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How Apple can improve students struggling with writing

Apple’s iBooks Author and Book Creator is an opportunity for students to have a global audience for their writing

writing-common coreI was teaching special education students in grades 5 and 6 in an inner city school in Canton. Time was going by and students continued to struggle with writing. I was determined to make a difference and change these students for the better. They were going to become great writers if it killed me.

While my goals were commendable, they weren’t being achieved to the degree I wanted. Then, two years ago, Apple introduced a software product called iBooks Author and things would change for me forever.

For the first time people were given the opportunity to self-publish in an easy manner. I saw this software as an opportunity for students to have a global audience for their writing. Blogs and other ways of having a global audience have been around for a while but this was something truly different and I ran with it. Students were excited to be writing for someone other than their teacher. Engagement increased. Time on task increased and the energy in the classroom changed to something you can normally only dream of.

Within three months we had written and published three iBooks in Apple’s iBookstore. We were graphing the downloads in the hall on chart paper, estimating how many downloads we would have by the end of the year and planning our next books. Comments from all over the globe came pouring in and it meant a great deal to the students. For the first time in their lives, they had a real, authentic audience for their work.

(Next page: Apple’s iBooks Author and Book Creator boost student creativity)

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