iBooks, the future of course material?

If you are in the training and learning business, you know that course material always has been the subject of many discussions. Some say it is necessary, others say that they are never used, but most students want “a manual”. Entire forests disappeared because of it, the added value of it is uncertain.

What if you could avoid using paper, and make the manual really deliver added value? I spent some time playing with iBooks author, a manual in Word format about an IT application, and Adobe Captivate software demo’s, to see if this could be a valuable alternative.

The workflow to replace all your paper based manuals by this solution would be:

  • Get yourself a Mac :–)
  • Get yourself an iPad if you want to preview your iBooks
  • Download a copy of iBooks author
  • Import your Word document into iBooks author
  • Publish your Captivate demo’s as .mp4 (standard publish function in CP 5 and higher)
  • Convert your .mp4 files to .m4v with QuickTime
  • Insert the demos in your iBook using the Media widget
  • Add some interactivity if necessary, e.g. multiple choice questions
  • Publish your project
  • Distribute your iBook (via the store or as a file)
  • Get an iPad for all your students :–)

I will let you judge for yourself. This is the result:

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Microsoft OneNote as learning support

I used OneNote already fairly often as a typical “meeting-note-taking” tool, but last week I tried to use it to make digital handouts: instead of just printing out my slide presentation, I created a new notebook, imported my slides “as printout”, distributed them across different sections, added keywords, diagrams, screen clippings… I zipped the notebook folder and made it available to students as a download before the session. The responses were very positive!

Of course, everybody needs to have OneNote.

There are good examples of educational use of OneNote. This post is very inspiring! Did you know you could share OneNote files on SharePoint?

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