If you find yourself in a classroom where students have iPads and you often use current events or web based articles in your class then this process may be a helpful addition to your class. With a combination of a free web tool (Readlists) and a free app (Subtext), you can now curate and compile web based content that is merged and exported as an ePub file. Subtext then allows students to read the content collaboratively.
Readlists is a simple web based tool (can be used on an iPad as well) that allows you to curate web links to create a new reading list. Once complete, the curated links can be downloaded directly to an iPad for offline reading. If you want to read the list independently the file can be opened in the iBooks app. However, if you want to read the content collaboratively with your students, the ePub file can be opened in Subtext. Once opened in Subtext the file can be added to a group shelf and the collaborative reading can begin.
Below is a screenshot of the process of creating a Readlist on an iPad.
Along the left hand side of the page, there is an option to Download the e-book. At this point you can decide if you want to read independently or read collaboratively. If you want your students to each have the Readlist to read on their own, simply have them enter the Readlist URL into the Safari browser on their iPad. They can then Download the e-book and open the file in iBooks. If you want to have the students read collaboratively, download the file to your teacher iPad and then open the file in Subtext.
Once the file is in Subtext, it can be added to any group that has already been created. When compiling multiple web based articles into one Readlist, a table of contents is preserved, allowing students to easily navigate from one reading to the next.
A recently added feature to Subtext now allows teachers to insert assignments into a text and have the assignment appear within the reading in a set of specific pages.
until next time...