external image Google_Apps_ring_graphic_270x300.jpgGoogle Docs

What more is there to say? Google Docs is the flagship of online desktop publishing- whether that is a word processing document, spreadsheet, slideshow, drawing, or a fillable form. Google Docs has it all!



There are many "text bins" all over the web that allow users to store simple text for others to access for a variety of reasons. The reason I like this particular site is that it offers some features that others don't:
  • make posts private, secured with a password
  • allows users to choose when the posts expire
  • clean, simple interface

See my "secret" post at http://textbin.com/454o4 with the code: teachersrock.

So how can we use this?
  • summaries
  • original writing
  • book recommendations for others
  • reading responses
  • brainstorming

For my librarian friends (and spouse) here is the Secret Book Recommendations document that shows how to use this site to allow students to make "secret" book recommendations to other students.


external image GW321H238

This site is the premiere online newsletter generator. Users select and edit templates, upload photos (from computer or Flickr) and place in the templates, add text, and publish online. Each template includes a variety of layouts. Registration (free) is required to publish or print the newsletters. While there are limitations to the free membership, users are allowed up to ten newsletters (published) which is more than adequate for most educational purposes. You must be signed in to save, preview, print, or publish the newsletter.

While these newsletters can't be embedded into a blog or dashboard, they can be viewed by sending the link to contacts via LetterPops own list of contacts or through conventional methods.These newsletters may be marked public or private and other users may add comments. Take a look at this 3-page newsletter about biomes.

Registration is required to save, print, or edit newsletters. Email address is verified during registration.


While MixBooks don't contain audio of any kind, this site is wonderful for creating a virtual book. You can upload photos from your computer or image hosting site. The number of layouts and backgrounds available for the pages is great- they'll have a layout you need.

The site's true intention is for users to collaborate on creating a MixBook together and then purchase a printed version. But, the site also allows you to share your book via links or embedding.

You may create a book anonymously, but in order to make changes to the book, registration (free) is required.


YUDU is a means for distributing content online. It supports PDF, DOC, and PPT documents as well as MP3 audio and JPG or PNG images. Material can be tagged, rated by the community, and shared publicly or set as private. The author can add notes to a document. Users can download the offline player if desired!

By the way, I embedded this here by first embedding the player into a dinkypage then embedding the dinkypage as an iFrame!

Scribd (teacher tool- not for students)

Scribd is an online document hosting service that allows you to upload documents in a variety of formats. It then hosts the file, converts the file into several formats, and allows you to embed a viewer to the file so that viewers don't need the original application to view the file. The file can also be marked as available for download if desired. Viewers may leave comments or "subscribe" to your document postings.


Send or embed post cards about just anything, complete with images (upload your own or use the built-in Flickr search), videos, built-in clip art, frames, banners, etc. Note- you can't get the embed code until the post card has been sent. You can also edit a post card sent to you and send it back (hmmm- peer editing anyone?).

Free registration is required. An email address is required but not validated.


Rather than emailing documents back and forth, this is a great way to annotate a document and send it along to another person to annotate, correct, or make suggestions in some way. This avoids having multiple copies of a document and losing track of the revisions and which version is the most recent, etc. The free version is limited, but adequate for most educators. You can see an example, read-only of one of my documents here!


Students select from either a blank book or from hundreds of predefined stories with each page having it's own writing prompt to move the story along. CAUTION! This was once a recommended site, but changes in their fine print state that anything students create become the property of Tikatok. This forces students to give away the copyright to their own work! For this reason, it is no longer recommended!