This article elucidates a participatory design process in which a prototype iBook was embedded within the context of secondary science classrooms through multiple interventions. The fundamental design intention of the iBook is to increase students' ocean literacy in a curriculum that lacks marine science. Two e-learning ecologies were identified across two schools; an iPad school and non-iPad school. Participants include two second-year science classes (14-15-year-olds) and their respective teachers. Science teachers were asked to implement the iBook, based on their appraisal, as an accompaniment to their lessons throughout three interventions. Qualitative data took the form of teacher interviews, teacher reflections and student exit cards. Findings illuminate emergent design principles of iBooks that enthuse students with content; mainly to draw upon their personal interest corresponding to interactive technologies. The benefits of participatory design research are highlighted with reference to augmenting student ocean literacy in the science classroom.