Last week we had a chance to share our experience working with iBooks Author on the Year One Report with members of the New Media Consortium. Nathan Driskell and Matt Bardwell joined me online for a one-hour webinar hosted by Holly Ludgate from the NMC. Here is the abstract:

In 2012 the AT&T Learning Studio at Abilene Christian University produced an annual report for corporate and on-campus audiences. The report needed to showcase media content within the broader context of our mandate to be a learning laboratory within the university. We chose iBooks Author to test its value as a tool for first-time users and design professionals. The session will walk through opportunities and challenges in using the new platform for major projects.

To review the Learning Studio: Year One Report, visit




For those who couldn’t make it, here are a couple high points:
  • Looked back at desktop publishing revolution brought on by Aldus PageMaker and the Apple LaserWriter, putting unprecedented tools in the hands of mere mortals. Discussed what it meant for design (for better and worse) and how decades later we’re seeing education built on those foundations.
  • When iBooks Author released in January, many in education wondered if this was a similar threshold moment providing access to wider audience with higher fidelity experiences produced by non-professionals.
  • Walked through initial assessment of the platform when we began work on Y1 Report in May. The largest question was whether an audience yet existed for iPad-only content that bypassed the base of iPhones and iPods already on our campus.
  • Most important strength was the significant advance this represents to the PDF or ePub for the creation of truly rich content built with the known quantities of audio, video, and Keynote animations. Given similarities of the platform to Keynote and Pages, it’s also an application that is easy to train.
  • Walked through a range of tips and suggestions in designing the overall document and media strategy (see the slides for a few of these).
If you’re planning upcoming training for iBooks Author, here are a couple resources we found valuable:
Made with iBooks Author section of iBookstore
FF Chartwell Font for info graphics
Pano2VR from GardenGnome for LS virtual tour