eBooks have created an increasingly popular new format for the printed word and the iPad is the perfect medium to make use of their great educational potential. eBooks are a wonderful compliment to traditional books in the classroom offering different options for readers. The value of an eBook is in the interactive features of the iPad as an eBook reader.
The iPad can not only support incorporate a variety of media such as images and audio but it also has a range of assistive features such as text resizing, dictionary & thesaurus, backlighting, bookshelves, bookmarking, text search, web linking, note taking and it can even read teh book to you. eBooks are easily updated as information changes and an iPads hold many eBooks to become a mobile virtual library. They are also environmentally friendly as no trees were cut down to make an eBook.
eBook readers and stores
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iBooks - Free (I-M)
Apple's eBook app is a well featured ePub and PDF reader with its own bookstore. Swipe to turn pages, tap to add a bookmark, make a note or to find the dictionary meaning of a word. Text can be rescaled and the screen brightness adjusted. It is even possible to have iBooks read the book to you. Create your own bookshelf categories to store your collection. iBooks is the display for eBooks created with other Apps and for the new multi touch text books. YouTube video
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Kindle - Free (I-M)
The most important feature of this App is gaining access to the Amazon book store and it allows whatever can be done with a Kindle to be done on the iPad. Enter your store details to download books from Amazon or any of the newspapers and magazines available on the Kindle. Adjustable background colour and text size. Tap or swipe to turn pages, tap and hold a word to bring up its definition. YouTube video
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Annotating





Book apps take advantage of the iPad to bring books alive through animation, video, sound and user interaction. This is just a small sample of good book Apps and not a list of best book Apps, although some would certainly be worthy of that title.
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animalia.jpg

Animalia - Graeme Base - $4.49
Based on the original book there are many hidden objects to find on the 26 alphabetical animal themed pages. There are three operational modes. Explore Animalia hides four items of each letter of the alphabet on each page. Pinch the page to zoom in on the hi res images for a closer examination. In Go Get Graeme find Graeme on each page before the timer runs out (timer speed can be varied). Tap Graeme and he runs away to hide somewhere else on the page (3 hiding places per page). What in the World...? presents a silhouette of a shape which you have to find somewhere in the book. There is a clue button but each clue used deducts points from your score. The high quality images and challenging interactions make this is very appealing app.
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Fantastic.jpg

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore - William Joyce - $5.49

A simple tale, beautifully created by Moonbot Studios with an excellent mix of high quality story, drawings and animations. The superb Oscar winning 14 min animated short film (no text or dialogue) - $1.99 through the iTunes Store - is highly recommended. Each page of the book is narrated and has an interactive animation that must be activated before the page can be turned - it is sometimes difficult to know what to do if you have not seen the film first. The iPad really brings this story to life, a great example of how technology and books can merge into a wonderful user experience.
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dragon.jpg

How to Train your Dragon - Cressida Cowell - $2.99

Set in a world where vikings battle dragons, a young teenager befriends a dragon and discovers the real reason why the dragons attack their village and brings about a peaceful resolution for all. Based on a short film by Dreamworks, the screen shots are extremely high quality but there is no interactivity, it is simply a story book that can be read to you. It has an engaging storyline and would suit young students who like adventure tales. Reviews on the iTunes store report a bug where the images disappear and you are left with nothing but white pages - this happened to me after one reading so this will need to be fixed before it could be recommended. The app was created by FrogDogMedia, part of the iStorytime group who have over 30 book apps on the iTunes store.
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Lorax.jpg

The Lorax - Dr Suess - $5.49

This book was an instant classic. It is a narrated tale of greed and environmental destruction. A factory owner, who is only interested in profit, ignores the Lorax's environmental warnings as he destroys the Truffula trees. It is extremely well presented using the original book graphics. The animations are just page movement but this blends well with the strong storyline and high quality narration. There are three modes: Read to me, Read by Myself and Auto Play. Touching an object on the page results in a spoken word zooming out. Old and new fans of Dr Suess will really enjoy this adaption. Book apps can be large files but this is only 16mb so it doesn't take up much space on your iPad. It is one in a series of Dr Suess book Apps created by Oceanhouse Media, others include The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham.
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pedlar.jpg

The Pedlar Lady of Gushing Cross - Traditional Tale - $7.49

The first in a series of animated storytelling apps by Moving Tales Inc. It tells the tale of a pedlar lady living in hardship who has a dream of riches. She sets off to follow her dream and does find riches, but not the type she thought and not in the place she thought. It is an engrossing storyline with high quality animations, music, voice over and sound effects that bring the story to life. Features randomly selected scene views, sound effects and extras so that each viewing gives the reader a different experience. An absolutely beautiful book.
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toystory.jpg

Toy Story Read-Along - Disney - Free

Based on the original Toy Story movie this is a read along story aimed at younger children. It contains Woody, Buzz and all the favourite characters from the movie. Andy's toys come alive when he is not around in this story of friendship as the characters work together to overcome hardships. It includes games, movie clips and colouring pages that will appeal to younger children. Can't go wrong when the app is free.
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War_worlds.jpg

The War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells - $0.99

An unnamed narrator relates his experiences as he travels through England which has been invaded by Martians. The story is the original text - 1898 - the social aspect of which is a little out of sych with our modern world but by the same token it transforms the reader back to the era of the setting. The story is a sci-fi classic and has stood the test of time really well - it is a well crafted story that is still an exciting read. To add a touch of modern technology, each chapter begins with an interactive animated panel which compliment the story line. It is a large download at 367 mb but if you are interested in classic science fiction then this app is excellent value. The creators, Smashing Ideas, currently have Jungle Book and Oz in production.
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App Categories
I - very directed or purely for information
I-M - mostly instructive but allows for some response to user input
M - fairly even mix of instruction and creativity, produces a predetermined outcome
M-C - mostly creative but within a framework, allows for varied output
C - very open ended allowing full user control of the content created, usually starts with a black page

Prices are in $AUS and were correct at time of publication but are subject to change.