This is a sponsored post. All opinions, however, are my own.
Did you know that Book Creator books could contain more than just text? Like, way more?
Back in the day, when I first saw Jon Smith present about Book Creator, I was so jealous that it wouldn’t work with my classroom-cart of Chromebooks. Nowadays, you can use Book Creator on just about any device, and better yet, they have added tons of different types of media options that weren’t there before!
Check out this #EduGIF to see the 16 types of media that you and your students can add to your creations! Then read on to learn a little about each! As you’ll discover, there are actually way more than 16 types that’ll work!
16 Types of Media you can add in Book Creator!
What would an ebook be without some text? The add text option comes with the standard features of bold, italics, underline, font styles, font colors, background colors, columns, text alignment, and links. And, it even has a built-in speech-to-text tool!
2. Audio recordings!
Want to up the accessibility of your ebook by providing a read-aloud option in your own voice? Want your students to explain the content in their book? Want to add a voiceover to your content? Want to test your students’ reading fluency over time? Just click + > Media > Record > Start Recording! You can even add an audio transcript (generated automatically or entered manually)!
3. Webcam Pictures!
Even in classrooms that leverage digital tools, hands-on creations and experiences still have value. But, how do we include those drawings, cardboard creations, posters, experiments, and other analog artifacts in a digital space? Well, in Book Creator, just click + > Media > Camera > Take Picture.
4. webcam videos!
We know how much students love using TikTok to share their dance moves and we know how much teachers love using Flipgrid to hear from all of their students. In Book Creator, you can hear from them too. In the same menu from #3 above, you’ll also see a Record Video option.
I’m so excited to see what students create with the drawing tools that are available in Book Creator! Click + > Media > Pen and you’ll find 5 different drawing tools. Let’s talk about the first 4 options–Pen, Paintbrush, Crayon, and Highlighter–here. With each tool, you can choose from 1 of 5 line thicknesses and a variety of colors including some really cool “magic ink” colors.
When Google launched AutoDraw back in 2017, it initially felt like a fun thing to play with. Draw a triangle with a few dots on it and the machine learning tool predicts that you were attempting to make a slice of pizza. Impressive and fun, right? But the real value comes in the next step. Click on one of their simple, quality, artist-drawn pizza slices and it’ll swap your embarrassing scribbles for that nice icon-quality image. And guess what? It’s the 5th of the 5 pen tools available in Book Creator!
Emoji work just fine in the text tool (#1 above), but what if you (or, let’s be honest, your students) want some larger, fun emoji on your pages? There’s an emoji option in the Pen Tool as well!
The rest of the tools are all available using the Import option in the Media Menu
8. Google Image Search!
While you could add web images to your books by downloading them and then uploading them into Book Creator (see #12 below) or, if you’re in Chrome, by dragging images from another tab into the Chrome tab, it’s super handy to have Google Image Search built right in. Even better, as the screenshot above shows, “Results shown are labeled for commercial reuse with modification.” This does mean that you might not get the best image results, but you can be confident that you likely have the rights to use those images (as Google points out, they are not “making any representation that the content is actually lawfully licensed.”). The best part of this setting, in my opinion, is that it opens the door to a discussion with your students about what we should and should not use in our creations.
9. Google Maps!
If your book is about a geographical location, spice it up with some Google Maps content! Select Map or Satellite, navigate to the perfect view of the location, and then add it into your book! The viewer will not be able to move within the map or image, so you’ll want to add separate maps (or images) for each location or perspective that you wish to share.
10. Audio Files!
Want to add an appropriately licensed audio file from a site like FreeSound.org or the YouTube Audio Library? Want to record audio that you recorded in a different tool or app? You can do either with the Import Files option! They’ll be embedded and ready to play, right within your book! And, as noted above in #2, this could be great for adding your own read-aloud as an accessibility feature. See a list of acceptable file types here.
11. Video Files!
While the webcam video option listed above in #4 is great, it doesn’t have any editing capabilities. If you want to add videos with some fancy editing, you can upload them using the Import Files option. Just like the audio files above, they’ll be embedded and ready to play, right within your book! See a list of acceptable file types here.
12. Image files!
Like with audio and video files above, it’s great that Book Creator has built-in options for adding images, but if you want to add an image that you created or captured elsewhere, you can do that with the Import Files option. See a list of acceptable file types here.
Using the same process as #10-13 you can also embed a PDF into a Book Creator book! On the page, your viewers will see a PDF icon and the file’s name, and then, when they click on it, it’ll open up within the Book Creator tab, much like the Google Slides file shown in #14 below.
14. Google Drive Files!
Want to share your Google Slides, Docs, Sheets, or creations from other Google apps within your book? You can! The Import Drive option will allow you to pull in files from your Drive and embed them right on the page. As you can see from the images below, your book’s viewers will see a preview of the file, and then, when they click on it, the file will pop up within the same tab. Don’t forget to make sure those Drive files have sharing settings that will allow your book viewers to see them! Instructions for adding Google creations are available here (created in Book Creator, of course!)
The options below use the Import > Embed option in Book Creator
15. embedded Youtube videos!
Got the perfect YouTube video to include in your book? You can! Copy the link from YouTube, paste it into the Import > Embed menu and your video will be ready to go! Like the Google Drive options above, the video will pop out of the book’s page, but play right within the Book Creator tab, which helps keep your students from getting overwhelmed by multiple tabs worth of content. Learn how to embed YouTube videos here.
16. Embed almost anything from the web!
You might be wondering, if I can use that Import > Embed option to add a YouTube video into your ebook, can I embed other things into my book, too? And the answer is, in most cases, YES! Almost any web-based content that you use in your classroom can be embedded into Book Creator. As you saw in the EduGIF above, this includes Google Forms, Flipgrid, and Quizizz, but there are so many more things that you can embed! If an embed code is available, use that. If it’s not – try using the regular link and Book Creator may just handle it for you! Most embedded content will pop up right within the Book Creator tab. And, for apps and sites that won’t embed in Book Creator, you can always add them as a link!
What am I missing? What have you added to your Book Creator creations? Tell us in the comments below!
Good morning – Did you know that Google has changed the choices for usage rights with images to “Commercial and other licenses” or “Creative Commons licenses?” Those are now the only two choices.
I did see that, but I haven’t researched the implications of it yet. What do you think of that change?
Jake, what did you use to create your video piece? I liked the text animations and arrows.
Thanks Laurie! I use (and love) Camtasia! If you’re interested in starting to use it, let me know and I can provide some more info!
I have embedded Desmos graphs and my high school students have embedded TikToks.
I have an 8 parts project
something old (that we learned in a previous course)
something new (that they have never seen before this course)
something applied – chosen from a list of word problems
something true (a definition that they think is vital)
something clear (that they really understand)
something hazy (a common mistake students make)
something techy (embedding a video or tool)
something crazy (a poem or interpretive dance, this is where the TikToks fit)
I will use this list as part of my directions for the book. Thanks
This is so cool, Karla! Two questions… (1) where are the Desmos graphs coming from? EquatIO or the Desmos Graphing Calculator? (2) Are the TikToks being embedded directly from TikTok or downloaded, then uploaded?
I take them straight from Desmos using it’s share and embed.
I have no idea how the youngsters get TikTok into Book Creator but I know some of them have uploaded to FlipGrid first.
the youngsters! 😂 This is such a cool share, Karla. Thanks!