I am so happy to introduce my first guest blogger! Joshua Taylor is a special education teacher extraordinare! I have gotten to know him as he is working with one of my high school clients with autism! Josh is a fantastic teacher who is constantly coming up with new ways to engage his students. I was so impressed with the e-Pubs he and his students were creating that I asked him to share this information in the form of a guest blog!
If you’re looking for one of the best applications of the iPad for students, you may find that it’s not an “app” at all! Need a social story with video modeling embedded? Easy! Want to put a recording of a student reading his or her writing? No problem. Interactive and engaging eBooks are easy to create on your own by using the ePub function of Pages (the word processing software for Mac). It’s incredibly motivating for students to produce written work that looks like a professionally-made eBook and can be shared with peers and others.
Some great uses for ePubs include:
-Social Stories (with embedded video modeling)
-Review of content area units
All of the tools and options that are available through iBooks and other eBook readers can be used with ePubs, including interactive Table of Contents, text readers, bookmarks, chapter links and linked notes. Using Apple’s ePub template, it’s easy to create your own interactive iBooks. It’s available at http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4168.
Just type over the formatted text and the hard work is already done for you–the chapter links and other formatting are already set up! Write your text, drag and drop your photos and video, and export as an ePub (Share>Export>ePub). Then just move the file to your iPad, iPhone or other device, and you’ll find it in your iBooks or other eBook reader.
After you’ve put it on the iPad, it’s there to read as often as you like, and since you’re the author, it can be shared with anyone you’d like.
Josh Taylor is a second year SpEd teacher (fourth year in the classroom) at the Stratford Program (Arlington Public Schools) who loves finding creative ways to use technology to enable students to show their knowledge and ability. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Virginia, where he is pursuing a Master’s in Special Education.