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Adding ebooks to an Overdrive bookshelf

These instructions work for both Android and iPads.

You or your school can add ebooks to your Overdrive bookshelf without purchasing them through Overdrive.

If you email a book to your student’s gmail account, they will have the choice of loading it in an app such as Google Play books or saving it. By saving it, they can load it in Overdrive if your school insists that students use Overdrive for their bookshelves. The Amazon Kindle app and Google Play Books app offer superior features for students such as note taking, but this is not the time for an evaluation of apps.

To load the saved book in the Overdrive app.
Open a file explorer app (like AndroZip or ES File Explorer) where you will see your Downloads folder.
Tap the file you’ve just downloaded. A pop-up will appear asking what app you’d like to use to open the file.
Select the OverDrive app from the list. This will add the title to your Overdrive bookshelf.

See slightly different words about this process at http://help.overdrive.com/customer/portal/articles/1481190-what-to-do-if-a-downloaded-title-is-not-automatically-added-to-the-app-bookshelf-in-overdrive-for-android

 

To add epubs to an Ipad

These steps may not be necessary for Overdrive. Your server administrator can add ebooks to your Overdrive bookshelf. But if the server administrator is off for a few days…

Basically, email the ebooks to your students. They can then open the email containing the epub or epubs. Then they tap on the epub they want loaded or copied into an ereading app. Now then will see the choices below, and can make a choice by tapping on the bar to the right.

LargerCopytoAppsfile

Sharing Books with Your Students

All of the information below about sharing ebooks also applies to free downloads from OERCommons.org

Using Google Play Books to share new ebooks with your students
iPads and iBooks
Questions?

How can you distribute copies to your students?

As the user of a school-wide license or a download from OERCommons.org, you can give copies to all of your students and their parents. And as you know, having interesting books for students to read, can help build their allegiance to the classroom.

Since none of the ebooks from Ebooks for Students, Ltd. contain digital rights management protection (DRM) you can share the files with your students easily. Your students won’t need to suffer through the installation of Adobe Reader or other software needed to read DRM protected ebooks. (We do ask that you respect copyright and do not
distribute materials to other schools so that we can pay our writers and proofreaders and stay in business.)

Usually getting a book on to your Kindle or iPad is the easiest thing in computing. You click on the Buy button and a few minutes later your book is in your Library on your Fire or Paperwhite, or Android tablet or iPad.

But what about books which you buy from publishers outside of Amazon, or Google Play Books, or iBooks?
How do you distribute these books to your students?

We have described a number of strategies for this below. Importing these
direct from publisher books into tablets is easily done. The question
is which strategy will be the most efficient for you. We have also
complied some additional information about how the tablet experience
can help your students.

And we have included some suggestions about features in software such as
Text to Speech (TTS) which may help struggling readers. Since we
strongly believe that writing assignments tied to books can motivate
reading, we have also descriptions of the note taking features in the
ereading apps which students can use as complete their writing
assignments.

Distribution Methods

We would like to rank these distribution methods in terms of ease of use, but we don’t have any
feedback from users yet. So what follow is our impressions of ease of use. We love ease of use.

Ask your media librarian for help.

If you are working in a large high school, your media librarian is probably familiar with how to
distribute ebooks to students. But in a smaller school, you may need to share the books on your own so here are some of our suggestions.
We will discuss both the .epub format and the Kindle or .mobi format since your download will give you both to share with students and their parents.

And we will look at some of the other features of the major vendors beyond distributing ebooks.

Working with Google Play Books

1. Upload an ebook to Google Play Books.

If you have an email list of your students, you could send each of them a copy of the ebook in the
.epub format, and then ask them to upload it in Google Play Books on a computer at home or in the library. This will work well. The Upload feature is obvious and thus easy to use.

The only thing we find annoying about Google Play Books is that when you upload a book, the cover does not always appear immediately. We thought that something was wrong with the covers in our ebooks. Were they too tall or too wide? It ends up that this condition is well-known.

We suggest that you ask your students to press F5 to refresh the browser and then they will see the covers of the ebooks. (And if your students use Sigil or other software to produce their own ebooks, we suggest that they keep their book covers at 400 pixels wide or less to facilitate the uploading of these covers on Google Play Books.)

Here is an excellent YouTube video on how to upload files in Google Play Books:
https://youtu.be/y8cZqAUIb1c

Of course, your students will all need to have Google accounts, and know how to switch users on a public
computer. And then they will need to install the Google Play Book app on their Android or iPad tablet in order to read the books on their tablets.

This uploading of ebooks is done much more easily on a computer than on a tablet. As you can see below, the
Upload button is conspicuous. After the upload, the ebook will appear in their Play Books app on whatever Android or iPad tablet there are using.

an image showing the upload button in Google Play books

The value of note taking

As you probably know the major apps such as Google Play Books, and the Amazon Kindle app offers features
which may be useful to your students. In these apps, students can take notes. Here is a video on taking notes in Google Play Books.

How to take notes in Google Play Books.

See Google’s instructions for taking notes here.

Highlighting material in Google Play Books takes a minute or two to learn.

After you select a word as the starting point of the highlight, you will need to move the blue marker to the
end of your highlight. You will then be able to see all your highlighted material and all your notes which you made in your tablet on your computer. And there you can paste these notes and highlights into your writing assignments. Since we strongly encourage students to take notes as they read in order to efficiently write about a book, this ability to copy your notes and highlights from an ebook into a word processor is crucial—the
sine qua non of an ereading app. More on this below.

How to pull notes from an ebook into a Writing Assignment

As writing instructors, we often reminded students that if they take notes on where they agree and
disagree with an author as they read, part of their papers have been
written. They don’t need to reread to see where they object to the
writer or why they object or agree with the writer.

In Google Play Books, you can open an ebook on your computer, and mouse over Contents at the top right which will turn blue. Then click on Contents. See the three vertical blue bars, then click on their Notes and highlight the notes you want to paste into a Word Processor.

April5_Guide_to_UploadingEbooks_html_m22753b15

With your notes highlighted on a computer, you can open a could copy them into a Word processor and
use your notes in your next writing assignment.

How to Turn on the Read Aloud feature in Google Play Books

As mentioned earlier, for students with reading difficulties, turning on a feature such as reading the book
out loud might be helpful. This is how the Google Play Books app handles it. It is very easy to do.

https://youtu.be/bj9LSX1_53E

And here is information in print about the same process:

https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/1062965?hl=en

 

Our conclusion about Google Play Books, and the Android Tablets where you find often find it.

Ease of Use. We enjoyed the ease of use of uploading ebooks to the Google Play app and the general
ease of use in configuring the appearance of the page. Making the fonts, leading (spacing between lines), and margins larger make help struggling readers and all of this is easy to do in Play Books

And Google Play Books can be installed on very inexpensive tablets. While you can install Play Books on an iPad, we find that it will work well on Android tablets such as the Dragon Touch X-10 which we have owned for a couple of weeks. And it is now less than $100 new. We enjoy the large screen the X-10  provides. The screen is a line or two taller than a hard cover book which some students will like. The reviews of this tablet on Amazon are very positive, but prices can be better on Ebay especially through vendors such as Tablet-Express. We have bought three refurb models from this vendor with scratches that we didn’t notice at very good prices. Note that the Dragon Touch makes 10″ tablets in two different models: the X-10 and the A1 X Plus which have different specs. We have not tested the A1 X Plus which has lower resolution, and lacks IPS.

It would be interesting to see if providing students with choices of devices before purchases would increase their adoption of these devices. It would also be interesting to see if choices of courses and reading and writing assignments mattered. Would students who had to choose among electives in the humanities be more committed to their work?

How to Sideload content to an Android tablet from a PC or Mac

If students’ email addresses are not avaiable, they can always download ereading apps in a school library with WiFi on to their tablets, and then sideload ebooks on to their tablets from a computer in a library. It is more tedious than the email options, but it works. For more information about this process called sideloading see https://www.52novels.com/sideloading-your-ebooks-to-a-device-or-app/

Here is another look at the same process, and of course there are YouTube videos.

Are any features missing in Google Play Books which are available elsewhere?

Word Wise. A new feature called Word Wise displays synonyms for difficult words on a page in some Kindle ebooks. Unfortunately, Amazon is implementing it unevenly, and Word Wise is not available all Kindle ebooks . We have asked Amazon to change the publishing process so that publishers can opt to turn it on during publication of new books on Amazon.

But what about the giant of the ebook world: Amazon and its Kindle Products.

Amazon, Kindle and How to Distribute Books to Kindles and Other Devices

The low tech distribution method.  If students and parents already have Kindles, email content such as Mobi files to students’ or parents’ Kindle email addresses. http://www.amazon.com/gp/sendtokindle/email

Of course, they will need to discover their Kindle addresses and someone will need to copy them into a spreadsheet and create an email list.

Can you email ebooks to students who are using the Kindle app on an Android tablet or iPad?

Yes, after a user signs into the Kindle app on any tablet, Amazon assigns the tablet a unique email address. To see the email addresses for your tablets, see instructions.

Another method to distribute your ebooks which can scale to include large numbers of students. Use Whispercast to distribute ebooks to Kindles Fires and other equipment purchased from Amazon.

(With a price point of $50, the Kindle Fire 7 Display is an outstanding value. With an additional benefit of a free Fire when five are purchased, the deal is even better. See
https://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html?node=12714749011 )

As mentioned earlier, if your tablets or ereaders were purchased from Amazon as part of an educational
purchase, you or your school will set up a roster with all of the devices from one purchase order.

 

What is another way to distribute ebooks to students or parents through
Whispercast if their Kindles or tablets are not registered to the school?

Using Whispercast, you can send a subscription link out to students’ or parents’ email addresses. When they click on the link, they will join your network on which you can distribute ebooks in .mobi format.
After they click on this URL, they will be on your roster if the email address they gave you is associated with a Kindle device or a tablet with a Kindle app.

How does Amazon handle collecting notes taken from ebooks so that these
notes can be reused in writing assignments?

As you might expect, Amazon has desktop applications similar to Google’s sofware, where your students can
collect their notes and paste them into word processors. Students could download the free Kindle for PC application or the free Kindle for Mac in order to see the notes they have taken while reading an ebook. And these notes can be pasted into a word processor.

Another way is go to https://kindle.amazon.com/your_highlights
from where notes and highlights can be pasted. And a student can push
in the context of the highlight or note by clicking on Read More
at Location XXX which will open the applications above.

How does Amazon handle Text to Speech (TTS) which may help some readers?

While Amazon has been criticized for abandoning TTS in its ereaders, it is available
on tablets such as the 7” Amazon Fire.

But what about the Mercedes-Benz of tablets, the iPad?

How does it handle uploading of ebooks to students, note taking, and
pasting of notes into essays, and Text to Speech (TTS) for students
with reading problems?
The quality of the text on the screen in the iPad is stunning but so is the price relative to the Amazon
Fire and Android tablets. This cost-benefit decision is best made locally as school districts face a variety of economic environments.

Since your students can install Google Play Books on their iPads, all of our comments for the Play Books app
could apply to the iPad also.

How to share ebooks without DRM which you have purchased with your
students’ iPads?

Your students could go to a designated computer in your school’s library, find a folder containing the ebook
you want to distribute under your name, and transfer it using a micro usb to usb cable to their iPads.

For students and teachers who have never used iTunes, this strategy may be slow the first time. As this
documentation points out, there are a number of steps in iTunes, and it has to be on both computers.

See
http://www.galaxie.com/installing-ebooks.
But the syncing does work and the books you have selected will appear
in iBooks on the target iPad.

How to Turn on Speech on the iPad?

See the Assistive Technology Blog at http://bdmtech.blogspot.com/2014/04/ipad-mini-nexus-7-or-kindle-fire-hdx.html

Adding ebooks to an Overdrive app on a tablet

These instructions work in Android.See below for iPads.

You or your school can add ebooks to your Overdrive bookshelf without purchasing them through Overdrive.

If you email a book to your student’s gmail account, they will have the choice of loading it in an app such as Google Play books or saving it. By saving it, they can load it in Overdrive if your school insists that students use Overdrive for their bookshelves. The Amazon Kindle app and Google Play Books app offer superior features for students such as note taking, but this is not the time for an evaluation of apps.

To load the saved book in the Overdrive app.
Open a file explorer app (like AndroZip or ES File Explorer) where you will see your Downloads folder.
Tap the file you’ve just downloaded. A pop-up will appear asking what app you’d like to use to open the file.
Select the OverDrive app from the list. This will add the title to your Overdrive bookshelf.

See slightly different words about this process at http://help.overdrive.com/customer/portal/articles/1481190-what-to-do-if-a-downloaded-title-is-not-automatically-added-to-the-app-bookshelf-in-overdrive-for-android

For adding epubs to an Ipad with Overdrive or Google Play Books as the ereading app

The steps below may not be necessary for Overdrive. Your server administrator can add ebooks to your Overdrive bookshelf. But if the server administrator or media librarian is off for a few days your students can easily add new epubs to their Overdrive bookshelves on their iPads.

Basically, email the ebooks to your students. They can then open the email containing the epub or epubs. Then they tap on the epub they want loaded or copied into an ereading app. Now then will see the choices below, and can make a choice by tapping on the bar to the right.

LargerCopytoAppsfile

But what about students who don’t have Google accounts or Amazon accounts needed for the Kindle app?

How can they access ebooks?
There are a number of functional ereading apps such as FBreader, CoolReader, and Moon Plus Reader which are free and can be installed on any tablet with WiFi access. We especially like Moon Plus Reader since it can be set up to provide a display with the indents which make it look like you are reading a book. So a student can go into your school’s library or media room, and then sideload the ebooks from your folder to his or her tablet.

See a review of Moon Reader here:
https://www.yahoo.com/tech/moon-reader-review-220655508.html

And then they copy the ebook files from a computer in a library onto their tablets with a USB to micro-USB
cable, the same cable used in charging cell phones. This is called sideloading, and we have described it earlier.

The display in Moon Plus can be made to be beautiful. But you will need to do some work in
Moon Plus to get great pages. The default is not perfect. To get to the appearance we like, that is, with indented paragraphs and no lines between paragraphs, you will need to go into the Control Bar
on the top right, then Visual Options, the Miscellaneous at the
bottom, then see the Typesetting Options, and click on INDENT FIRST
LINE OF PARAGRAPH, AND another option, TRIM BLANK LINES AND SPACES.

How does the export of notes work in an ereader app such as Moon Readers

You can export your notes to a email program from the page you are
reading by clicking on the bookmark icon, and click on SHARING to
select from a variety of methods of sharing.

Other apps such as FBReader work perfectly well, but the appearance of their pages can’t be customized
as fully as what Moon Reader Plus offers.

The only danger lurking in Moon Reader is that an unwary user can set off the Scroll feature fairly easily. Please warn students that this feature once activated can be turned off by drawing a finger across the middle of a page.

More books with inexpensive site licenses

See https://ebooksforstudents.org/ for a description of the ebooks in our catalogue and links to secure sites where you can purchase class set licenses for these ebooks.

Questions or feedback: Please write us at support@ebooksforstudents.org

© Ebooks for Students, Ltd. 20016

Bayard Rustin: Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movement

DURING MUCH OF THIS CENTURY, a great struggle has been waged in the United States for full social and economic equality for its African American citizens. From the student sit-ins of the 1930s to the bus boycotts of the 1950s to the massive protest marches of the late 1950s and early 1960s, most of the battles were nonviolent ones.

This was due, in large part, to the work of a man named Bayard Rustin. He was not a famous orator, like Martin Luther King Jr., or a flamboyant personality, like Adam Clayton Powell Jr., or even the head of any major civil rights organization. But for many years, Rustin was a key player in every major civil rights initiative in the United States. A passionate believer in nonviolent resistance, Rustin helped steer the movement in that direction. And with his skill in organizing and his almost limitless energy, Rustin made it possible for blacks and whites to work together for a common goal: the equality of all people. His crowning accomplishment, the 1963 March on Washington, led to the most sweeping civil rights legislation the country had ever seen.

In the clear, compelling narrative for which he is renowned, James Haskins paints a vivid portrait of activist Bayard Rustin against the backdrop of the twentieth-century American civil rights movement.

Buy a site-wide perpetual license for your school, book club, family, or religious or civic group through Gumroad:
https://gum.co/YYaXQ

Sample or buy a  single copy on Amazon.

During his career JAMES HASKINS wrote more than one hundred books for both adult and young adult audiences, including Freedom Rides, published by Hyperion Books for Children; Rosa Parks: My Story (cowritten by Rosa Parks); The March on Washington; Black Music in America, a 1989 Carter G. Woodson Award winner; and Black Dance in America, a 1991 Coretta Scott King Award Honor Book.

Benjamin Franklin, the First Civilized American by Phillips Russell

Let it be said at once that this book, whatever its de­fects, is absorbingly interesting.

The author, obviously, is thoroughly acquainted with Franklin literature and has had access to a great mass of unpublished material. But in a sense it is not a biography. Rather it is a picture, an excellent pen-picture, which even with its exaggerated light and shade may well give one a better understanding of the fascinating personality of America’s first diplomat, inventor and man of letters to say nothing of the many other things he was “first” in.

Franklin was essentially an unconventional character. He was never content to accept things as they were and always examined everything with his keen intelligence and more often than not, apparently, succeeded in rearranging facts in such new forms that they astounded the people of his generation. Many of his inventions, his humorous, semiphilosophical treatises, his excursions into common-sense diplomacy and his positive genius for publicity estab­lished precedents, whose originality it is hard now for us to realize, since they are very part and parcel of our present day American life.

To read this ebook on a computer using Readium, or for Google Play Books, or iBooks on your tablet or iPad, download this epub format.

To read on a device from Amazon, here is the ebook in mobi format.

Directions on how to email this file to your device are here.
To add this mobi file to your Kindle for PC software to read the chapters on your computer, see these instructions .

The Kindle Personal Document Service allows teachers, or librarians to send a mobi file to up to 15 student Kindle email addresses at a time.

Thus the author makes a charge that Franklin’s popular “Poor Richard” maxims, the result of his hard work and somewhat unsuccessful early career, “well nigh drove out from the spirit of the American people all tendency to a love for leisure and a cultivation of the graceful arts, made it its literature didactic, and its arts timid.” In fact, “it established a rock of philosophic materialism.” This may, in a measure, be true, but one suspects that his maxims were a symptom rather than a cause. Certainly Franklin, as the author is careful to point out, was not entirely success­ful in following his own precepts, or even the thirteen prin­ciples of the art of virtue, which it is suggested were per­haps inspired by Franklin’s hottest appreciation of his own defects.

But Franklin’s frailties as set forth by the author are very human. Certainly they do not seriously impair the true measure of his greatness or achievement. If he was fond of women, he was frank about it and if his whimsical humor was sometimes broad, it was more often than not, utilized to further the essentials of Franklin’s philosophy to “do good.” When one realizes how unbelievably limited were the intellectual resources in the colonies when Franklin began his career as a printer’s apprentice in Boston, the story of his rise to such heights as a world figure in the most cultured center of Europe has more the quality of romance than reality. During his ten-year stay in Paris he became the idol of the intellectuals. His face in bronze and marble was everywhere and his fame was only shared with Voltaire. The two met as guests of honor at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences where they embraced one another at the insistent demand of the members. Yet with all this honor he remained the same whimsical, tolerant spirit, making love to many younger women, carrying on his experiments, running hs own interpretative printing press at Passy and wheedling millions of francs out of the French Government for the benefit of his native land.

Over half this book is devoted to Franklin’s earlier life and struggles. The real achievements of his career are sketched, sometimes summarily, in the later chapters, yet it is a merit of this book that the author manages in good measure to reveal the fundamental reasons for his rise to a position as one of the great men of his times.

Publishers have brought the book out in a most attractive form. The illustrations are well chosen and in many cases new and include reproductions of a number of interesting letters.

From a review in The Michigan Alumnus, Volume 33, 1927.

(Publisher’s Note: The first text which the reader will see is “A Prefactory Catechism,” a term we don’t see too often. Essentially it is four pages of questions and answers about the basic facts of Franklin’s life. Don’t let unusual feature stop you from enjoying the book. The writer makes Franklin and his times come alive in the chapters which follow.)

Photo of Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison: American Inventor by Ray Eldon Hiebert and Roselyn Hiebert

Download in the epub format for Android and Apple devices:

Download in the mobi format for Amazon devices:

A self-made man with little formal education, Thomas Edison had a remarkable mind and possessed the imagination, creative ability, self-confidence, and perseverance to succeed brilliantly in his field. It was he who perfected the incandescent electric bulb, improved on the telephone, made the first phonograph, and pioneered motion pictures. The list of his other inventions is long.
His traits were so common to the traditional American character of his day that he can right¬fully be called “an American inventor.” Most important was his ability to work hard. From the time he was twelve years old until-he reached his middle eighties he worked, often day and night. By trial and error he patiently attacked problems until he found their solutions. With his men he perfected the teamwork approach to systematic research. His laboratories at Menlo Park and West Orange, New Jersey, were the early models for the huge industrial research and development institutions of today.
In a biography rich with anecdote, Roselyn and Ray Eldon Hiebert present an unforgettable picture of this lively and colorful man—a true rugged individualist.