Showing posts with label document publishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label document publishing. Show all posts

Monday, August 19, 2013

Active Textbook - Turn PDFs Into Multimedia Documents

Active Textbook is an interesting service that you can use to turn your PDFs into multimedia documents. The basic idea behind the service is that you can upload PDFs and add pictures, links, and videos that are displayed when students read your PDF through the Active Textbook viewer. While reading your PDF through Active Textbook students can highlight, draw, and add comments to the document.

The downside to Active Textbook is that you have to create your PDF outside of Active Textbook. You have to have the layout of your PDF set before uploading it because you can't actually change the content of the PDF, you're simply adding links to it through the Active Textbook service.

Applications for Education
Active Textbook could provide a good way to create your own short multimedia texts for students. The most compelling feature is the option for students to highlight and take notes on the document while they're reading it through Active Textbook. Active Textbook also adds a dictionary tool to your document which could be handy for some students. Active Textbook is free to use for up to 500 pages of material.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Calameo - Multimedia Publishing to iPads and More

Calameo is a great way to publish your documents in a manner that makes them accessible across a wide variety of platforms including the iPad. Peter Vogel told me about Calameo a couple of weeks ago. I finally got a chance to try it out this week and I really like it.

Using Calameo you can publish your documents in a flip-book or magazine style with page-turning effects. You can add a background soundtrack to your document. You can also specify the sounds that viewers hear when they turn the pages in your documents. Your Calameo documents can be published and shared using Calameo's HTML5 embed codes (makes your document iPad compatible). Published documents can be annotated by content publishers and viewers (that option can be disabled).

I've embedded a sample document below. I did not use the sound effects option for this document.

Applications for Education
Calameo offers a nice way for students to showcase some of their best works. The annotation option could be good for having students comment on each other's works. You could also use the annotation option to compliment students on something that they did particularly well.

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