Monday, February 15, 2016

Turning Google Docs into eBooks with Flipsnack

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Sue Luft, one of our ELA helping teachers, challenged me to find a way to improve the “ebookiness” of our Google Doc nonfiction books. I admit, Google docs are unsatisfying to read as an ebook. After some Saturday surfing, I stumbled upon Flipsnack.

Flipsnack’s edu version follows a freemium model and is easy to use.  I love the gratifying page flip and it presents a beautiful full screen view. Pages are represented as thumbnails at the bottom of the screen for easy navigation. The backgrounds are also configurable - I like the nice wood grain. All of our nonfiction books were saved into PDFs and processed with Flipsnack.

The edu version allows you to set up a classroom with student accounts. This isn’t a feature I’ve taken advantage of yet but I can see it being really useful with my older grades. I started with 2nd grade work so I publish the books for our digital library myself. However, I could see our 4th grade students doing this in the future.

When student self publish they will also be able to submit their books to our school’s digital work library themselves. This be more sustainable for me and will allow students to take advantage of Flipsnack’s hyperlink and button features - bringing hypertext into the ebook genre. This is something that I think is appropriate to introduce in 4th grade.

Next weekend I will blog about our ebook shelves and discuss how to make them. I’m excited by the publishing potential of the Docs, Flipsnack, and the digital book shelves combination. Students will be content producers to a real audience from start to finish. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

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