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I’m NOT a Publisher, BUT Tech Makes Me Feel Like One!

Posted in "How To", EdTech Musings, G Suite, and Teaching

Truly… I’m not a publisher, but today in a matter of a couple of hours with a couple of my favorite tech tools I am feeling pretty impressed with my bad self! There is nothing like the first day of a week-long break. For some… pajamas, blankets and binge watching a favorite Netflix series is tradition. For me, I get the “spring cleaning” bug and that is where it all began today.

In the corner sat the last box after my move this past summer that needed unpacking. I had just returned home from laundering bags of bedding and spotted the box. I decided it was time. As I pulled out the books and found space around the house to shelve them, I ran across an old friend.

Many moons ago, struggling through my first year of college, our English 1A professor assigned a final project in lieu of the final exam. Our project? … Write a children’s book. This book had to embody all parts of real books; you know, books that actually had publishers and lived on library shelves. I had no idea what I would write about. I remember the agony I felt back then as if it was yesterday. I thought, I am NOT a writer. I didn’t even like to read and here I was tasked with not just writing, but coming up with a story line, the cover, the illustrations to match the story and somehow pull off legit looking pages such as the title page and publishing attributes, etc. I didn’t even know if that was what those pages were called. None-the-less, I managed to get it written. In the middle of one night, I woke with an idea for a topic and began writing. Next I had to illustrate it. Somehow, digging deep, I found an artist and illustrated my book. Now that THAT was done, I still had to “publish” it… oh boy. What I came up with next was downright brilliant in my mind.

I carefully typed each page (Yup… typed with a legit typewriter!) onto special card stock which I had purchased at Gemco, our local retail store. Once typed, I began the illustrations. I surprised myself how fast it came together. With the story typed and illustrated, now came the brilliant part. I used clear shelf liner to laminate it. (Ok, maybe there were some slightly visible horizontal lines which came as a part of the pattern, but it was all Gemco had at the time!) I’m not remembering how I was able to get it bound, but I clearly did and though the binding was too large for the size of my “book“, at least I was FINISHED. I don’t even remember what grade I received in that class so many years ago, but I DO remember the entire process of writing my little book. Over the years, my little book has traveled with me, met new friends and has even survived three children, but not without wear and tear.

Today, when I pulled my little book from the box, I realized it wouldn’t be long and my little book would no longer exist. Over the years, the “laminate” had yellowed, the binding was warped and the type and images were bleeding into the card stock.

I had to do something. That’s when the idea came. I spend my days sharing the love I have for so many amazing tech tools. It was time to pull together a couple of my favorite tools and save my little book! Google Slides, Google Keep and FlipHTML5 will be my choice.

Google Slides are for SO much more than just presentations. For one, they make incredible PDF documents, which easily become published eBooks. I would start by opening a blank Google Slide, removing all text boxes then create a custom size of 8.5 x 11. It’s quite easy:

  1. Go to File
  2. Page setup…
  3. Custom

Next, I would use Google Keep on my phone to take a picture of each page in my little book. One of the BEST parts about Google Keep is that you can very easily add images from Keep on your iOS device to your Slides on the computer. Download the Google Keep extension from the Chrome Web Store, then log in. It will automatically show up to the right side of any Slide deck. Now all you have to do is search for the note that contains your image(s) and double click the image(s) to add to the Slide.

Now in my case, I wanted each image to be its own page so I had to get busy adding and adjusting each image so that it fit just so on the Slide. I had taken all of the little book images in one Keep note so when adding from Keep on the computer it placed all images together on the first Slide. No problem, it is easy enough to separate the images. To do this, I simply clicked one time on each image to select it, tapped Ctrl + X to cut it, tapped Ctrl + V to paste it on the chosen Slide, then clicked and dragged the corner of the image to resize.

With all images in place, it was now time to download the Slide deck as a PDF. This process is quick.

  1. Go File
  2. Download as…
  3. Choose PDF

Now the fun! Upload the PDF file to a really great platform called FLIPHTML5 to create an amazing flip book that can be linked or shared on pretty much any device!

Think about ALL the possibilities for using a digital FLIP book! For example, have students create an eBook and place that book on a Padlet so all their peers can read and comment! Kids seriously LOVE it!

So truly, as you can see, I am not a publisher. However, I am darn proud of writing my little book. The process of creating that little book made a lasting memory and has provided many opportunities for memory making since its inception. Though it is rough in its edition, it is one that I will keep as an original and now treasure forever as a little FLIPHTML5 book!

Jed Finds a Treasure Map

Jed Finds a Treasure Map