This is part 5 in a digitally writing series. This post will look closer at online tools that allow you to publish student writing.
If you are looking at a more ‘traditional’ publishing route, publishing that looks more like a book, or electronic publication there are several tools for students to use.
These tools allow you to take a pdf (or other formats) and publish it on the web. My favorites are listed here:
Yudu: You can upload audio, websites, documents, or photo. Document formats that you can upload include: PDF, Word(.doc), Powerpoint(.ppt), Excel (and their OpenOffice equivalents) but if you have the newest 2007 versions make sure you save as Office 97-2003 format (.doc) before uploading. Once uploaded you can get an embed code to publish it on a blog, wiki, or website. You can also share your published writing via email, where Yudu sends the url of the published piece. Yudu has content rules against uploading adult content or offensive material so is a safer site for students to use. Yudu is free, but does include advertisements on page 0 of your published piece. Of course you can upgrade for more features, but for student publishing you shouldn’t need to. (and if you upgrade be advised that since Yudu Plus has the capability of selling the digital pieces there is also a requirement that the publisher be 18 years or older)
Google Docs allows you to publish your docs as a website, easy to then share with others! Since many schools have already started using Google Docs this would be an easy way to publish your writing. Simply upload your document and click ‘share’ to publish it as a website.
Issuu is great for educator publishing… but its term of use prohibits publishers who are under 18 years of age. So if you decide to use this, you will need to be the one uploading and publishing. With this tool you can embed or link to your published writing.
Of course there are other document sharing tools on the web like docstoc, drop.io, scribd,embedit.in, just to name a few. Again, depending on your purpose they may work just as well for you. My only caution would be before you use these tools with students be sure to check out their user agreements and make sure students can use them. None of them have a teacher dashboard integrated into it (that I know of), so students would have to be creating their own accounts. Or, if you have younger students, you would be uploading and publishing for them so these would work well. My favorite of these is docstoc, since I have found it to work very well and loses the least amount of formatting during the upload.
Top 10 digital book creators (This list includes some tools for uploading already created documents, and some where you are creating your content directly on the site- creating digital books.)
Do you have any other tools you like to use for publishing student work online? Add your ideas here, we would love to hear about them.
Next part in the digital writing series: Publishing sites for students (coming soon!)