Have I drunk the Apple flavored Kool-Aid? And would it be such a bad thing if I had? It started gradually when I wanted to understand what the students used to study and entertain themselves. I bough the iPod Touch 2nd Generation when it first came out. I loved the simple ability to connect to wi-fi. For people with smartphones this is a ability that is often taken for granted. I learned the advantages and disadvantages of having a small computing device, all conveniently located in a pocket. I am not proclaiming all advantages for Apple, in fact I heard a great presentation at PETE&C about Android Tablets in education. I believe the advantage is for the user to be familiar with the tools they utilize.
Last year I joined the smartphone ranks which was quickly extended to include an iPad. My primary focus was to figure out how to integrate it into the classroom. However, once I used it personally, the devices became more natural. To complete the circle, for next school year my laptop might get traded in, and traded up, for an MacBook Pro. Secretly I am most excited about iBooks Author. I love creating for the classroom. Pre-iBooks, I created my digital Techbook using the website creator Weebly. I went with Weebly because it automatically created a mobile version of the website that students could view from any device.
There are so possibilities to make the content more friendly for student devices. To get excited about the potential, I checked out a PETE&C session called Throw an iBook at Them. I’ve already read the online version of iBooks Author for Dummies. However, the recent review of the newest version of iBooks Author still does not allow the viewing of iBooks on iPod Touches or iPhones. I would continue using the 3rd party Book Creator app. The disadvantage of iBooks Creator is that students can not highlight and leave notes in the finished iBooks. The final product is still visually pleasing and professional looking, like the example I created to introduce BYOT and students are able to view from the smaller (and currently more popular) mobile devices. Apple needs to realize the educational market is not just limited to iPads.