Creative Book Builder by Tiger Ng ($4.99) is an app for Mac, iPad, and Android that allows you to easily create professional looking eBooks.
But they’re not just the typical e-Books that you might be familiar with. That is, a PDF or ePub document with image and text content. Creative Book Builder books are fully interactive eBooks that support the integration of sophisticated multimedia content.
How Creative Book Builder works is that essentially you ‘build’ an eBook in the software using building blocks (‘elements’), which can consist of almost any kind of digital content you can imagine. You then edit and organise those elements, until you have your eBook looking exactly as you want.
Here’s some of the many different types of content you can include in an eBook:
- Photos, videos and audio files
- Audio recordings
- Scanned (via the app) documents
- Slideshows (with custom timing)
- Multiple choice questions
- QR codes
- 360 degree images
- Panoramic photos
- Online videos (like YouTube)
- Screen recordings
Much of this content can be created from the tools available within Creative Book Builder, for example, screen recordings, drawings, charts, and so on. Otherwise you can source content from a smorgasbord of external services like other apps, Google Drive, Files App, Dropbox, the Internet, and other external sources.
However, that kind of only scratches the surface of what’s possible, because there’s a whole host of small touches within Creative Book Builder that extend its functionality, for example, the ability to source online royalty free images directly via the app.
Using a companion app (Creative Widget Builder), you can create ‘widgets’, which allow you to create and embed even more powerful custom designed content as elements in your eBooks.
Custom widgets include content like flashcards, matching questions, fill in the blank, sorting questions, video slides, puzzles, memory matching games, and more. Much of this type of content is widely used within the EFL classroom in the form of worksheets and activities. Using Creative Book Builder, you can create your own content and distribute it to children, in a way that is far more powerful than the traditional companion workbook and audio CD that are provided by most language schools.
My usage case for Creative Book Builder is to be able to send home booklets to my student’s parents. The idea is to provide additional resources to support what the children are doing in class. That is, the books include resources for each unit like additional songs, pre-writing practice, practice for the unit vocabulary and grammar, relevant website resources, and so on. But I’m also considering using Creative Book Builder for other uses, like a student diary, or quickly creating additional support material relevant to any particular student.
Creative Book Builder is perfect for these tasks because you can quickly and easily assemble all types of content into ePub formatted eBooks that your students can use on their mobile device or computer at home.
And for older students, you could even get them to create their own materials (by leveraging the kind of content you can make with widgets) to share with classmates.