We know that the world is moving online and that to prepare our kids for that world, we need to train them to use that world’s tools.
We know that publishing student work beyond the classroom encourages authentically engaged kids who create high-quality work.
We know that integration of writing and visuals increases cognitive activity.
So we need to be publishing more student work online. But where and how?
Publishing student projects online in visually stimulating formats is now easier than ever. There are tons of tools available that you and your kids can use to get stuff out there.
The following web 2.0 tools are some of my favorites for showcasing student projects. The list includes two different kinds of sites. The first type requires that kids create work using a desktop tool such as Word, Keynote or Pages and then the site converts that work into online content. The second lets kids doing the actual creating online.
Here ya go:
A free site with Premium features, Flipsnack will quickly convert uploaded PDF documents into a cool virtual magazine with flipping pages and it’s easy enough for even adults to figure out. You can view and share the online version in a variety of ways including Facebook, Twitter and html embed codes.
Issuu is another tool that kids can use to upload almost any document format and create a virtual flipping book. Like Flipsnack, you can share or embed whatever you upload.
Mixbook features some sophisticated editing tools perfect for middle or high school students. The site has handy templates and images to ensure a professional-looking book. Mixbook also offers accounts designed just for teachers.
I like Tikatok because it’s focused specifically at younger kids and that it’s designed for easy, online story creation. Students can start with prompts or a completely blank book. Text, images and imagination are added and they end up with a digital book that can be viewed online or ordered in a traditional hard copy.
This site has it all. You can upload a document and convert it into an e-book or create the book right on the site. What makes this site different is that the final product is in ePUB file format. ePUBs are the universal ebook format that can be read by the Apple iOS iBooks app and other kinds of ebook readers.
Combine Epubbud and Mixbook and you get Lulu. You can upload student work and convert to ePUB format like Epubbud or use the online book tools that are very similar to Mixbook. Kids just have to add images and text to tell their story.
Need a couple of bonus sites?
This site is not really a place to publish work in the traditional sense. It’s a social network of student authors. Create and post your story, poem or non-fiction and let others read, rate and critique your work.
How to Self-Publish an E-Book
David Carnoy from CNET gives some great advice about writing and formatting digital books and provides more resources for how to get your work on Amazon and iBooks.