Well it’s done! Well it’s kind of done. The digital essay part is done and I’ve got all the little interactive bits and pieces and I hope they work in real life and not just in preview.
Thanks to Sharon who has also been experimenting with iBooks author and was the crucial hour or so ahead of me to warn me of the pitfalls (only published within 24 hours of submission – YIKES) and the work-arounds – export to pdf.
Of course I was overly ambitious – this is not just a digital essay but I want it to be so much more. I want to expand it as a guide to the implementation of a digital language learning ecology at a school. So I do have blank chapters and LOTS of ideas. Of course this can be added to over time.
This is the pdf which will have to do for now, because the iBooks file is WAY to big for what thinkspace will allow me …
Some reflections on the essay process:
I should have just written the essay first. But I was jumping between experimenting with the new tool for me that is iBooks author and writing. Maybe the affordances of iBooks informed my writing, maybe it just fuzzed it.
I’ve been meaning to play with iBooks for a long time and I keep on quitting – I can see why now. It’s not the most intuitive of tools and can be darn frustrating. It’s not drag and drop and thank heavens for bookry.com (and google / youtube for all the “how to”). The thing I most resent right now is the inability to drag and drop html code into an interactive box. Yes it can be done but it involved downloading programming apps and way too much effort and concentration for what I’m capable of doing right now.
Other things that I missed that I would have liked – there is interaction, but it’s limited (or I’m useless) – like in my resources section I would have loved to add a form where people could submit their own resources, hashtags, blogs, information etc. but that doesn’t seem to be easy.
Also the quiz feature is a little primitive – I wanted to add my “do your own language audit” but then more snazzy – where you answer the questions and then get rated out of 10 whether you’re going to be able to maintain your L1 at home. Nope. Wasn’t going to happen – or at least not easily.
Then other frustrations that are totally related to time and not knowing all my tools as well as I should – I use Pages a LOT at work as my “go to” graphics design thing. I’ve become pretty comfortable with it now, which means I’ve gone and remade a lot of graphics I’d made in the past for other presentations and essays that I thought would be of interest here. But there is only an “export to pdf” function. So if I want a PNG or a JPG I have to either make a screen shot or export to pdf, open the pdf into preview and then save it as a png. TIME SUCK! Like I say, I’m probably using the wrong tool and need to get a bit more sophisticated in my design tool, but if you have a hammer ….
It also really makes me appreciate SpringShare’s Libguides so much more! That’s really intuitive and easy to use, but wouldn’t really work for this as it’s non-linear.
Not sure what I’m going to do for my submission now – all I can say is YAY for Visek (Buddhas’ birthday) day, since that meant I didn’t have to go to work AND my husband took my “busy needs attention” kid away for a few days.
Here’s a pretty picture to end it off – my new ideas on what constitutes a “good language learner” in the digital language learning ecology.