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’ve been using and recommending for years. And every school year it seems to get better. This year is not an exception to that pattern as they’ve just launched a great collection of new resources for teachers and students. Let’s take a look at those resources and how you might use them as the new school year begins.
If you’re reading this on August 10th, join Book Creator’s free webinar at 3pm 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 clicking or typing, to think about their responsibilities as digital citizens, and how to handle online interactions with friends. All three of the digital citizenship ebooks 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 that I outlined in this video.
Copyright Free Images
As part of the announcement about the 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 that end, Book Creator does include an integrated image search tool that returns only copyright-free images for students to use in their work.
Drawings for those who can’t draw
Continuing on the topic of images in Book Creator, autodraw is a cool feature that’s perfect for folks like me. Although I regularly create sketchnotes in my notebook, I will never be confused for an artist. That doesn’t mean I can’t include some good drawings in my Book Creator books. Book Creator’s autodraw will insert premade drawings/ clipart based on what I’m trying to draw. For example, if I’m trying to draw a bicycle and only do so much as a couple of circles connected by a straight line Book Creator’s autodraw will start to suggest some bicycle drawings for me to insert in place of my terrible drawing. Try it for yourself or watch my demo to see how autodraw works.
Book Creator was started as a tool to make it easy for anyone to craft their own multimedia stories. It is 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 their back-to-school announcement Book Creator mentions three ways to approach managing student portfolios. My preferred approach is to have each student maintain their own portfolio rather than have a section within a class portfolio. I prefer that arrangement for two reasons. First, it eliminates a chance 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 one-size-fits-all recommendation so I’d encourage you to take a look at Book Creator’s blog post and decide which option is best for your situation.
Get to Know Each Other Through Book Creator
The final aspect of Book Creator’s recent back-to-school announcement that deserves attention are the back-to-school and Empower the Learner Profile templates. The back-to-school templates are designed to help you get to know each other through the creation of things like a personal coat of arms, a “hopes and dreams” page, and an “all about me” page. I’d use those templates just like my students so that they can learn about me and I can learn about them.
The Empower the Learner Profile template is a little different than the back-to-school template. This is a one-page profile that students complete. Before giving that template to your students, I recommend reading this short ebook that explains the components of the profile and how they impact students.
Book Creator is hosting three free webinars this month.