Tips2012 iPad App Guide #24: iBooks

The iBooks iPad app is so much more than a glossy bookcase. It is a place where you can share ePub e-books, PDF files, and student (and teacher) created resources; enabling users to curate & create a library of digital reading material on their iPad.

For: Teachers, Students, Administrators

Cost: Free

Requires WiFi?: No for reading. Yes for uploading and sharing content

Educational Applications

  • Share student work (in PDF or ePub format) with parents and classmates as digital portfolios or yearbooks
  • Use the Book Creator app, or iBooks Author (Mac), to create collaborative class books and teaching resources
  • Store levelled readers (e.g. www.readinga-z.com) for use in reading centres
  • Use the built-in highlighter and sticknotes to practice reading comprehension skills
  • Share digital textbooks (requires iTunes 10.5.3 or later)

Teacher Tips: How do I add material to iBooks?

To add PDF and ePub materials to iBooks on your iPad, you can import files via iTunes, import from Dropbox or GoodReader, or save files directly from Safari. It is possible to save and share students’ work in ePub format from other applications, such as Pages for Mac.

You can purchase quality eBooks from the Apple iBooks Store, or find free eBooks on Google, which may be a better option for educators.

Teachers may also like the dotePUB browser bookmarklet (available for Safari), which enables users to save ANY website as an ePub file, which can be added to iBooks via iTunes. (Tip via iPads@Burley).

Recommended Reading

Tips2012 iPad App Guide #18: GoodReader

GoodReader is a good file management app. You can use it to save, organise, and read PDF files, MS Office & Apple iWork documents, Pages, Keynote, Numbers), images, webpages, audio, and video → all in one application on your iPad. You can then project these files on your IWB using the VGA connect kit (approx $30).

GoodReader can handle files in excess of 1GB, and allows users to easily transfer files via USB (here’s how), internal school WiFi networks, Internet, or email. It seamlessly integrates with Google Docs, Dropbox, Box.net, and WebDAV servers, and comes with built-in security options.

While setting up WiFi and school server connections can be a little technical, this app is highly recommended for iPad classrooms! It is a fantastic app for reducing paper-use in schools and classrooms – just make sure you read the User Manual first!

For: Students, Teachers

Cost: Around $5 (Download)

Requires WiFi?: Yes (for syncing)

Educational Applications

  • Annotate running records
  • complete observation surveys and  assessment checklists
  • Store important documents e.g. professional learning resources
  • Store and manage eBooks, textbooks, and worksheets
  • Annotate PDF files (note-taking)
  • Reduce paper use!

Further Reading