Best Uses for iBooks: Turn Your Keynote or Power Point into an iBook


This is one of the best digital learning tools for your iPods! You can easily turn any Keynote or Power Point presentation into an iBook. Imagine the possibility of creating your own books for your students to access. Even better, your students can write their own books and publish them onto iBooks for everyone to read. The possibilities of using your Keynote or Power Point presentations as iBooks are endless and the process is simple (once you get the hang of it). Anyone can do this.

First make sure you have downloaded iBooks into your iTunes account and onto your iPod or iPhone. It comes built in with the iPad (and also has some newer capabilities that differ from the iPod/iPhone version). This is a free app: iBook Link.

Next, create a Keynote or Power Point presentation on your computer (preferably on your syncing computer). You can add pictures, text, and as many pages as you like. When your presentation is finished (and saved) you are going to turn your presentation into a pdf file. Here is how to do that:

1. While your Keynote or Power Point is open, go to file and select print.

2. At the bottom of your print window you will see a pull down screen that says PDF. Click on it.
3. You will then select “save as PDF.”
4. Name it, select the location where it will be saved (I usually select desktop), and click save. You will want your title to end in .pdf

Now you have that Keynote or Power Point saved onto your desktop as a PDF file. Now open up your iTunes. Simply click on that PDF file you made of the Keynote or Power Point presentation and drag it to the “Library” section. When the Library section turns blue, drop the PDF file in place and that file will go straight into iBooks (if you have downloaded that into your iTunes library as previously mentioned). Now sync your iPod, iPad, or iPhone and your Keynote or Power Point will be accessible in your iBooks bookshelf.

However, when you open up your iBooks on your iPod you may not see your Keynote or Power Point right away on the bookshelf. You will probably see an empty bookshelf (if you have never used iBooks before) or you will see books you have already purchased. In my picture you can see a book on my bookshelf that I have purchased in the past.

To find your Keynote or Power Point PDF file, click on the word “Books” on the menu bar at the top. When you click on “Books” you will be given two choices: Books or PDFs.

Select PDFs and viola! Your Keynote or Power Point book will be there waiting for you.

You could spend hours creating personalized books for your students. You can create books using their vocabulary in reading. You can create books that review phonics skills. You can create books reviewing social studies or science facts. You can create social stories for your students with special needs to access. You can create an iBook of a class book the class created together. This part is left up to your teacher creativity!

You are probably thinking, “Ha! When do I have time to build all these Keynotes!” But have no fear. The great news is that there are many teachers out there with plenty of spare time to do all the creating for you (wink wink)! Do a simple Google search using keywords such as “Power Points for teachers” or “Houghton Mifflin Power Points.” You will be amazed with how many results you get. One resource that I have been accessing is Pete’s Power Points. This site is full of educational Power Points from all academic areas.

I have been downloading Keynotes onto my students’ iPods regularly and they love reading the books I make. We have been using them to review phonics skills, grammar skills, and to review vocabulary. I have seen an increase in my students’ understanding our vocabulary words since using iBooks in their iPods. I can’t wait to go to the next level and teach my students how to create their own Keynote presentations so they can publish their own stories to share with the class.

Jo-Ann Fox




Storyrobe is considered a CREATIVE app. A creative app is an app that can be used in a variety of ways. (Versus some apps that only allow you to practice one skill like grammar or math facts.) This app is open ended and is only limited to your own teacher creativity.

 Appstore: Storyrobe
How this app works:
With this app you can take pictures (or retrieve pictures from your photo album) and create a slideshow. With each picture in the slide show your student can record their voice. There is a 3 minute limit to the slideshow.
How have I used this app?
I have used this app across the curriculum from reading, to social studies, to math. In language arts I have had my students take pictures from the story they are reading. First, they take pictures of the main events of the story. Then they record their retelling of the story. In social studies I have used Storyrobe for my students to monitor their understanding of the content area. They take pictures of what they have learned (right out of their social studies book) and then they record their understanding of the content. In math, I have had my students take pictures of each step of a math problem on a small whiteboard (we were working on adding two digit numbers with regrouping). Then they record how to solve the problem step by step.
This app really allows you to have a quick assessment of your students’ understanding. It also provides a safe and secure way for your introverted students to have a voice.

Puppet Pals


Puppet Pals is a digital puppet theater complete with a large array of characters and backgrounds. This is another creative app that can be used in your classroom in a variety of ways in all curricular areas.

Puppet Pals in the iTunes store.

How this app works?
You can create puppet shows by moving the puppets around while recording your voice. You can also change the background (limited to 3 backgrounds). When you are finished recording it will guide you to publish the puppet show as a movie.
While this app is free and you can enjoy this app as is, I highly recommend purchasing the Director’s Pass for $3.99. Now I am not usually a fan of having to pay for apps, especially if I am using them in the classroom, but in this case, bite the bullet and buy the in app purchase! With the Director’s Pass you have a larger selection of puppets and backgrounds. Plus (and here is the best part) you can create your own puppets and backgrounds. They have made this a simple process of taking a picture with the camera feature then using your finger to cut around the shape of your body. Using your finger is quite sloppy and perhaps a better way to do this is with your stylus. You can also take images from your photo library and use them as backgrounds.
How have I used this app in the classroom? 
We have had a blast in my classroom bringing our reading summaries alive by creating a puppet show! First, my students brainstorm what they will say for a summary of the story we are reading (usually a self-selected leveled book or from our reading anthology). They brainstorm three main events in the story and need to be sure they use transition words such as FIRST, NEXT, and LAST. Then we took turns taking pictures. Each child needed a picture of themselves showing some kind of expression. For example, the Vanna White pose with hands outstretched. The kids can get pretty creative here, but remember they really only need one image. Then they used the “cutting tool” within the app to cut away the background so only their body is left. This puppet will be saved into the app. The next step is to add backgrounds. The app will allow you to choose pictures from your photo library. I have pictures from the story already downloaded into their photo library on their iPods. I do this when I sync their iPods. I have an album in iPhoto labeled Language Arts where I place pictures that we will need for projects such as this. This saves time, but you can always have the students take pictures of the book using the camera feature.Finally, each child created their story summary using themselves as the star puppet and the three backgrounds showing the main events of the story. Each child then published their movie and they all took turns sharing their puppet show summary on the docucam!