In previous postings I talked about support documentation and e-books. I didn’t feel that full-blown e-books provided the best form of support documentation. I felt they were too bloated with information, and the crucial information teachers wanted, was buried deep within.
Recently I’ve begun to develop e-books as a companion piece to professional development. These e-books replicate my professional development for teachers with all the essential information. The e-book is available to teachers at any time during the training. They can download a PDF version onto their computer and an EPUB version if they have an e-book reader.
This helps me in several ways. It helps teachers follow along with the e-book and use the step by step instructions to help them perform a process. During professional development with technology I can encounter issues where a teacher’s computer is not working properly. The software version might not be up to date. The browser is missing a plugin or any other host of issues can arise. In a situation like this a teacher often feels left out and a little frustrated. Some teachers not familiar with technology might work a little slower than others and fall behind.
The presentation might entail a series of steps and instructions. Some teachers might think the steps and instructions are overwhelming. At times they are so busy writing down all the steps, they fail to see the complete picture. If they don’t write down the steps they feel they might not be able to replicate what we have done. I’ve seen many of their notes and even I would have trouble following what they wrote down. This is where I feel an e-book would help many teachers and would be an excellent companion to any professional development.
Ebooks are my version of making a PowerPoint available to an audience. There are, of course, more advantages with an e-book over a PowerPoint. With an e-book participants can book mark pages. They can highlight information or type comments. A table of contents helps participants jump to sections they consider important. E-books are searchable. Like PowerPoint, an e-book can contain images, audio or video. They also contain links to external sources.
EBook companions help to emphasize procedures, protocols and best practices. With an e-book companion I feel comfortable leaving teachers with a professional development they can integrate today and support information to help them tomorrow. Ebooks take longer to produce but they are one of those items you can use over and over again. They provide a wealth of information and resources.