At the 2012 Apple Professional Developer institute I had a chance to discover just how quick and easy it is to author an interactive learning resource for the iPad using iBook Author.

Working closely with fellow APDs Sheldon Bradshaw and David Larson, we designed a mini-workshop on iBook Author that can be used to introduce teachers to the possibilities of this tool.

Our process began with a review of a great example shared by Joseph Frambo which transformed information about his school into an interactive school prospectus, complete with interactive image maps of the school campus, slideshows and an embedded keynote presentation. From this example we learned that much of your existing materials developed with iLife and iWork can be simply ‘dragged and dropped’ into the iBook Author environment.

With the limited time we had we were able to design a lesson themed on professional learning networks, asking participants to share their story using PhotoBooth and placing a pin on an interactive map of the globe indicating where in the word the work and play. Participants worked in table groups to complete this task with one machine being used as the ‘iBook Author Station’. Once tweaked, they previewed their work on a connected iPad using the ‘Preview’ button.

Although it does take a bit of time to understand and work with the ‘book framework’ the ease-of-use and feature set of iBook Author is compelling for leaders, educators and students seeking inexpensive and interactive mobile publishing experiences.

Looking forward to the 2012-2013 academic year when the CDNISHK community makes the transition to Lion which is required for iBook Author!