Exploring….very quickly.

Every since I owned an Apple computer I loved learning the applications. With a little exploring, research and experimentation they could make you look like a computer genius.  I could create projects that looked almost professional and I could teach the students as well.  I vividly remember how amazed my colleagues were after showing them my student’s Keynote presentations.  They thought I was a computer wizard!  What I didn’t tell them was that I had learned the basics of the application in a few hours and that I was still learning as I taught the students.   Apple is well-known for being user friendly so I was really excited to learn their e-book authoring application, iBooks Author.

My partner on this e-book project is Dianne. We have downloaded a number of iBook authored books. Since it is still a new application there aren’t as many books as I had hoped.  Despite being disappointed with the lack of selection to this point I was impressed with how amazing some of the multi-touch books were.  Some of the textbooks were outstanding, filled with video and interactive widgets. I suggest looking at E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth.  Not sure if our book will be quite that spectacular but we were able to gather some good ideas.

After work today we looked at iBooks Author: The Definitive Guide on my iPad.  It’s an interactive manual that claims to unlock the power and potential of iBooks Author.  So for about an hour we made it through about 25 pages.  I actually found it very useful even though some of the information I was already familiar with.  We were able to decide on a landscape theme from the template chooser because it opens the book up for more options. We also were able to become more comfortable with much of the interface.  We learned that is better to write the book first, which we had started, and prepare all the multimedia ahead of time. During our reading, I was most interested in learning about widgets (advanced multimedia elements): galleries, audio and video media, keynote presentations, interactive images, 3D images, html objects and reviews.  Widgets are what make these books so interactive and it seems like it is the most challenging part to learn.  Figuring out how to access 3D objects and putting “callouts” on images I am still not comfortable with.  Although it was a lot to digest this afternoon, I was left feeling like we had a much better plan on how to proceed with the book.

I am looking forward to our next session but I am starting to feel the time crunch and the pressure to produce a finished product.