A great tool for annotating text and sharing across all students
Subtext is incredible for a free resource and they are a company who offers great support and insight. Subtext is a free app that lets teachers and students annotate anything from a PDF article, to a free ebook (like those in Project Gutenberg) and paid books from the Google Play store. As a teaching tool, it's a great way to build in well crafted questions that help students to think critically about specific sections of a text, or to provide areas for students to stop and reflect. Students can create their own annotations and those get shared with the class. It works beautifully in conjunction with Edmodo allowing for the sharing out of annotations.
How I Use It
I used it this summer with a graduate education course. I was working with teachers on balanced literacy with 21st century tools and we used this as a class to record our thinking on an article. I had the group of teachers set up as a group on Edmodo, and I added the Subtext app to Edmodo so that those groups would show up in the Subtext app. After finding the article I wanted to use, I uploaded that to my Subtext account (this is something that definitely can be a bit tricky, but the more I use it, the greater my comfort with it.) With the article loaded, I began to add some key questions where I wanted folks to stop and reflect. I also posted some polls in there and created open ended questions for people to reflect and share their thinking. They were very impressed with Subtext and the ability to digitally annotate text. As teachers, we need to help our students exist in the dual world of paper and digital text and Subtext is a great way to begin that work with a free resource.