iBooks in Art Education

iBooks in Art Education

When Apple first introduced iBooks Author as a tool to create your own iBooks for the iPad (and now viewable on the Mac desktop), I didn’t immediately see a whole lot of use in art education.  I would much rather engage my students in creative art studio experiences and skip the solitary chapter book reading about the history of art.  However, after experimenting with iBooks Author,  I soon discovered an iBook is so much more than just an electronic text book.  It is a tool that can help deliver curricular content, differentiate learning to meet a wide range skills, assess for student understanding and growth, and even allow for students to showcase their own work.

Chicago Board of Trade iBookShare Knowledge – Skip the Keynote or Powerpoint and instead present new information in an iBook.  Allow students download your iBook to their own devices for further reference.

Differentiate Instruction – Students all learn at different levels and speeds.  Then why not create an iBook with a lesson that allows for students to learn at their own pace?  Record yourself in a demo and outline directions alongside the embedded video.  Use as an extension for early finishers, a student who misses a class, or even as a sub plan.

Showcase Student Work –  Allow students to create their own iBook pages featuring artwork, video, or artist statements and share online.

2 point perspectiveAssessments Measuring Student Growth  – Create assessments to check for student understanding or document progress toward a learning goal using the built in review widget within iBook Author or the sketchpad widget found in Bookry.com.



The video below shows the interactivity of iBooks I have created for my classroom:

Creative Uses for iBooks from Teaching Palette on Vimeo.

If you’re interested in creating your own iBooks there are a few good how-to tutorials online. Watch an iBook Author feature overview or learn iBooks Author in depth.

What other uses do you see for iBooks in art education?

Theresa McGee

Hello! My name is Theresa McGee and I am a National Board Certified Art Teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator teaching in Hinsdale, Illinois. My curriculum is structured around creative thinking and technology integration into the learning process. I have authored eighteen articles for the Tech4ArtEd Column in SchoolArts Magazine and several iTunes U courses for professional development. I've presented at the state and national levels including several online webinars for art educators. In 2010, I was awarded Illinois Elementary Art Educator of the Year and in 2011 I was awarded the national PBS Teacher Innovator award. I love to share ideas that contribute to the art education profession!


  • November 6, 2013


    Absolutely brilliant teaching tool. Thanks so much for posting this.

  • November 6, 2013

    Melissa Enderle

    Thanks for sharing your ideas on iBooks in art ed. I’ve never tried iBooks Author before, but you have inspired me to try it out!

  • November 19, 2013

    Melissa H.

    Thanks for sharing this. I just went to the iPad Summit in Boston, and learned about iBooks Authors there. I was hoping it could be used as a student tool to create digital ‘All About Me’ books, but I don’t like the limitations of iBooks Authors that it can only be viewed by iOS users or Mac users, as I want this to be a digital book that they can access at home. But this excites me as a way to deliver content for my students to review on our 6 class iPads.

  • April 4, 2014


    I interviewed for a curriculum development position at Apple Computers in 2013 and 80% of the interview was about the potential of iBooks, how to create iBooks, and how I would encourage educators how to use iBooks. I did not get the position, but I do have a textbook for my course with embedded videos and tutorials that my students love.

  • April 4, 2014

    Theresa McGee

    I would love to see your iBook – can you share the link?

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