Friday, May 4, 2012

ePub - or how to create your own iBook

I recently went to an Apple workshop. The Apple trainers bombard you with information, their fingers flies over the keyboards and they make everything look sooooo amazingly easy including making an ePub (an electronic book to be read on your iPad or any other mobile device)! They show you how easy it is to create a cool interactive lab instruction (including video) for your students to download on to their mobile devices!

Wow! me and my co-worker where pumped, we need to do this with her fist graders! How cool turn their "all about.." into an ibook made by the students with their own video narration. Lets do it! I went to her classroom picked a couple of kids books, decided it was easier to photograph their pages as opposed to scanning them. Problem number 1... the pages looked all grey!, the camera read all the white on the page and made it grey. I went back to her classroom change the settings on my camera to underexpose all the pictures by EV settings +1/3 t0 +2 (you need to experiment with this). No I don't use a fancy camera, just a basic cannon digital point and shoot, if you read the manual you can fine tune some of your controls!

The pictures came out a little bit better. I opened up Pages, I inserted all the pictures into Pages, changed the settings as Apple suggested and started to export as an ePub. I transferred the ePub to my iPad.... opened up iBook and voila there it was! A beautiful book about Dinosaurs.. but wait, what happened to the last 3 pages? Gone!! I did the process over and over, I shut down all the programs, rebooted the computer, exported, reexported, spend several hours but could never get the last 3 pages to appear! I am stumped! So.. dear readers of this blog, does anyone have any suggestions to me for why this is happening? One thing I still need to explore is the size limitations of the ePub... maybe the picture files are to big and all together the exceed the size limitations?

Anyway I have not given up on it! I will keep exploring and coming up with new ways of using ePub in the elementary schools!

Here is a link to Apples ePub template!

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