It is a rare content creation app that is just as at home in a child’s hand as it is a teacher’s. With this app both can create useful and compelling eBooks, magazines, and guides without taking an age to learn how to use the software.
In literacy lessons children are taught to be able to create writing in different styles. In other subjects these skills are often employed to provide some variety to the work that they output. Writing newspaper or magazine articles, guides to doing something, newsletters, and posters are all tasks that teachers set to encourage children to demonstrate what they have learned and to utilise an appropriate style of writing. Until recently, however, these tended to most often be based around pen and paper and, unfortunately, a newspaper article written in pen is never going to have quite the look of the article that the child is trying to capture.
Enter Book Creator. This intuitive and easy to learn app lets children (and adults) get into creating content to match the real world style that they are aiming for. Its title may say ‘Books’ but really any type of written production could be output from it. Text can be manipulated into headlines for newspaper articles; diagrams can be stacked, overlaid and adjusted to create diagram rich how-to guides.
The app is not a fully featured desk top publishing solution and nor should it be. The developers of Book Creator have carefully distilled down the most essential parts of layout software to make an app that can be mastered in just a short amount of time, allowing content creation to come to the fore, rather than the learning of the software. Should there be any difficulties, this is an app with a very well realised supporting website that answered every question that I had.
The controls are natural and often intelligently automatic. Pictures can be moved around freely but will snap to the centre if this looks like what the user is aiming for. It will do the same if the left or right of the space is approached. Want to create a less formal look with pictures at a jaunty angle? The familiar twist to rotate interaction will do this. Content can be input from anything saved to the device, meaning the camera or web can be used as a source of pictures, sounds and video.
When the text has been perfectly honed, pictures set up just so, and a child proudly announces that their book, magazine or guide is done, the next step is to produce the final product; a final product that can exist entirely independently of the app. For sharing with other iPad users, the most straightforward export option is to save it to iBooks, but it can also be output in the popular PDF format for those using other devices or even as a video for displaying online. Teachers can create attractive lesson content and children can produce a piece of work to be proud of.
The small form factor of a tablet device makes them convenient to use and deploy in a classroom. This app adds a great value and easy to use way to make children using those devices into content creators and not just content consumers. To allow you to be absolutely sure of its suitability, this app is also available in a fully functional free version that will allow you to create a single book as you appraise its suitability for your children. You may well find it one of your most used apps.
The Android version of this app offers a broadly similar experience. The layout options are almost the same and just as easy to understand, but with the single omission of being able to rotate images. A different set of export options is to be expected for the Android platform. The widely compatible ePub option remains, Google Books is added but PDF is, surprisingly, lost. The app is compatible with 7 inch devices and above and is perfectly usable on screens such as the Nexus 7, although the wide screen ratio of such tablets gives a limitation to vertical space that younger children, or those with lower fine motor skills, may find awkward. All in all, it is not quite the app the iPad one is, mainly due to the limitation on rotation and PDF absence, but it is still an app that you will likely find to be well worth having.
From the Developer
The simple way to create your own beautiful ebooks, right on your tablet.
Ideal for children’s picture books, photo books, art books, cook books, manuals, textbooks, and the list goes on.
* "Book Creator makes e-book publishing easy” - wired.com
* Over 4 million books already made with Book Creator
* Winner of a Parents' Choice Gold Award
Perfect for the home
Use Book Creator to create a personalised story for your child, or arrange family pictures and art into a beautiful eBook. Then pass your tablet to your child and watch their imagination run free!
Perfect for the classroom
"Book Creator sits atop my list of the best educational apps. I’ve used Book Creator with learners of all ages, from kindergarten to adults. Its simplicity is refreshing, allowing authors to focus on their content. I’m so pleased the app is available for Android because this means more students and teachers can be digital book creators."
Tony Vincent, learninginhand.com
* Quickly add pictures from the Gallery, grab them from the web, or snap from the camera. Then move and resize them with your fingers.
* Edit text using the onscreen keyboard, and apply rich formatting to make it look great.
* Narrate your books and bring them to life.
* Record and import video (requires Android 4.1 or later)
* Layout your book exactly as you want with guidelines and snap positioning.
* Portrait, Landscape or Square book layouts.
* Draw into your book using the pen tool.
* Preview your books with the built in reading mode.
* Upload to Google Play Books for reading across all your devices.
* Collaborate on book creation with simple import and export to Google Drive.
* Send your books to your friends over email.
* Become a published author - export your books as fully standard ePub 3 files ready for submission to Google Play.
* Includes a Getting Started tutorial plus online support articles at www.redjumper.net/bookcreator
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