Wednesday, October 19, 2011

ePubs & iPads...Distribution in a 1:1 setting


Although I do not yet teach in a 1:1 setting, I am looking forward to the day when I can distribute custom made ePub files to a class of student iPads.

The process I have devised is simple.

1. Create a custom ePub file using any number of free ePub conversion sites:
www.dotepub.com
www.2epub.com

I use the Chrome extension from dotepub, it turns any site into an ePub file with one click of the extension.

2. Upload the ePub file to a box.net shared folder.

3. Distribute the URL of the shared folder to your students and have them enter the URL into an internet browser on their iPad.

4. For future access, have the students add the URL of the shared folder to their homescreen.

5. When students click on the shared folder, they will be able to select from the ePub files that the teacher has uploaded to the folder.  By clicking on one of the files, the student will be prompted to open the file in ibooks.


*Update: Based on a comment left on the blog regarding why a teacher should go through this process, here are my thoughts.

- With the free online resources (dotepub & 2epub) anyone can create ePub files from a number of different file types.  This essentially means that educators have the ability to create custom ePub files that can be shared with one click into all of their student iPads.

- When the custom ePub files are uploaded to a Box.net folder & that folder is made public, any student that visits the URL of the folder can quickly pull that ePub file into iBooks.

- Reading in iBooks.  This is by far the biggest benefit to creating and distributing custom ePub files.  Within iBooks, students have the ability to:
1. Highlight
2. Insert Notes
3. Look up words in the dictionary
4. Search the entire text for keywords
5. Bookmark pages

- With the ePub file in iBooks, the iPad becomes a reading and storage device that eliminates the need for paper copies, sticky notes and lost readings.  An entire year's worth of readings can be stored in each students iPad and all of their notations, highlights and notes are also stored within each ePub file.


Here is a link to a shared folder I created on Box.net with two ePub files.

Here are the screenshots from my iPad that were taken when I visited this post and clicked on the link above.  As you can see, the ePub file is downloadable from the Box.net shared folder and the user is then prompted to open the file in iBooks.




Enjoy...back to thinking of ideas on how to use iPads that I don't have :)


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