Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Make an e-Book: from those old instructional files

Thanks to Richard Byrne's Free Technology for Teachers, I have found a way to archive and distribute the many rubrics, lesson plans, and original materials I created for ELA (and kept, which is not most of them) over the years.

It takes a bit of time, as I have used Pages, not Word, for 8 or more years, and Calaméo will only accept .doc files.  I also decided to combine individual files, for this exercise, instead of uploading multiple files, so I created a Pages mega-file and saved it in .doc format.  I had some problems with appearance and recognition of page breaks, but images, links and tables worked just fine.

So, experienced teachers, give Calaméo a try - it might be an ELA teacher's ticket into the flipped classroom experience while at the same time providing a back-flipping archive.  I don't know about you, but I find that the more I make available in plain sight on the web, the better.

Here is a private link to my text, Ballads for Middle School Study. To access a private C, you need either to be on an approved Contacts list (can be imported) or provided with a "private URL" like this one. 

Below is the iPad compatible miniCalaméo of the text. The size can be increased, in case you want students or educators to actually read the mini-version without expanding it to full screen (this is an option at creation).  The miniC can be embedded in a web-based document (blog, wiki) that accepts .html code.  The larger file, if you give permission, can be embedded in a Glog or other visual web-pin tool.  It would be possible then to create and digitally archive entire units.

The first time I tried this, I specified that clicking on the miniC would send the viewer to the publication. This seems to have been a loop - when I clicked on the published miniC, I was denied access to the file.  So I uploaded the .html with the "read directly in full screen" button clicked (see screenshot below).

I can see the miniC on my iPad, but it does not appear as the text itself.  Instead, the viewer is told to Read this publication.  It also works on my iPhone 4. I like that.  As students, especially HS students are not only fully smartphoned but also able to use the tools in the classroom, this might be a great tool for e-teachers.

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