Creating eBooks

The Making Of 
The eBook

The eBook  is a wonderful way to publish your written works quickly and conveniently. They can be available to the public with the click of a button. The eBook is merely a written book available in electronic or digital format. Many publishers now offer books in print as well as in electronic or digital form. The eBook is created and written in a word processing application, converted to a PDF or an EPub file, uploaded onto an online publisher’s website, and sold to prospective readers. Many books in print have been digitalized and posted online as eBooks.

Many professions now exist online through the use of the Internet that didn’t 20 years ago. One such profession is

ePublishing or writing and publishing books in electronic or digital format. writing articles for websites, blogs, and eBooks. With the convenience of internet access and online publishers, anyone could write and publish in their pajamas and submit their written works to their employers and publishers from home.

The good news here is that students (as well as adults) could learn relevant ePublishing skills, namely writing, communication tools, and web skills within minutes, and be able to use them fluidly. It is not limited to age. For students, the skills and guidelines they would need for ePublishing profession in the future, can be easily be taught through assignments, activities, and projects they do in their content areas. These assignments and activities can be developed to simulate what they would encounter in the workplace such as a career in ePublishing. Preparing our students with 21 st century skills is of the upmost importance. The more real life experiences and opportunities they are given in the classroom now, the more successful they will be in the real world in the future. Students will be able to directly translate their ePublishing skills to jobs requiring specific skills in computer technology and writing. Ask yourself this vital question:

How many jobs in the future will require the knowledge and training computer technology skills?

There are many practical uses for eBooks in the field of Education. eBooks are powerful tools that teachers can create for the instruction of core content knowledge to be accessed by the

student. eBooks created by the students help them demonstrate their mastery of content skills and also strengthen their verbal and written communication skills. The practical uses of eBooks are many. One important use of eBooks is its ability to engage students in the skill and the art of writing. The more writing opportunities teachers make available to their students, the more practice they will get, and the more confident they will become.

Teachers can create eBook unit lessons or eLessons as PDFs and post them on their websites for students to download. eBook lessons may contain the unit lesson, images, vocabulary terms to know, assignments, and assessments. eBook documents created in Word, Pages, Powerpoint and Keynote all suffice and can be converted to PDF files. The practical uses of eLessons is that students can access the content within the lesson and learn at their own pace. They are also able to access this information 24/7, from home, and during the summer. Learning can take place anytime, anywhere.

eBooks serve as a product of student learning and mastery of subject area content that can be monitored and assessed. eBooks allow students to demonstrate content knowledge and skills learned over a specified period of time. eBooks can be used in leu of the traditional paper-based project. Book reports, science fair reports, content area reports, and cross-curricular reports requiring web-based research can naturally be created and saved as an eBook. It’s a great way to “go green”, save a few trees, and create a product that can be saved in digital format.

How To Create A Simple eBook

Choose the topic the students will focus in their eBook. Be certain to add the ELA goals for reading, writing, and communication for their grade level.

Decide what criteria the students will meet and what they will write about in their eBook project to demonstrate their mastery of the content knowledge and skills for the topic they are presently learning! This can be done by having students write about and research the major learning objectives for the topic they are learning.

  • Develop a rubric for grading your students eBook project. 

  • Choose a computer software that is easy to manage and that offers many writing, editing, and graphic tools such as Word, Pages, Powerpoint or Keynote. The writing process does not need to be complicated by using software that will cause a lot of grief and headaches in the long run.

  • Write a brief set of instructions, based on the criteria you have developed for the eBook for your students.

  • Walk them through the major features of the application your students will be using. 

  • Go through the eProject instructions you have written with your students step by step. 

  • Have your students create the cover, title page, and content page for their eBook. 

  • Next have them save their work. Have your students write the major sections (chapters) including text pages and picture pages for their book according to the criteria you set in their instructions. 

  • Have your students select pictures from searching in Google images and have them drag & drop them into their book project.

  • When they are finished with their eBook, have them save their work as a PDF.  These documents can be easily be converted to a PDF and saved by going to the “File” menu of the application you are working with, clicking on print, and choosing the “Save as PDF button”. 

  • Have your students save your PDF when they are finished with their project on your desktop, in separate folder, or on a thumb drive. Many documents can be saved in this standardized format, posted on websites or sent to others without the fuss!

Examples of eBook Projects in the Curriculum

  1. eLesson.  The eLesson can consist of a Powerpoint presentation, an eBook,  a word document, or a video on a topic or standard students need more information about.   The eLesson can be posted on a website for the student to download, or sent to the student by email.
  2. eDictionary (flashcards) The eDictionary is a collection of flashcards for key vocabulary words made created in Powerpoint.  Each slide in the Powerpoint represents a keyword, the definition, an image/picture, & a recording of the word and the definition.
  3. Study Guides. Study Guides on a unit of study can be created to review concepts and skills related to the standards for a unit of study.  Slides may include kewords, their definitions, explanations of skills, problem solving strategies, images, diagrams, charts, recordings, and practice questions in preparation for the exam. Teachers can use the study guide to create a comprehensive review for the CST exam in any given subject area.  This is an effective way for students to brush up their knowledge and skills in preparation for this exam in class or at home.
  4. Storybooks can be created with each slide representing a page in the storybook.  Students can demonstrate their knowledge of the literature and writing standards by developing a narrative with text and images. Their finished written work can be converted into an eBook, and posted in a website gallery for anyone to see.
  5. Thematic Interactive Projects can be created in a Powerpoint instead of the traditional report, book report, autobiography, or science fair project.  Students are able to research online, write about their topic, add images, charts, or diagrams, add video clips, and voice recordings.  Student projects demonstrate how much he or she has learned.  Teachers are able to easily use thematic interactive projects as an assessment tool to replace the final exam.  This is an effective assignment for students to work on at the end of the academic year after State testing has occurred and before Summer break.  
  6. Notebooks & Journals can be created in Powerpoint for students to be able to respond to questions posed by the teacher.  Questions can be based on the content being learned, elicit opinions about controversial topics, current events, or can be thought provoking to stimulate critical thinking and to practice problem solving skills.
  7. Student Portfolios are a great alternative to a physical portfolio in that student work samples can be saved in a digital format, posted on a website saved on a thumbdrive, or sent via email.  Much like a photographer or an artist, students can save exemplary work showing their knowledge, skill, and expertise for schools to which they are applying and the workplace for potential employment.