On a recent flight to Buffalo, on a recommendation from Amy Burvall (@amyburvall) I started reading Austin Kleon's Show Your Work I don't remember the tweet exactly, but I recall that Amy shared something along the lines of..."This is the best book about education that isn't about education." I didn't have much choice but to read. Halfway into the book I stopped reading, popped open my iPad and had to start writing this post. Grab of copy of Show Your Work and you will quickly understand why.
About the iPad Ideas Book: Process & Product
The origins of the iPad Ideas Book...I had been meaning to create some sort of visual and inspirational text to using iPads for quite some time, but every time I sat down to write I found that the text that I started generating didn't quite capture the ideas as clearly as I had hoped. I sat on the project for at least a year with little progress. Inspired by a few visuals that I had seen through my learning network, mainly those created by Brad Ovenell-Carter (@braddo) through his sketchnoting process, I realized that an inspirational book about using iPads had to be completely visual.
The Process...I made all of my visuals in Explain Everything. While the ability to record is the most powerful function of this tool, I bypass the ability to record and find myself using it to create visuals more often than creating screencasts.
I first made a template slide in Explain Everything with the various font styles, sizes and colors. This would allow me to work quickly and efficiently when inspiration struck to create a new idea. With the template created, I would duplicate the template slide whenever I was ready to create a new visual.
I do some of my best thinking in the car and when I really started cranking on this book when was I would open up Evernote on my phone on a long early morning drive to a workshop and use the voice to text function to quickly ramble off a few ideas into a note. Later, when I arrived home and had a few moments to create, I had my ideas archived and ready to pull from.
Over the series of a few nights I slowly compiled the visuals in Explain Everything. Throughout the process I was sharing the one page visuals with my network on twitter.
Sharing for two reasons:
One: I wanted to see if there was any actual interest in the ideas and visuals that I was creating.
Two: I wanted to contribute back to a community of poeple that had given me so many helpful ideas along the way. What I found to be absolutely surprising were the number of favorite and retweets of these images, I never anticipated the response from my community.
Once compiled in Explain Everything, I new I wanted to ultimately turn it into a free eBook that would be distributed through the iBookstore. I also wanted to create the entire product exclusively on an iPad. Admittedly, I had to use my MacBook to upload the final product to the iBookstore, but that is only because iTunes Producer doesn't allow for uploads via an iPad.
Compiling the eBook...I used Book Creator to compile all of the visuals in the book. At first I was using the export as image option from Explain Everything and then pulling in those images from the camera roll into Book Creator. However, on a tip from Explain Everything creator Reshan Richards (@reshanrichards) I recorded a few seconds on each slide, used the golden play button to then play back to the entire screencast and took screenshots of each visual. Apparently, an iPad screenshot is of better image quality than the image export option...thanks for the tip Reshan.
With the improved resolution screencast images captured, I began compiling in Book Creator...
Once I was done creating the book (this consisted of little more than importing pictures onto individual pages from the camera roll), I was ready to export off of the iPad. I selected Google Drive as the export destination. I then downloaded the file on my MacBook for an eventual upload to iTunes Producer for submission to the iBookstore.
I have never published to the iBookstore and wanted to go through the entire process. I actually found the process of waiting for approval to be rewarding, it took about two weeks. Being so used to being able to instantly publish, I found the wait and uncertainty to be refreshing.
I found a renewed energy to blog and write this post after reading just the first half of Kleon's Show Your Work. One of my early take aways, that I have believed in for quite some time, back to my classroom days at Plymouth South with Katrina Kennett (@katrinakennett) was to consider the process, not just the product. While I'm proud of the final product that was created & shared, I found the process of creating and of creating this post to be just as rewarding. Further, as Kleon so clearly states:
"It sounds a little extreme, but in this day and age, if your work isn't online, it doesn't exist."
The post is inspired by my early and partial reading of Show Your Work. While I typically share any final product that I have worked on, I haven't lately shared a process of creation. This was my process. The final book didn't suddenly appear. It was messy, frustrating, rewarding and ultimately part of what we should all do...show our work.