Last time we looked at different types of signage in Minecraft:EE– wooden signs, slates, posters and boards. Previously we showed how you can use a camera in Minecraft and how your pictures get saved in a portfolio, which you can export as a PDF and save to your device or to the cloud, and share. Pulling all of those pieces together, one of the things you can take a picture of, is those signs. That way the teacher doesn’t have to go into any Minecraft worlds to get a (gradable) record of what the students wrote. There is another way students can write, or save pictures, and export them for their teachers.
Welcome to Day 83 of 365 Ideas for Office 365, in which we will learn about the Book and Quill.
Finding Book and Quill
When you search your inventory for “book” you will find many different types of books, mostly enchanted book, with a luminous glow. (If you type in “quill”, you will only get one hit.)
The Book and Quill comes with a quill, because you can write in it. By write, I of course mean type. You do so by selecting that item from your hotbar (holding it in your hand) and right-clicking, just like you would to use any other item. This opens the blank book, where you can now type on either page.
Editing Your Book and Quill
Hover over a page and a box appears. Just start typing. When you run out of space on a page, it does not automatically move to the next page. You have to click on the next page to keep typing.
Click on the arrow on the far right to move to, or add and move to, a new pair of pages.
You can also type in another program, and copy and paste into the Book and Quill, like I did here. Click on the edit (pencil) icon at the bottom of the page to see options to turn the page forward or backward , to delete a page, or to insert a new page here.
Accessibility with Immersive Reader
Notice that the Immersive reader icon is inside the Book and Quill, so all of the reading accessibility accommodations are available here in Minecraft, just like in the Portfolio, Sign, Slate, Poster and Board. To get out of the Book and Quill just click on the x in the top right corner of the book. You can always reopen the Book and Quill to add more or edit.
Once you take a picture with the camera, another icon is available when you edit a page- the photo icon.
Now that I have a picture available, I can add that to a page.
Notice that there is no space to add a caption on the page with the image. The image takes up the entire screen, unlike in the portfolio. Unlike the portfolio, though, you have the entire page next to the picture to write about it, so your caption is not limited to 2 lines of text.
Exporting Your Book (Without Your Quill)
I said you can always go in and edit, and I also said at the beginning that the Book and Quill is a way for students to export what they create and write in Minecraft to share with their teacher (or classmates). There is actually a bit of a conflict between those truths. The Book and Quill is editable until you click on the “Sign” button. Once you sign your book, it is no longer editable. However, you have to sign it to export it.
Notice that now that I have signed my new book, Bestseller, it is no longer a Book and Quill. Now it is a shiny book, as you can see both in my hotbar and in my hand.
Now when I right-click on it, it opens for me to read, but I cannot edit it. Also, the “Sign” button has been replaced by an “Export” button. When you click Export, Windows Explorer opens up, prompting you to choose where to save your PDF images of you pages. Immersive Reader remains always available inside your books.
This is what your book’s pages will look like when you open it outside of Minecraft.
So now you have another way to collect your formative assessment material that your students create within Minecraft, without having to go into their Minecraft worlds yourself.
If you like this style of directions and screenshots, walking you through ideas for using Microsoft tools in your classroom, check out my book,
All the Microsoft Tools You Need to Transform Your Classroom: 50 Ideas for using Microsoft Office 365 for Education available on amazon in both Kindle and paperback.