Ahhh...the elusive PDF file. For years, as I worked as the tech coordinator and coach with students and teachers in my school, at the top of my wishlist you could find the ability to edit or annotate a PDF. Our school secretary often had a non-digital form she wished she could recreate or edit easily. My teachers often wished their students could highlight or take notes on the computer. Once we went 1:1 with Chromebooks and PC's in 2013, the desire became even stronger.
Recently, I joined the amazing group of educators at EdTechTeacher, Inc.. and this summer, I had the privilege and pleasure of traveling to many different cities via our Summer Workshop Series. In Atlanta, my colleague and mentor, Beth Holland, shared some tips with me on how to edit and annotate PDF's on a Chromebook or computer. I was thrilled, and I enjoyed sharing these tools & processes with other groups of educators in other cities.
So...once a file is in Google Drive, did you know you can RIGHT-CLICK on it? I love love LOVE the magic of the right-click. The Context Menu. I remember showing it to my teachers at school as we worked in Windows. There is so much power in the right-click! Well, in this case, the right-click helps us discover the magical door to opening a PDF file in different applications. Let's explore Google Docs & DocHub.
PDF to Google Docs
The result is a PDF file that has (first) images of the pages, and below EDITABLE text. Teachers can now take the PDF worksheets that accompany their textbooks and edit them to truly meet the needs of their students! Students can highlight, edit text formatting, and find other ways to draw attention to important information contained within a document. The ideas for how to use this trick are only limited by one's imagination!
PDF to DocHub
The result of this process is that the PDF gets opened in the DocHub environment that has drawing tools such as highlight, pencil, text, etc. Now the annotation of PDF can be done with ease! There are even some sharing options similar to Google Apps' sharing. Beth and I discovered that the sharing wasn't quite real-time, but we didn't feel that that detracted from our experience that much.
Beth has written a wonderful article about active reading strategies utilizing DocHub. It was first published on Richard Byrne's site, Free Technology for Teachers, and it can be found by clicking on the link below.