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Create an eBook from online content

The world of educational resources and materials is shifting away from print stuff towards digital stuff. One of the reasons for this shift is the ease of creating and sharing digital stuff.

ePUBS and tablets and apps like iBooks are merging into a mini-Perfect Storm event that supports and encourages the use of digital content. As social studies teachers, we need to take advantage of these sorts of tools.

And I just ran across an incredibly easy to use online tool called Readlists that lets you create an ePUB book from resources that you find on the web. Imagine being able to create a digital book that has a variety of articles, data, and multimedia.

Readlists is the latest project of the Arc90 people – the same people who created Readability.

The process is simple:

  • Go to Readlists
  • Paste URLs of articles or websites that you want to share with others
  • Give your list a description and a title
  • Send the book to the device of your choice (Kindle, iOS, Readmill, email, or download to desktop)
  • If desired, you can share your ePUb via social media like Twitter and Facebook or on websites.

You can also create an editable list that allows other users to add additional content to the list.

My example? An eBook of social studies and Common Core resources via an ePUB format or website. You could use Readlists to create course packets, collections of primary source documents, and reading assignments.

The beauty of all of this, of course, is that you can create content for your kids to use that becomes mobile – anywhere and anytime. Kids can access this on eReaders, cell phone browsers, or iBooks. But it’s not just you pushing content out to kids. It could be kids pushing content back to you as part their assignments, research, and projects.

Very cool stuff indeed!

17 Comments Post a comment
  1. I especially like the idea of using an eBook to organize primary sources that can be accessed by students on multiple devices. Imagine doing this for every historical topic you cover with your students!

    September 14, 2012
    • glennw #

      This just seems like a great way to provide quick access to lots of stuff – especially primary sources online. And I like that it’s so fast and easy to do!

      Thanks for the comment!

      glennw

      September 14, 2012
  2. Joe Garza #

    Glen, I tried readlist and tried to download to my Mac is there a special application I need to use to open an epub book?

    Sincerely,

    Joe Garza

    October 23, 2012
    • glennw #

      Yes. ePUBs are created in a special file format that require a special tool that can read that type of file. (Just like a Powerpoint file will not open in Word, ePUBs won’t open unless you use an ePUB reader.)

      Tools like iBooks on Apple mobile devices, the Kindle, and Nook are all specialized ePUB readers. And I really believe that as much as possible we need to be thinking mobile devices when we talk about ePUBS.

      But you can also install ePUB readers onto your computer. The easiest is to install a plugin for the Firefox browser that works right inside the browser. It’s called ePUBReader and can be found at: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/epubreader/

      Another great option is the free Adobe Digital Editions software. But there are several other options available. Some free, some not. Find a couple of lists here:
      http://www.quora.com/What-is-best-ePub-reader-for-Mac-OS

      and here:
      http://www.newsflaps.com/2012/08/09/list-epub-readers-mac-windows-linux/

      Good luck. Let me know what works best for you!

      glennw

      October 24, 2012

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