Teacher Review for Book Creator

Pupils Record Their Learning

E C.
Classroom teacher
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, World Languages, Health & Wellness
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
We have been using a very old version of Book Creator (last updated about 2014) on iPad (1st gen). I work with pupils who have complex learning needs and so the first thing I do every year is take time to show staff the difference features that can be added to a book. When staff are more confident, they can support pupil as we work through the skills of: - adding a photo - adding a label - editing a label - adding sound - moving objects to improve the layout Once familiar with these features, pupils will regularly contribute to their own learning record. At the end of the week or at the end of a lesson pupils will choose an aspect of their work that they want to record. Initially we would use the camera in the app but came to find using the camera app allowed us to edit/crop photos before using them. Pupils can accept 1:1 support to follow prompts to access the photos and would choose the photo they liked best. This worked well most of the time but I have often found myself wishing the image thumbnails were a bit bigger. (Cropping photos let’s us cut out background and makes the focus of the picture bigger and therefore easer to locate as a thumbnail.) Within my class the greatest need for differentiation comes when we add language to our books. While some pupils can add a sound and record themselves speaking about their work, others can press start/stop while someone speaks for them. While some pupils can copy written words to add text others can accept support to interact with the keyboard. We all enjoy working with text as everybody is able to edit their pages to get the look they want...the font and colour are just a touch away and this is where our books become recognisable as belonging to certain pupils.
My Take
I like doing this project as while the finished book shows a variety of work, the actual process involves a lot of repetition and that is exactly what my pupils need to learn. Ability levels in using Book Creator do increase over the year whether that is through more willingness to accept hand over hand support or a pupil knowing the first thing we do is touch the ‘+’ icon. I think the predictability of Book Creator and the personalisation of it is very beneficial to my learners evidenced by the fact that it is one of the activities pupils rarely refuse to participate in. Now that I have access to the most recent version of Book Creator for the new session I know I am going to love being able to lock items in place. This is one of the reasons I haven’t written many books. Working on shared devices, I could make a book only to use it and find it was not how I left it - this is no longer a problem! I’m also going to love the invisible sound icons. My pupils need the buttons to be quite large to access them with any independence. I’ll now be able to show a small sound icon to indicate there is a sound but the activation area can be much bigger giving a better chance that they will activate it first time. (Also hoping this will reduce the over tapping which inevitably ends up pausing it!). What would be on my Book Creator wish list? I’d love it if the tabs opened up to be a bit bigger, maybe half the screen, again, to make it easier for people with coordination issues to select the item they want. The jump from such an old version to this up to date one means a lot of my wish list can be ticked off!