The Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Central Arkansas, along with the Arkansas iTunes U initiative, hosted a three-day training in multi-touch digital textbook authorship on July 7-9. Described as a “book hacking” opportunity, this training gave participants an opportunity to create dynamic, engaging multi-touch digital books that incorporate a variety of rich, interactive resources using the free iBooks Author software available on Mac computers.
Book Hack participants learned how to cultivate open educational resources and were trained in proper applications of the TEACH Act, Fair Use, and Creative Commons licensing. Attendees also learned how to apply digital book layout principles and, through on-site instruction as well as video conferencing with two developers, one in Wales, England, and the other in Brussels, Belgium, design interactive widgets to facilitate a multimodal book reading experience.
At the culmination of the training, participants shared their interactive multi-touch books with others and were invited to join a worldwide community of multi-touch book authors in the iBA Collaborative Google+ community forum. Participants commented that Dr. Michael Mills and other UCA teacher education faculty are clearly leaders in effectively promoting and utilizing technology to enhance teaching and learning.
Featured trainers included Dr. Michael S. Mills, assistant professor, University of Central Arkansas; Anthony DiLaura, math teacher, Zeeland Public Schools in Zeeland, Michigan; and Shelley Dirst, Director of the Arkansas iTunes U initiative. The training also was facilitated by Jennifer Kimbrell, educational consultant; and David Nance, Spanish instructor at Virtual Arkansas.