Thursday, 20 February 2014

Publishing My First Ebook Chapter




EVO sessions finished last week. So far I have been giving you weekly updates and, as far as those go, I am still stuck in Week 3, but today I would like to do something different. I am going to put together my EbookEVO artifacts, because it makes more sense to do this in a single blog post. EbookEVO was one of the best EVO sessions I have ever attended. The course taught us, step by step, how to write a chapter of an interactive e-book. What I'll try to do in this post is show you just how brilliant the whole idea was. This is my way of saying "Thank you" to the moderators.

The goal of the workshop was for us to complete our chapter. I finished mine and a lot of other people got there as well. I have to admit that I was worried at the beginning of the workshop. I thought it would be much harder than it was and that I might not get to the end. Now all I want is to write more chapters.

My two collaborators, Sneza and Milica, finished their chapters too. The three of us are planning to finish the whole book. Here's Sneza's chapter and here's Milica's.

And this is how the course was organised:

Week 1 was devoted to introductions. 3-2-1 was a popular introduction format in this year's EVO. It is a nice way to introduce yourself and (if you are an old EVO participant like me) maybe reveal something that others haven't heard yet. What was refreshing about the 3-2-1 introduction in #EbookEVO was that we were given a choice of tools and told to use one of them and create a 3-2-1 digital story about ourselves. Here's mine:




Kudos to the moderators for the inspiring questions. I swear that my saying I wanted to be a travel writer had something to do with the topic I chose for my chapter. I didn't plan this, it just happened.

Here's what was in store for us in Week 2:

During the second week, you will:

  • evaluate the current content in your textbooks
  • evaluate various ebook designs to determine how you want to design your e-textbook
  • decide what you would like to include in your e-textbooks
  • map out the content you have to cover in your curriculum
  • outline your e-textbooks
  • evaluate your peers' outlines and provide feedback
  • discover basic design elements and tips from experienced authors
  • attend a live online session with moderators

While I was outlining my e-textbook, I started daydreaming. What would the perfect textbook for the new age be like? Surely not something static or linear that you had to read from cover to cover? Here's my dream e-textbook(with apologies because I have already shared it in this post):



Week 3 was the mind-mapping week. We got into more detail with what we wanted to include in our chapter and then we mapped the chapter out. I was surprised to find out that I had a very clear idea about what I wanted to include in my chapter. Here's the mind map. A really bad side of Popplet is that it is not embeddable (even though the website claims it is). Here's the Jing capture, hope it does the trick:



In Week 4 our goal was to complete a part of Chapter 1 and post it for peer feedback. I used Storify:




Yes, I know that Storify doesn't really look like a book. I wonder if that matters. We don't read on the Internet the way we used to. Isn't a wiki really a book? Doesn't the same go for a blog? Maybe the Storify isn't as appealing visually as some other tools, but doesn't its functionality make up for that?

And I would like your honest opinion on this because in Week 5 I remixed my chapter and created a Glossi.. I am leaving the Glossi for the end of this post because Blogger refuses to publish any text after my Glossi ebook. Is this Glossi's fault, or Blogger's? I don't know, but here I am trying to republish this post for the third time.

Glossi does improve the visual design of my ebook, but it lacks the functionality of Storify. And, speaking of functionality, my own personal favourite is still a wiki.

Here you are - the same materials, three different tools. Which do you like best? And why?

I owe special thanks to the Wonderful Words moderators, who have provided me with the tools I needed to create vocabulary exercises for this unit.


Photo on Flickr by mcamcamca

I feel empowered. Internet is full of open educational resources and authentic materials that can be adapted to every student's needs. The OERs can be put together like Lego bricks. Each one of them can be taken out when it is no longer needed, or reused and remixed on another occasion. Ebooks can be offered in different formats, depending on the teacher's personal taste, the students' computer skills, or the ways the materials are going to be seen (in a computer lab, at home computers, or on mobile devices). I still have so much to learn. My ebook writing journey has only begun.

Thank you, #ebookevo team. You rock.


Photo on Flickr by Caro Wallis

And now, here's my Glossi:



Tags: #ebookevo, #evosessions, #TEFL


2 comments:

Shelly Sanchez Terrell said...

Hi Natasa,

Thank you for the incredible reflection. I truly appreciate you and your colleagues completing your chapters and the course. You did a fantastic job and am happy to hear you will continue with the rest of the ebook.

When you're a teacher sometimes it is helpful to have more than one platform. When I created the course I forgot that I crafted my ebook on Pages, a cheap program, but very helpful in giving me the kind of pdf I wanted. Unfortunately, many free tools means you have to figure something out. I say keep it on Storify and also as a PDF so you meet all students' needs.

ebook writing service said...

Hi Natasa, I would like to congratulate you on publishing your first ebook and wishing you a great success for this ebook as well as your upcoming ebooks. All the best!!

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