built-in image search tool that returns only royalty-free images that students can use in their work.
Drawings for those who do not know how to draw
Continuing on the topic of pictures in Book Creator, Auto Drawing is a cool feature that’s perfect for people like me. Although I regularly create sketchnotes in my notebook, I will never be mistaken for an artist. That doesn’t mean I can’t include good designs in my Book Creator books. Book Creator’s automatic drawing will insert predefined designs / clipart based on what I’m trying to draw. For example, if I try to draw a bicycle and only do a few circles connected by a straight line, Book Creator’s automatic drawing will start suggesting bicycle drawings to insert in place of my terrible drawing. Try it out for yourself or watch my demo to see how autodraw works.
Book Creator was launched as a tool for anyone to easily create their own multimedia stories. It’s still my go-to tool for that. But Book Creator is increasingly becoming a popular tool for creating digital portfolios. So much so that Book Creator now offers a digital portfolio template for students to use.
In its back-to-school announcement, Book Creator mentions three ways of approaching student portfolio management. My preferred approach is for each student to maintain their own portfolio rather than having a section in a class portfolio. I prefer this arrangement for two reasons. First, it eliminates the risk of one student’s work being affected by another. Second, it’s easier to share with parents at the end of the semester or school year. Of course, there is never a single recommendation, so I encourage you to take a look at the Book Creator blog and decide which option is best for your situation.
Get to know yourself with Book Creator
The last aspect of Book Creator’s recent back to school announcement that deserves attention are the Back to School Models and Empower the Learner Profile. The back to school templates are designed to help you get to know yourself by creating items such as a personal crest, a ‘hopes and dreams’ page, and an ‘all about me’ page. I would use these models just like my students so they can learn more about me and I can learn more about them.
The Empower the Learner profile model is a little different from the back to school model. This is a one page profile that students fill out. Before giving this template to your students, I recommend that you read this short ebook which explains the components of the profile and their impact on students.
Book Creator is hosting three free webinars this month.