Student Empowerment: Publishing Student-Authored eBooks

Last week, amidst the crazy graduation practices of our Grade 6 students, I accomplished something that I am truly proud of – to have Apple iBookstore include the eBook projects of my students in their great online bookstore.

The eBooks were part of their project in our CLE or religious education class when they were in Grade 5. Their product task was to create a simple and short story showing the values that they have learned in class such as friendship, loving one’s parents, fighting temptations and choosing what is good. The class was divided into groups of 4 members to keep the group small for better collaboration.

The product task began with an initial brainstorming session, such as identifying the value they wanted to put into their story, storyboard making, describing the characters and planning the story plot. Then, after a few sessions, we asked them to use the app Book Creator for iPad to make their ebook stories. What surprised me was how my students easily understood how to use the Book Creator app. They even acted as the characters of their stories and photographed themselves. They made the stories and they were also IN the stories.

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I did not plan to submit the books to the Apple iBookstore. In fact, they were just stored in my external hard drive after I graded them. However, because I needed to dig for student products for my ADE 2015 application, I was able to see again how creative and good they were. So, with some editing using iBooks Author, I finally got the chance to upload them for submission two weeks ago. They are now available for download and reading via iBooks.

When I told them about what I did, the students who made the eBooks were so happy and excited. They were so proud that their work were online. Their other teachers and parents also shared the same pride and happiness. Now, other students and kids can see their work.

As I reflect on this great experience, I realize that these are the kind of activities that would empower the students to express their own ideas and create products that can show the world the values that they believe in and treasure. The ebook activity gave them a louder voice so that the greater part of the world can hear their little voices. Kids, truly, are great!

Download the eBooks (readable for iPad and Mac via iBooks) with these links:

The Three Brothers by Shawn Mu, Juan Rosales, Sean Ong, Charles Tanay, ed. Francis Jim Tuscano

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-three-brothers/id977911826?ls=1&mt=11

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What do I do? by Winrich Yao, Matthew Beng Hui, Jerome Dy, Matthew Uy, ed. Francis Jim Tuscano

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/what-do-i-do/id978545155?ls=1&mt=11

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