Sep 15, 2013

Putting Your Books On the Big Screen

So many teachers have tubs filled with single books they read aloud to their students, and the students love it! But as the children sit on the carpet looking at that single book, some just can't see. The solution is easy; put your book on the big screen! Here is how I did it (I completed four books in about an hour):

First, Digitize the Pages of Your Book
I started this process by using my scanner, but I soon learned that it just took too long. My solution?

My iPad with my tripod adapter! I mentioned this adapter in my post "Where Does Your Spending Money Go?"

I used my kitchen table and a place mat for a solid background. I then snapped pictures of the pages. I took the pictures with two facing pages instead of each page individually. I was thinking I might want to add my audio file to this book eventually and often the "turn page" prompt is after two pages.

I zoomed in on my pages as close as I could so that I wouldn't have to do a lot of cropping.

Next, Send Pictures to your Computer
I used the Photosync app to send my pictures over to my Mac. 

I love this app! It lets you transfer your photos and videos to any other device with Photosync installed, so I can share amongst all my devices as well as share with anyone else that has this app. 

I can also transfer to other sources like Dropbox, Picasa, Flickr or other FTP sites (FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol).

Then, Create a Presentation with Your Pages
I went with PowerPoint. I could have used other tools, but I thought this was the fastest tool to create the big screen book for me. I had to do a little cropping with some of the pages, but for the most part, I simply inserted each picture (drag n drop) into a blank slide.

Want to use the "Big Screen Book" with audio? Rip the CD or Record your own voice.
Many of these books come with an audio CD so you can insert the .mp3 file into your PowerPoint  and have it read the book.

Because I am going to put these files onto iPod Nanos eventually,  I imported them into iTunes:
1 - First, I went to iTunes > Preferences and made sure that my import settings were set to import audio files as .mp3. I also set my import settings to Show CD. This allows me to just import one file - the file with the prompt to turn pages.

2 - I inserted my audio CD and selected the audio file I wanted to import and chose Import CD. It is pretty easy to tell which file you want to select; it either says with prompts or is longer (more minutes) than the other files. Because I only selected the audio file with the turn prompts, I will only get that file imported.

3 - From inside my PPT file, I selected to insert the .mp3 file by going to Insert > Audio > Audio From File... Then I navigated to my .mp3 file. You can find these in your iTunes music library. They are usually in a folder with the Author's name.

Make sure you select "Play Across Slides" in your Action Ribbon so that the audio file will continue to play when you "turn the pages."

 COPYRIGHT NOTE: I am not in violation of copyright laws as long as I don't publish or distribute my book presentation. This is staying in my classroom.

I use the white remote that came with my computer to advance the slides (you might have the new, silver one). That way I don't have to be right at my computer when it is time to turn the page. You could also let the students use the remote. Even if they are not reading yet, most audio files have a prompt sound to turn the page.

I would recommend using interactive software (MimioNotebook, SmartNotebook) if you want to create some interactivity with these images. It could be a lot of fun and helpful to create sound files for the objects in the story. For example if a student clicked on a picture of a bus, they could hear the word bus; maybe see the word appear too. Wow! I just got an idea for my next blog post!

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