Creating an HTML Widget for iBooks Author to Embed a PDF File

apple_ibooks_authoriBooks Author is a free app that allows  you to create interactive eBooks for iOS devices. iBooks Author is simple to use and an appealing feature of the app is that media can be included in the iBook. An HTML widget allows you to create your own HTML tools to add extra functionality to an iBook. A limitation of iBooks Author is that you cannot embed a multi-page pdf into an ebook. You can create links to a website where a PDF is hosted, but you are then limited to reading the PDF when you have an active connection. I wanted to explore how to embed a pdf into an iBook using the HTML widget tool, so that PDFs can be included in the body of the book, and are not dependent upon an Internet connection. Continue reading “Creating an HTML Widget for iBooks Author to Embed a PDF File”

Geotemporal Exhibit Builder for Collections of Archives and Artifacts

neatlineLike Omeka1? You might love Neatline.

Neatline, a creation of the Scholars’s Lab, is a geo-temporal exhibit builder that uses archives and artifacts from an Omeka collection to create interactive timelines and maps.

Neatline imports collections created in Omeka and makes it possible to plot them on a map. Text, images, and timelines can be added to points of interest on the map, or a stand-alone timeline can be created. No special software is required to view completed Neatline “exhibits.”

There are many ways to navigate through an exhibit created with Neatline. A user can click on a point of interest on the map, a title, or click through the timeline. The simple layout of Neatline makes it a valuable visualization tool for digital humanists.

To learn more, visit the Neatline site.

Below is a screenshot of an exhibit I built in Neatline from an Omeka Collection.


  1. If you’re not familiar with Omeka, it’s a free, open source content management system for online digital collections.

Take a MOOC, Learn a Language

instreamia-logo-circleonly-new-150x1501Instreamia is a new MOOC that focuses on learning languages. The MOOC offers free courses in Spanish, English, Italian, Japanese, and Portuguese, using some surprising, but abundant, course materials.

Instreamia uses YouTube videos from recording artists, pop culture, TED lectures, and other entertainment resources created by native speakers in the language you’d like to learn. These videos are supplemented with listening exercises and flashcards. During listening exercises, you can simultaneously view a translation, gradually building your vocabulary. Questions are posted in a public forum, to be answered by other course members and/or course instructors so that everyone can benefit. Instreamia also has a social aspect, in that you can friend other course members and native speakers.

You can sign up for a course on the Instreamia website

Capture Audio from Your Applications (like a Web Browser) on a Mac

products-icon-soundflowerSometimes, you would like to capture audio coming from different applications on your computer. A question we sometimes get at the ETC is, how can I capture audio that is playing from my web browser? They would like to record the audio and save it for teaching purposes. If you’re on a Mac, a free tool called Soundflower can help you capture audio playing on a web browser. Other people have used Soundflower with other built in applications on the Mac, like Quicktime Player, to capture both audio and video in the web browser.

You can download Soundflower for free here:

When using Soundflower, you will have to configure the output and input options for your audio to capture audio using Quicktime Player. When capturing audio, you will not hear the output of the audio through your normal speakers, but you can always open the Soundflower software to hear what you are capturing. This application will capture any sound on your computer, including notification sounds and audio adjustments you make on your computer, so just be aware what you are capturing when using this application. You may want to disable some sounds on your computer before capturing audio.

To see a comprehensive walk-through on how to use Soundflower with Quicktime Player, check out Christopher Breen’s Macworld post here: