iBooks Author for Teachers: Creating a Math Lesson
Illustration by John Hersey

Adding a calculator widget


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iBooks Author for Teachers: Creating a Math Lesson

with Mike Rankin

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Video: Adding a calculator widget

The next job in building our Math Lesson is to add a touch of interactivity in the form of a built-in calculator. Apple doesn't offer a calculator among the widgets that come with iBooks Author but you can easily grab one from a third-party service. Here in the sidebar channel, I'd like to add a calculator widget that students can use along with these exercises. But if I look in the Widgets menu up in the toolbar there is no calculator widget that comes with iBooks Author. So I'm going to use a third-party service, I'll switch over to my browser and this is bookry.com, they offer both free and paid Widgets.
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Watch the Online Video Course iBooks Author for Teachers: Creating a Math Lesson
54m 22s Intermediate Mar 21, 2013

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Learn how to create a full-length, interactive math lesson with a glossary, equations, illustrative charts and graphs, and a section that tests your students on what they've learned. This course builds on the lessons in iBooks Author for Teachers: Fundamentals and shows teachers how to leverage their existing math material and present it in an engaging digital way. Author Mike Rankin shows you how to import text from Microsoft Word, format your pages, add images and hyperlinks, and even add a useful calculator widget so students can perform calculations right inside the lesson.

Subjects:
Design Education + Elearning
Software:
iBooks Author
Author:
Mike Rankin

Adding a calculator widget

The next job in building our Math Lesson is to add a touch of interactivity in the form of a built-in calculator. Apple doesn't offer a calculator among the widgets that come with iBooks Author but you can easily grab one from a third-party service. Here in the sidebar channel, I'd like to add a calculator widget that students can use along with these exercises. But if I look in the Widgets menu up in the toolbar there is no calculator widget that comes with iBooks Author. So I'm going to use a third-party service, I'll switch over to my browser and this is bookry.com, they offer both free and paid Widgets.

Once you create an account, you'll have a bookshelf here and you can click on the green plus sign (+) to add a book. In this context a book is really just a collection of widgets. So I'll give this the title Math and click Create. Then, I'll add a widget, I'll scroll down the choices of free widgets and select Scientific Calculator. I can change the name if I want but I'll just leave it, and then there are both static and live settings.

You can pick your orientation of your project, we have a Portrait project, you can also change the image, you can change it here at bookry.com or you can also just drop a new image on top of the default one inside iBooks Author. I like this calculator image so I'm going to keep it, and you can also choose a Mode, if you want the full Scientific functions or if you just want a Basic function set with Memory or just plain Basic. I'm going to stick with the Scientific just so we can see all the options there.

Next under Live settings I'll give it a title, I'll Save it, and Download it. Now the Mac thinks I might want to install this in Dashboard but I don't, I'll just cancel out and reveal it in the finder. Now I can select the widget, switch back to iBooks Author, and drop it on the page. It comes in with the default formatting, so I'm going to turn most of this off. In the Inspector I'll click on the last button, and in Layout I'll set the Label to None, I'll turn off the Caption and Background, and I'll just use the title as a direction line, and I'll center it.

Now there's too much space in between the title and the widget itself right now. I'll select the widget again, go to the Layout options, and I'll select Freeform. That way I can grab this text box and move it wherever I want. That looks better. I'll just move the whole widget down a little bit and that's good. We're almost done now creating our Math Lesson in iBooks Author. The last piece we'll be adding a review widget that students can use to test themselves on what they learned, and that's the topic of the next movie.

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