As educators, we love and welcome the opportunity to create our own content. We are also very capable of compiling content from a variety of sources to create dynamic, challenging and engaging lessons. This is why iBooks Author is so cool.
But there are some challenges to using iBooks Author.
1. How do you get the content to your students? Everyone needs an iPad for the system to work (and really, isn’t that Apple’s goal?) Online sites like ePub Bud are great for sharing eBooks but much functionality seems to be limited. Converting the books to PDFs also provides a loss in functionality. And the new iBooks don’t work on the iPhone or iPod Touch.
2. Copyright, copyright, copyright! We have all photocopied a page from another textbook for our students. Yet, using content from websites – including videos and images – presents some thorny ethical issues. The easiest solution is to create your own content. That’s quite an undertaking! My recommendation – cite everything. And make sure your students do as well.
To be fair, you will be using these in an educational setting. But if start selling your material on iBooks, watch out!
A great website on copyright and fair use.
3. Do we risk information overload? Our students are inundated with videos and images in our 24-7 information age. We need to have a balance between all three modalities. Make sure your information is supported by the appropriate videos, pictures and assessments. Make sure you are meeting specific learning objectives.