How François Hanton teaches with BookWidgets

“Nothing beats the feeling of getting an email report in the weekend, showing that your students are improving.”

François Hanton, French teacher at Sint-Pieterscollege Sint-Jozefshandelsschool in Blankenberge, Belgium

Time to take part in the future

Mr. Hanton’s school decided that it was time to take part in shaping the future by embracing iPads in the classroom, and in doing so, open up a whole new world of learning for students. This decision brought about a new level of participation. It provided up-to-date information, in contrast to books that can sometimes be rigid, static and outdated.

However, learning French using iPads in the classroom enabled students to enjoy a more life-like experience. Technology allowed them to touch and interact with the information. It further extended learning by using explanation videos, and they could relive the lesson later at home. It also enabled Mr. Hanton to better track their progress.

Igniting a New Desire to Learn French

Blankenberge is a lovely seaside town on the Belgian coast and Sint-Pieterscollege Sint-Jozefs Handelsschool is one of the most popular school in the region. However, learning French is less appealing to the students than English, which is spoken in popular movies and songs.

Since adopting iPads in the school, Mr. Hanton started using BookWidgets, an application that allows him to create rich, interactive multi-touch books for his students.


BookWidgets empowers teachers to create interactive iBooks that students absolutely love.

Teachers can include quizzes that allow students to test their knowledge of the French language. Students see their results instantly, and an email is sent to the teacher, too. The teacher can then provide feedback and offer more help if necessary.

BookWidgets offers a wide range of customizations that enables Mr. Hanton to add plenty of customizations to suit his students’ learning styles and the requirements of each lesson.

Learning verbs & tenses

The most common difficulty in learning French, is getting to know and understand verbs and tenses. The BookWidgets app allows teachers to create quizzes that can test their verb knowledge after every lesson. Students can also practice at home. Because these quizzes are automatically graded, the student get instant feedback without increasing the teacher’s grading workload.

Thanks to BookWidgets, teachers can now track and analyze students’ progress better, which is a helpful tool in successful teaching.

Hard? Not at all!

While some teachers may worry that creating interactive books requires a tremendous amount of coding knowledge, it’s actually really easy.

Mr. Hanton insists that once someone has used BookWidgets, they will realize that it is worth it’s weight in gold and he feels that they will renew their licenses without hesitation.

“BookWidgets is by far the best software I’ve been using since our school adopted iPads. I can track the evolution of my students and analyze their progress. And auto-grading is just brilliant, and so time saving.”

François’ favorites


Automatically graded quizzes are a great way for students to practice & improve. Students get instant feedback and teachers can track progress without increasing their grading workload.


Another interesting exercise to introduce or practice vocabulary in a fun way. For example, Mr. Hanton shows pictures of the same landscape in different seasons.


A fun way to practice vocabulary. Mr. Hanton quickly puts together cards with pictures & French words. Every students gets randomized card on his iPad and listens while the teacher reads a list of words. The first student to get a full row wins.


YouTube contains a wealth of entertaining yet instructive video clips. By embedding them straight into his books, it’s easier for students to see the context and to stay focused on the class. The standalone YouTube app would show lots of distractions, like ads or related videos. Not so with the Youtube widget!

New to iBooks Author? Check out our free books.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to:

  • Create your own interactive books with iBooks Author.
  • Add images, movies, and sounds to turn your book into a multimedia masterpiece.
  • Use interactive widgets to engage your readers like never before.

A starter kit for any language teacher new to teaching with the iPad. You’ll learn:

  • How interactive books can promote language learning
  • How to build your book to take maximum advantage of the iBooks app
  • Great ideas for using widgets and apps in your language classes