Thursday, April 16, 2015

Reading on Chromebooks

While it is generally well known how to actively read and annotate on an iPad with ePub files, iBooks files and even PDF documents, this isn't exactly the case with Chromebooks.  While I admit that the reading experience isn't ideal on a Chromebook, schools and classrooms that have gone this path will likely find the two concepts below at least somewhat helpful.

Reading Option 1: ePub files & Google Play

ePub files can be read and annotated (highlights & notes) directly in Google Chrome through Google Play Books.  The process is quite simple and is outlined below.  The only catch with this process is that teachers cannot provide a library directly in Google Play Books for students ahead of time.  Instead, they can provide the ePub file (through Google Drive or Google Classroom) that each student would then have to upload to their own Google Play Library.

1. Create or find and ePub file.

Creation Option - Readlists: Multiple links to web based articles can be added to a readlist which is then exported as an ePub file.

Notice the "Download eBook" option in the left hand menu

Find Option - Project Gutenberg: Public Domain text can be downloaded for free and then uploaded to Google Play Books.

2. Upload the ePub file to Google Play Books

3. Read and annotate in the ePub file

Reading Option 2: PDF Files & DocHub

PDF documents can be uploaded to DocHub which allows for typing, highlighting and adding sticky notes within a reading or document.

1. Sign-in to DocHub (account, Google or Dropbox)

2. Upload a PDF to DocHub

3. Read & Annotate

4. The final PDF can be exported from DocHub and downloaded as a PDF.  The PDF can then be uploaded to one's Google Drive account for quick access and backup.

NOTE: notes added to a PDF in DocHub are not preserved when exported as a PDF

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