We can’t put the genie back in the bottle.
Young people today expect to be able to
appropriate and circulate media for their own


  1. As a digital writing teacher, it's important to help your students understand how to create and manage their own spaces for digital writing. It is important for them to learn how to contribute to their own communities of digital writers, all the while learning how to create their own portfolios or participate in a wiki around a shared sense of topic and purpose.
  2. Writers who post their writings are asked to tell readers whether they want their work to be "blessed," "addressed," or "pressed."
  3. Blogfolio = digital portfolio of writing created with a blog.
  4. When creating a class anthology on a wiki, you are orchestrating the work of all the digital writers in your classroom. Unlike the print anthology, where a student has the potential to dash off a quick piece the day it is due, hand it to the editors, and then not have to participate fully in the writing community, the wiki makes the student's work--both her individual writing as well as her responses given to others--more public...this type of consistent and recursive process of writing, responding, and revising leads students to become better writers. Unlike an anthology sitting on a shelf, a wiki is easily searchable so students can look up their peers' work based on the particular person, a title they may remember, or simply a word.
Embedit - The document sharing and embedding application, Embedit.in, makes uploading a document and embedding it on a classroom blog or web site exceedingly easy. Can create thumbnails to click on to access documents.

Formatpixel.com – Create online applications like magazines, brochures and portfolios and customize them by adding text,
images etc.

UDL - Using the online platform, authors input text, images, sound, and hyperlinks, as desired. All text can be read aloud in English or Spanish with the click of a button and no extra work by the author.

Simplebooklet  No sign up required (free account also available to save booklets). Click CREATE and begin to insert text, image, url, upload files, embed codes & music. Add multiple pages to the booklet & click PUBLISH when complete.
You can also print it out. Other similar tools PrintableFlyerTemplates, Band-Flyers, MyBrochureMaker, BookletCreator and Pocketmod.

Pen.io Simple no frills publishing and editing site.

Why ebooks and Searching for ebooks

Create your own ebooks

eBooks can be integrated in history and social studies classes in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas:

  • Create a multimedia story of a country or historical place.
  • Create a multimedia story of a historical character(s).
  • Create a multimedia book report.
  • Prepare a journey simulation in advance of a school field trip.
  • Create a multimedia magazine emulating one from a specific historical period.
  • Create a multimedia map-tour of famous historical sites.
  • Create a multimedia immigration or personal genealogical story.
  • Create a presentation based on regional artifacts and architecture.

Glossi is a new service for creating digital magazines. Glossi magazines can include images, videos, audio files, and links to external sources of information. The magazines that you create are displayed with page-turning effects. Your magazines can be embedded into your blog. Learn more about Glossi in the video Glossi may still be in beta so you will have to request an invitation before you can start creating your own magazines.  A tool that is similar to Glossi that you might want to try is Simple Booklet.

Joomag web tool that lets you create your own magazines using a simple online editor. You can draw shapes, write texts, add rich media elements like video and audio players.

Issuu - Create magazines. Save a file as pdf and upload it to Issuu which converts it to an e-magazine

Calaméo Similar to issuu and scribd, but allows word as well as pdf upload. Embed rich-media content to your publications Embed code provided for uploaded documents.

Flipboard is an app that is available for both iPad and Android. Flipboard has a handy tool called Flipboard Editor which allows users to curate and create their own digital magaizines. Watch the video below to learn more about Flipboard
Readlists lets you create an ePUB book from resources that you find on the web. You are able to create a digital book that has a variety of articles, data, and multimedia.

myebook authors can choose to create a work from an existing .pdf file or from scratch. If creating from scratch, authors can start with blank pages or with a theme. Once begun, authors can enter text, load and insert images, embed video and flash files or embed external movies, incorporate hyperlinks, and add forms and documents. Authors can change the look and feel of the book by modifying fonts, backgrounds, and color schemes. Clip art is limited in myebook. Once published, the work can be shared via a hyperlink or social media outlets, or it can be embedded into an existing Web site or wiki. Books can also be protected by a password.
Vook create eBooks for a variety of different including the iPad, Nook, Kindle, etc.  Also, it has a very friendly user interface and users can even sell their eBooks for profit.
10.00 a month with a free trial

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.

My Ebook is a service for creating rich multimedia ebooks. My Ebook allows users to create ebooks that contain text, images, and videos on each page. My Ebook users can create ebooks from scratch or upload their existing PDF files to display in a book format. When starting an ebook from scratch on My Ebook, users can import images from their Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, and Photobucket accounts or upload new images directly to My Ebook. If you don't have any digital images you can select some from My Ebook's gallery. Videos can also be embedded into the pages of My Ebook. My Ebook provides a good variety of themes and templates to give each ebook a different look and feel. Ebooks created using My Ebook can be embedded into blogs and websites or shared via email.

BoomWriter - A site for students to create digital books in a safe/secure environment.  These books are then published and can be ordered.  Also, has an educational portal where teachers can create classes and student accounts.

Project Writer you can create writing assignments for students to complete in groups that you organize. Students log into their BoomWriter accounts (you can manage those accounts) and select the ProjectWriter tab to see their group and the assignment. You can include a list of key terms that you want students to include in their writing assignments. video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPHcefTscvI 

Moglue is a platform for creating interactive ebooks that can be viewed on iPads and Android tablets too. Moglue's creation tools can be used on Windows and Apple computers. Moglue is free to use and it is free to download your creations to view on your own device. Similar to iBooks Author except you can use it for Android tablets also. video

PageFlip Flap Transform your doc, pdf, word, movie in an interactive flipbook. It's very easy: upload your file and you will receive an email with the url to your creation. You can share this with your friend, family... by email, on your blog, on facebook or twitter

Widbook is a service that is part multimedia book authoring tool and part social network. On Widbook you can create a digital book that contains text, images, and videos. Widbook is collaborative because you can invite others to make contributions to your books. To use Widbook you have to create a profile on the service. The books that you create become a part of your profile. If you allow it, other Widbook users can add content and or comments to your books. Likewise, you can search for others' books and make contributions to their books.

Scribd allows pdf upload. New feature allows Google Documents to be directly uploaded within your scribd account. Scribd files can then be embedded.

ePubBud Create picture or chapter books. Embed images and videos. Also browse for free children's ebooks

Flipsnack convert pdf to a flip the pages book.

EtherPad live, online, collaborative writing. There is no sign up required; simply click to create a new pad, add multiple users through invite or by sharing the pad URL. Pads can then be downloaded as various file formats.

Docstoc Free account allows pdf upload. New feature allows Google Documents to be directly uploaded within your scribd account. Scribd files can then be embedded.

Author Create interactive books for iPads.

Book Builder teachers cans “use this site to create, share, publish, and read digital books that engage and support diverse learners according to their individual needs, interests, and skills.” Students choose a layout, add text, images, and audio, and publish their work. Book Builder also has a function allowing students to create a glossary for the work. In addition, teachers and students can create books that involve “coaches” that provide tips and additional information to the reader, and readers can type notes or ideas in a response area.

Bookrix allows students to publish and share their work socially. Within Bookrix, authors can create a profile & blog that can be shared with social media websites.

Create a free online newspaper.

LetterPop A free service that helps you create and send newsletters. You can drag and drop templates into place, add text, and publish your newsletters to the web.

My Brochure Maker- easy to use template for creating a brochure. There is a free option for educators

Little Bird Tales allows your students to create a story, animate it, narrate it, and publish it! It’s strong point is simplicity! You do have to register for an account.

Share What You Read Students create and read book reviews online. Scholastic provides a simple form on which students can write and submit their book reviews. Students do not have to create an account to use the book review service.
The service is very easy for students to use and for teachers to incorporate into the classroom. The Scholastic service does not require users to create an account prior to writing a review.

Blog Booker  BlogBooker allows you to produce Pdf blog books from all your blog entries and comments. These can be generated from any blog running on Wordpress, Livejournal or Blogger. The whole process takes about 3 or 4 minutes. Once your exported file is submitted the file is verified and then all your images are linked and found and the whole thing is assembled as a book.

Ebook Glue is a neat service that I discovered on Lifehacker this evening. Ebook Glue allows you to create an ebook from your blog posts. To use the service just enter your blog's RSS Feed or your blog's URL if you don't know the address of your feed and Ebook Glue will turn your posts into an ePub and Mobi files for you to download, read, and distribute.

Writing Fun
watch the screen cast below or here to see how to use this interactive, online, structured writing tool to help elementary age students write descriptions, narratives, poetry, explanations, procedures, etc.

WRITE A STORY WITH PAINTINGS: The Art of Storytelling is a site from the Delaware Art Museum that allows you pick a painting, write a short story about it, record it with your computer microphone, and email the url address for posting on a student website or blog. It’s extraordinarily simple, and extraordinarily accessible to any level of English Language Learner. No registration is required.

IMAGINE YOUR DREAM: With Max My Dream, you first say in 140 characters what you dreamed or want to dream. Then the site takes those words and converts them into a related dream-like sequence. It seems to be able to recognize key words and convert them into imagery. You’re able to link to or embed the final product. English Language Learners could write something to start things off, and then write or verbally describe the final dream-like sequence.

Ink - Students participate in a fictional government and city council that involves extensive writing over a long period of  time.

FolfingStory is a group collaborative storytelling tool. You can create your own story or edit other stories and share them with the world.

Format Pixel - Create online magazine, brochure and catalog

  • Fanfiction.net Writers create spin-off stories of well-known TV shows and movies. Also provides a real readership and support network for writers.

  • Create postcards in history with Microsoft Office Publisher
  • students practice writing and reading dialogue — FakeiPhoneText lets you create a text conversation that looks like the real thing and give you a unique url address of your creation. Plus, no registration is required. Obviously, this kind of conversation can also be created just as easily on paper. And, even with this app, a draft could be written on paper, and then could be typed on Word so students can use a spell and grammar check. But I’m sure they would love to be able to do a final version on something like this, which could then be posted on a student/teacher blog or website.

  • Fakebook is a tool for creating fictitious Facebook profiles about famous people in history. A nice feature Fakebook. is  Animated which allows you to watch the timeline of your fake Facebook profiles unfold over time. For an example, click here to watch Harry Truman's Fakebook profile unfold over time. Creating Fakebook profiles for famous people in history could be a good way for students to create the outline of a biography. If you're looking for an alternative to traditional book reports, creating Fakebook profiles for the characters in a novel could be a good way to have students outline the important points in a character's development.
  • My Fake Wall lets users create a fake Facebook profile. a tool for creating a fake Facebook wall for a fictitious or historical character. To create a Fake Wall you do need to register for a My Fake Wall account. After registering you can upload images, write wall posts, even create "likes" and comments on fake posts. Click here to see the beginning of the Fake Wall I created for my dog.

  • PowerPoint Fakebook

  • The Wall Machine - also good for creating fake Facebook walls.
  • Derrick Waddell created a Facebook template for historical figures. This template, available through the Google Docs public template gallery, asks students to complete a Facebook profile for famous people throughout history. The template has a place for pictures, an "about me" section, a friends column, and a map to plot the travels of historical figures. Please note, this template will not result in an actual Facebook account being created.

    Fake Tweet Builder can be used in a very similar way to Fake iPhoneText.

    Protagonize is a great Web 2.0 application that allows users to write their own stories, and contribute to the stories of others, as a kind of “Choose Your Own Adventure,” like the Goosebumps books. Writers can easily develop different alternatives that readers then have to choose.

  • Number eight is Great Source. Their site has a number of very helpful resources for students. I’m particularly impressed with a number of accessible online Tutorials they have about different essays. This one on Persuasive Writing is an example.

  • Writing Fun is number five. It would be difficult to design a site that was more attractive or more supportive to students organizing many different types of essays.

  • Essay Punch. It’s the free online version of a fairly popular program that is also available for purchase. It offers an interactive step-by-step model for writing an essay. At the bottom of its web page you can also find links to other versions, including Paragraph Punch, Business Letter Punch, etc.

  • Bitesize Revision for Writing.  It’s geared towards a younger audience (and perfect for English Language Learners), but their multiple activities are interactive
  • The “Best” Sites For Helping Students Write Autobiographical Incident Essays

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