Friday, April 20, 2007

Website of the Day - Reale Books

Reale Books (said Really Books) is, among other things, free software to self publish books. The software guides the creator through a process of putting one image and a text box on each page. It took me about 45 minutes to figure out the process of uploading symbols/pictures and how to layout the pages. Built into the software is capacity to e-mail your books. Also available, for free, are libraries of the book others have made (in Reale Book format or PDF), some basic photographic images to use in your books and ideas (through both the blog and the forum) for what to make your books about. In addition, there are worksheets to download to help plan your book. In the UK there is a RealeBooks UK.

Truth be told, I downloaded the software, made a symbol based book for my students called, "I want a job!" and now I am going to remove the software from my laptop. I can make similar books, that have more than one image and more than one text box in Power Point, which, if I am frugal with the images, e-mail just fine using my regular software and can be printed in a variety of formats (try making mini-books using the handout/note taking format) OR be used electronically with a single switch.

That is not to say that this software doesn't have its place. With some teacher set up many of our students with more academic abilities may enjoy making books for themselves and the idea of creating a library is interesting, however that aspect needs the paid form of the software, I think. Or if you are just not a Power Point or CAST BookBuilder fan Reale Books can be a real alternative.

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