Here’s a handy tool for sharing documents with students on your Blackboard sites:
Issuu is free a self-publishing tool that allows users to upload a file and then display it in an easy-to-read document viewer. Say you were teaching Macbeth, and to help introduce the play, you asked your students to read the Folger Shakespeare Library’s study guide to the play. The PDF file is available for download on the library’s website, so, using Blackboard, you could simply provide a link to it or upload it to your course site. Or using Issuu, you could embed the file directly into your Blackboard site and present it in a snazzy document viewer that offers full-screen display (and realistic page-flipping motions to boot).
Unfortunately the free version of WordPress (the site that hosts the Harold Lounge) doesn’t allow users to install the needed plug-in to embed Issuu files in blog posts, but you can get a sense of how the document viewer looks here. To embed an Issuu file directly in Blackboard (probably the most viewer-friendly means of sharing your documents), you will have to copy the embed code provided to you by Issuu after you upload your file and then paste it in your Blackboard content area after clicking the “Toggle HTML Source Mode” button (the one that looks like this: <>). You can choose from a few different layout and privacy choices, and include downloading and printing options as well. Files are limited to 100 MB and 500 pages, and the following file types can be used: pdf, doc, ppt, odt, wpd, sxw, rtf, odp, sxi.