This tutorial helps you learn how to create basic content online using EkStep's Authoring tool. Some prior experience using presentation tools like PowerPoint is the only experience required. The tool is simple to use and is built for those with no coding and development experience.
The first step is to log on to EkStep Community Portal by visiting https://community.ekstep.in
Once you have logged in to EkStep Community Portal, you will be able to see a Create New Lesson button
Next, provide some details about the language in which you want to author the content (English, Hindi, etc), the content type (whether it is a story to be read out, an assessment sheet to administer a test, or a collection of teaching material for a class or an activity that is both fun and learning).
Most importantly, select the concepts that are planned to be taught to a child or which the child is being evaluated on. Tagging the concepts right will make it easier for you to search your content by concepts, and makes it easy to create collections, say, that can be used to teach as well as evaluate a particular concept.
Click on the Start creating button to be directed to the Lesson details Page, a page where you will enter key content identification information
There are 3 simple lesson details you need to provide - a thumbnail image relevant to the content, a title for your content and a description of your content
Once you have entered the 3 main fields of lesson details, you should Save Progress once. Only when you save progress once, would the launch editor button become active. Clicking on the launch editor button will take you to the authoring environment
Now, you are in the authoring environment. Before you start, think if there are other creators you want to co-author with, for example, another teacher, a graphic illustrator, a linguist, etc. And invite them to co-create this content with you. Since this is an online tool, they can be based anywhere.
Now, we begin exploring various buttons that enable you to add text, images, sounds, etc into your content
First up, clicking on the "+" button will help you add a new page, as shown below.
Next, adding text. When you click on the Add Text box, a small inline editor opens up. You can enter text, change font, size etc, just like how you would do it in a presentation tool like MS PowerPoint or Google Slides.
In your content, you can also add various shapes such as squares, triangles, circles, etc, depending on the context of the lesson. Once you add shapes, you can change their size and color using the palette on the top of the toolbar.
Next, you might want to add images. EkStep Image Library has a lot of images that are free to use under the CCBY 4.0 License. This library was built by teachers and creators like you. So, if there are images on your desktop that you want to use in your story, you can upload them onto the library (click on the "Upload and Use" button) and then add them from the authoring tool. You can add any number of images onto a particular screen. So, you can decide to add a background image, and superimpose some foreground images to create great visual effects and sceneries for the learners.
You can add sounds and attach them to images or texts on the screen. For example, if your lesson contains images of animals, you can add appropriate sounds to those images so that the children can hear those sounds on their devices. EkStep Audio Library has a lot of sounds and audio files that are free to use under the CCBY License. This library was built by teachers and creators like you. So, if there are pre-recorded sound files on your desktop, you can upload them onto the library for use in your stories ( (click on the "Upload/Record" button) .
With just the above 4 features - text, images, sounds and shapes, you can create a vast variety of lessons. In some lessons, teachers also prefer adding a scribble pad. A scribble pad just shows up on the child's device as an open pad where they can write and draw using their fingers. This is especially useful when you want the child to write letters, words or numbers for practise. Text written on scribble pad is not saved anywhere, so this is more for the child to indulge in some solo practice sessions of what they learnt in the previous screens in the lesson.
Next up, Hotspot. Hotspot is one of the most simple to use yet powerful feature in the authoring tool. Imagine a scenario where you have an image of a garden. It would have multiple flowers, trees, plants all loaded into one monolothic image file. So far we have seen how individual images can be associated with a sound. But, how do we highlight sub-parts of a complex image? That's where a hotspot comes in handy.
A hotspot convert a static text or image into an interactive object. When you overlap a hotspot, which comes in the shape of a translucent square, onto an static image or even a sentence or word, it converts that image or word into a interactive object. For example, you can add a hotspot on the image of a tree-trunk by adjusting the size and location of the hotspot using your computer mouse. Once you correctly overlap the hotspot over the object (image or text), add a "keyword" into the box that you see on the top. This links the hotspot to the keyword, which is an entry in the WordNet dictionary that has the word meaning, image, sound and several other vocabulary attributes (such as synonyms, antonyms, etc). Once a child touches the hotspot on the device, a pop-up appears which will display all the content that is linked to that keyword in the WordNet dictionary. WordNet dictionary is crowd-sourced and is constantly being built and improved by teachers and creators like you. If you need to edit or enhance the keyword, you can do so too.
In this manner, you can create a lesson spanning multiple pages, with lots of interactivity on each page, add scribble pads, etc. At any point in the authoring process, you can preview the lesson by clicking on the Preview button. This will show you how the lesson will look on the child's device. Please note that the default display mode of a content on a smartphone or tablet is Landscape mode and not portrait mode.
Now, if after creating the content, you wish to edit the lesson details (maybe to change the concepts, or the title or image, you can click on the lesson details icon as shown below and edit the lesson details.
Once you are done with authoring process, you can click on Send for Review, to send the story to a reviewer's attention. Once the reviewer successfully completes the review process, the story will be published and will be ready for download on a child's device.
Happy Authoring! Please join the EkStep Content Creators Group to chat, interact and get help from other teachers and content creators as you embark on creating lessons.