Showing posts with label Document Sharing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Document Sharing. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Three Tools for Commenting on PDFs

In history classes I have often had students read primary source documents or copies of them in PDF format. For many students the challenge of reading primary source documents is understanding the vocabulary and or the context of those documents. If you have students use PDF annotation tools they can add questions and notes to documents as they read. When they share those annotated PDFs with you, you have a ready source of discussion questions. Here are three services that your students can use to comment on PDFs.

Marqueed is a service that allows users to create and discuss collections of images and PDFs. Using Marqueed you can highlight and draw on images as well as PDFs. You can share MarQueed files or keep your files private. Likewise you can create private and public collections of files.

If you upload a PDF to Google Drive, you can add comments to it. That comments won't be attached to specific parts of the PDF. The comments will appear in right-hand margin under the comments button.

Crocodoc is a simple service that allows users to quickly share and edit PDFs, Word documents, and PowerPoint files.To use Crocodoc just upload your file, select your marking tool, and get to work. Crocodoc provides a unique url for every file you upload. Share that url with the people you want to have comment on your PDF, Word file, or PowerPoint slides. You can also embed your file into a blog post or webpage and allow people to comment on it there.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Why I Occasionally Use Box Instead of Google Drive

Yesterday, after posting A Complete Guide to Using Blogger In School I received a couple of questions about why I am hosting it on instead of Google Drive or Scribd as I have done with some guides in the past.

There are a couple of reasons why I'm not hosting it on Google Drive. First, the document viewer looks and functions much better than Google Drive does when it comes to large PDFs. In fact, A Complete Guide to Using Blogger In School is a such a large file that Google Drive won't display a preview of it, it just displays a download link. The other reason that I chose to use Box is that Box will email me a weekly update about the usage of my shared files. I can also log-in whenever I want to see the current usage statistics about my shared files.

I'm not hosting A Complete Guide to Using Blogger In School on Scribd because I've learned that a lot of schools block Scribd.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

eBook Browse - Search, Download, and Share eBooks

Through a recent blog post by Angela Maiers I discovered a nice service for finding and sharing ebooks. The service is called ebook browse and it's similar to services like Scribd and DocStoc. On ebook browse you can browse for documents, upload and share your own documents, and download the documents that other people make available. If you want to make your documents available online for others to read, just upload them to ebook browse and share the link or embed them into your blog or website using the embed code provided by ebook browse.

Applications for Education
I did a quick search on ebook browse and discovered that there are a lot of people sharing their lesson plans on ebook browseebook browse could be a good tool for students to use to share examples of their best writings. Students can upload to ebook browse then use the embed code provided to display their documents in their digital portfolios.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cite Bite - Link Directly to Quotes in Webpages

Cite Bite is a simple tool for creating a direct link to a passage of text on a webpage. It's a simple process to create a direct link to a quote using Cite Bite. To use the service just copy and paste the chunk of text you want to share into Cite Bite. Then copy and paste the url of the source into Cite Bite. Cite Bite then creates a url that you can share with others to send them directly to the quote you want them to read.

Applications for Education
Cite Bite could be a handy little tool for those times when you want all of the students in your classroom to read and discuss a passage from an online article. While you could probably accomplish the same thing by just posting the source link on your classroom blog, the benefit of Cite Bite is that it will automatically highlight and direct students to the passage you want them to discuss.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bee PDF - Broadcast PDF Documents

Bee PDF is a free service for hosting and sharing PDF documents. Upload your PDFs to Bee PDF to share them on their site and your own. When you upload your PDF, Bee PDF provides an embed code you can use to display your documents on your blog or website. You can  browse Bee PDF to view documents that others have made public on the site.

Bee PDF doesn't have the same visual appeal as these document sharing services, but it is quite easy to use.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

7 Visually Appealing Ways to Publish Documents Online

Last week after I and ten others released The Super Book of Web Tools for Educators I received a handful of emails asking either how I built the page-turning effects into the ebook or why I chose to use a 3rd party to host the ebook. I figure if a handful of people were curious enough to email me about it, there are probably others who are also curious about the same questions. I choose to use 3rd party services to host the ebooks I publish so that I can track how many times they're viewed and downloaded. The other reason I use 3rd party services to host the ebooks is because I like having the option of displaying the ebooks with page-turning effects. Here are the services I've used to host my ebooks and some others that you might consider using.

Document sharing services I'm currently using.

Yudu is a free service that allows you to upload PDF, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint files to create online magazines. The page turning effect and the zoom options are all built into the technology of Yudu and automatically activated. When your Yudu online magazine is created you can embed it into a blog, wiki, or website. The only drawback to Yudu is that the download option can be hard to find when viewing a document full screen and the download file is a zip file which is a turn-off for some people.

Issuu, like Yudu, offers the option to display your documents with page-turning effects. You can embed your documents with those effects into your blog or website. Issuu also offers a "bookshelf" widget that you can embed into your blog or website to display previews of multiple documents. You can see the Issuu bookshelf widget in the right hand column of Free Technology for Teachers

DocStoc and Scribd are similar services that can best be described as YouTube for documents. You cannot create documents within either service rather you have to upload documents created with your preferred word processing program. Both services accept all of the common Microsoft formats, Open Office and Neo Office formats, and PDFs. Once you've uploaded your document it will be assigned a url and given an embed code. You can use the embed code to feature your documents on your blog or website. DocStoc and Scribd don't offer page-turning effects like Yudu and Issuu offer.

Youblisher is a PDF publishing service that is very similar to Yudu and Issuu. Youblisher turns your PDFs into online magazines complete with page-turning effects. The documents you upload to your Youblisher account can be embedded into your blog or website.

Tools for building ebooks from scratch.

My Ebook is a new service for creating rich multimedia ebooks. My Ebook allows users to create ebooks that contain text, images, and videos on each page. My Ebook users can create ebooks from scratch or upload their existing PDF files to display in a book format. When starting an ebook from scratch on My Ebook, users can import images from their Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, and Photobucket accounts or upload new images directly to My Ebook. If you don't have any digital images you can select some from My Ebook's gallery. Videos can also be embedded into the pages of My Ebook. My Ebook provides a good variety of themes and templates to give each ebook a different look and feel. Ebooks created using My Ebook can be embedded into blogs and websites or shared via email.

One word of caution about My Ebook, you might not want to let your students browse the library of ebooks without supervision. I didn't see anything that was explicitly bad (the terms of service forbid that type of content) but there is some material that you might not want middle school students accessing. 

Simple Booklet offers free online booklet creation and publishing. To create a book using Simple Booklet just sign-up for a free account and click create. Select the layout template that suits your needs. To add content click anywhere on the blank canvas and a menu of options will appear. You can add text, images, audio files, videos, and links to each page of your booklet.

Each page of your Simple Booklet can have multiple elements on it. To include videos you can upload your own files or select from a variety of provides including SchoolTube, TeacherTube, YouTube, and others. To add audio to your pages you can upload your own files or again select from the online hosts, Sound Cloud, or Mix Cloud. When you're done building pages in your Simple Booklet you can share it online by embedding it into a webpage or you can share the unique link generated for your booklet.
Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Seven Places to Find Free eBooks
17 Free eBooks for Teachers and Parents

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Primary Pad - An EtherPad Alternative

EtherPad is an excellent free tool for real-time collaboration on documents. Unfortunately, EtherPad is shutting down for good later this week. The good news is the code for EtherPad has been made open source and therefore plenty of EtherPad clones are popping-up on the web. One such clone is Primary Pad.

Primary Pad offers all of the free options that EtherPad offered. Using Primary Pad you can create a new document in one click. Your document can be shared with the world via email or by posting your document's unique url online. Each person that collaborates on your document can have their own text highlighting color. These colors help you keep track of changes to your document. Primary Pad also offers some additional services for educators, but those services do require a licensing agreement after a three month free trial. Learn more about Primary Pad in the video below.

Primarypad - Etherpad Guide from ian addison on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Primary Pad could be a good tool for hosting online brainstorming sessions. Students can type ideas or use the drawing functions of Primary Pad to share their thoughts. If you or your students would like a permanent record of their brainstorming session, you can export the document to PDF.

You may also be interested in exploring another EtherPad alternative called TitanPad.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Docuter - Online Document Sharing

Docuter is a free service that allows users to store and share large documents. Docuter claims to support 200 different document and image formats. Docuter is similar to the Scribd document hosting and sharing service that I have previously reviewed. Just as Scribd does, Docuter makes it possible to easily embed documents into your blog or website. Unlike Scribd Docuter doesn't have an easily searchable gallery of shared documents.

Applications for Education
Docuter and Scribd make it possible to embed documents, including PDFs, into your blog or website. Being able to embed a document is good for sharing lecture notes or outlines with students.

Docuter is also a good place for students to create a portfolio of their writings which they can selectively share with others or share with world by embedding their documents in a blog.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Scribd Clean - Scribd is Now Suitable for School

Scribd is a very popular free document hosting and publishing service that until last week I had hesitated to post on this blog because of some questionable user generated content. Last week Scribd announced on their blog that they would be removing all any objectionable material that would prevent students and teachers from using the service. I checked Scribd today and I did not find any objectionable material that would prevent me from using Scribd in an academic setting.

Scribd is not a file sharing service in the traditional sense. Scribd is a document publishing service. Users can upload documents and have them hosted on the Scribd website or use the html code that Scribd provides to embed documents into a 3rd party blog or website. Documents uploaded to Scribd can be set to private to public view. If a publisher desires, public documents can be made available for download. Registered users of the Scribd service can comment on documents host on Scribd's website. Public documents can be searched or browsed by category and popularity. In short, Scribd is like YouTube or SlideShare for documents.

Applications for Education
Scribd is a great way to publish documents privately or publicly. Scribd could be used to have students share their work with a small audience (private invitation) or a worldwide audience. As a teacher, publishing lecture notes and outlines is a great use of Scribd. I can upload my lecture notes and students can download them or view them on the class blog whenever they want.

Below is a Scribd document about assessment in Web 2.0
Read this doc on Scribd: Assessment 2.0

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Organize and Collaborate with Stixy is a organization and collaboration web tool. Stixy, as the name implies, allows you to write notes and stick them to a clipboard. This sounds no different than the built in Sticky application on your Mac. Stixy takes it a step further by allowing you to share you notes with others and have them respond to your notes. The Stixy clipboard has three other great features, the ability to stick and share documents, stick and share photographs, and create and share a "to do" list on the clipboard and on a calendar. Stixy does not require any downloads and operates on any operating system. Below you will see a screen shot of the clipboard I'm using right now.

Applications for Education

Stixy is useful for creating a calendar of events or units of study to share with students and parents. Stixy shared "to do" list function could be useful to helping students stay organized while working on long projects. Finally, the ability to customize and personalize the look of the Stixy clipboard may encourage students to use their Stixy clipboard regularly.