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Peer Review

iBooks Author App for iOS



Overall Numeric Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.75 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Oct 22, 2012 by Teacher Education
Overview: iBooks Author is an amazing new app that allows anyone to create beautiful Multi-Touch textbooks — and just about any other kind of book — for iPad. With galleries, video, interactive diagrams, 3D objects, and more, these books bring content to life in ways the printed page never could. iBooks Author lets you create books that people with disabilities can read and experience. The table of contents, glossary, widgets, main text, and more are built to automatically take advantage of VoiceOver technology. Add accessibility descriptions to any widget or media — including movies and reviews — so even those with vision impairments can use them. As of September 23, 2012, this application (located in the Mac Store) is FREE.
Type of Material: Reference Material
Recommended Uses: This App is applicable for producing presentations, writing research papers, developing historical and pictorial biographies and portfolios, learn foreign languages (35), and creating individual iBooks textbooks for iPAD. It would also be useful for interactive portfolios for students.
Technical Requirements: Mac (OS X) 10.7.2 or later Keynote ’09 (v5.1.1 or later) is required for Keynote widgets iBooks 2 is required for previewing iTunes 10.5.3. is required for syncing iOS 5 iPad and iPhones note:The iPhone operating system (iOS 5) changed the “Accept Cookies” setting to “Never” by default. To change this, go to Settings and select Safari. Under the Privacy section, change the Accept Cookies setting to “From Visited.”
Identify Major Learning Goals: There are no specific instructional goals for this material. However, the resulting books can address whatever instructional goals that the author wishes.
Target Student Population: College, and K-16 Faculty
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Familiar with basic word processing features---especially with the iOS (Mac) productivity application (Keynote & Pages). User should also be comfortable with iTunes, iBookstore, and iTunes U.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The applicability and usage of the app to produce various types of material is clearly communicated. Also, the description and features of the app make it easy for the user to understand. This is a great reference tool for those students and/or faculty seeking to design their on content. The interactivity, that has become popular with iBooks, makes this an attractive methods to transform course content. The content can easily align with the curriculum because the user can merge a variety of information into one book.
Concerns: The usage and application of the app appears to be based on the assumption that the user is competent in navigating the varoius functions of the iSO, which is a pre-reqisite for using the App. Appropriate copyright would need to be applied to resources used within the iBook.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: High quality learning goals can be achieved based on proper use and implementation of the faculty member. Students and faculty can have access to iBook products on their mobile devices, and content should align to course learning outcomes.
Concerns: The content will determine if it builds off on prior concepts; however, this could be difficult to assess since this is user-created. iBooks developed with collaboration may cause gaps in the important content.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: The features are easy to use if you are familiar with the iOS system and their productivity applications: Pages, Keynote, and iTunes. It meets the accessibility requirements by having many of features embedded within the tool itself. The nature of the App, which is engaging, might enhance students' determination to complete a project.
Concerns: Especially at the middle and high school level,preparation and demonstration of how the App can be applied the students' project, content, knowledge or skill will probably be required. The App can not run without the internet, and there is no means to use this on a PC device/desktop. User would need guidance on content design to make sure that content was appealing, appropriate, and is high in quality.

Other Issues and Comments: Although this app is free, the final product created by the user may be free or have a price (as determined by the developer).