We have just completed our first reading marathon! We hope this will be happening yearly from now.
This happened as part of the pilot project where thousands of pupils are testing our new social reading platform, Lesemester (literally “reading master”). They have now collected points, challenged each other, added each other as reading friends and not least read almost half a million pages.
The iPad app is used by pupils, while teachers have a dashboard given them overview both aggregated and on for the individual reader. Recently the app was released for all other platforms, including for Chromebooks where we are seeing schools onboarding these days. Upcoming features include more statistics and gamification even for the teachers and a timeline view of the class reading activity.
And the winners? 4B at Ågotnes skule – winning half a year with devices from everyone from HP and Microsoft. Runner-ups won super nice book packages in both physical and digital form.
We are currently visiting Bett and actually just signed with a client that will be using our platform to produce enhanced ebooks specifically tailored to usage in the classroom, often by the teacher on a big screen. Our rich palette of enrichments as well as our strong support for layers of interactions that can be easily turned on and off was the deciding factor to choose our offering.
The titles will likely include usage of our API-integration to use internal and industry standard login services, as well of adding interactive widgets beyond our standard palette to the books. One prime example of this will be lookups in dictionaries in books focused on language training.
The client also had some ideas for additional features, which I can’t share any more details about at this point – but will for sure do that later. As always we are developing the features on the condition that they will be standard features for all our enterprise users as soon as they are ready.
If you want a, virtual or physical, demo of how TapBookAuthor.com can be used for books projected on a screen in the classroom contact us – or, if you are at Bett today, grab me! Happy Friday!
The app Farm2Table, made with TapBookAuthor.com based on the printed book The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen by Diana Prichard with illustrations by Heather Devlin Knopf, is a cute and fun story about the sources of the food we eat.
So if your answer to the question about where food comes from is “The supermarket”, you’ll learn something here. 🙂
The Farm2Table app is available in the iTunes store, currently for less than three dollars – check it out: apple.co/1VDtHSn
We all aim to find the formula for the “next generation textbook”, and as tool makers we sometimes find a bit too few of the opportunities of the platform being used. But then again, what is wrong with a super efficient production process and clear and valuable enrichments based on the layout of a printed book?
Recently the small Norwegian publisher Tell Forlag has impressed us with how streamlined they made the process to release their latest book-as-app. It is called “Ortopediteknikk” and is teaching orthopedics for high school level students.
A clear design goal for the title was that the digital edition could be used alongside the printed edition, with the same page references and ideally the same layout. To achive this, Tell used the following process:
Import a PDF with 99% of the design identical to the printed book (layers in InDesign helped make the 1% smooth)
Enrich it with interactive elements like quizzes, image pop-outs and custom-made videos, at least a couple per chapter
Use the tool’s capabilities of automatic full text indexing and dynamic table of contents, as well as zoom and simple bookmarking out of the box
The below screenshot shows the dynamic table of contents where the user can answer quizzes and watch videos directly, and also do a free text search and jump to the relevant page
To achieve the perfect looking layout, we have licensed a specialized third party conversion tool and are running this on the server side. So the user can import the PDF directly by clicking the wizard button in TapBookAuthor.com. Then, with no human interaction, the HTML5 backgrounds are in the tool and can be enriched with interactive elements. Compared to an image-based process, the difference is very clear when zooming in and seeing the perfect vector shapes of the text. And even in casual use, the great readability on high resolution screens is striking. Below is a screenshot of a page from the book that contains a quiz that was added in the enrichment process.
We have talked to teachers that prefer this book-like visual layout more than reflowable pages. In out experience, it also depends on the content what fits most. So is this a “next generation textbook”? Maybe not, but it is clearly a textbook that provides great value and enrichments to the next generation – and is popular and recognizable for teachers.
If you want to discuss in more detail or have a title (or an entire library!) that could come to life through such an enrichment process, please do contact us.