Scribd is a very popular free document hosting and publishing service that until last week I had hesitated to post on this blog because of some questionable user generated content. Last week Scribd announced on their blog that they would be removing all any objectionable material that would prevent students and teachers from using the service. I checked Scribd today and I did not find any objectionable material that would prevent me from using Scribd in an academic setting.
Scribd is not a file sharing service in the traditional sense. Scribd is a document publishing service. Users can upload documents and have them hosted on the Scribd website or use the html code that Scribd provides to embed documents into a 3rd party blog or website. Documents uploaded to Scribd can be set to private to public view. If a publisher desires, public documents can be made available for download. Registered users of the Scribd service can comment on documents host on Scribd’s website. Public documents can be searched or browsed by category and popularity. In short, Scribd is like YouTube or SlideShare for documents.
Applications for Education
Scribd is a great way to publish documents privately or publicly. Scribd could be used to have students share their work with a small audience (private invitation) or a worldwide audience. As a teacher, publishing lecture notes and outlines is a great use of Scribd. I can upload my lecture notes and students can download them or view them on the class blog whenever they want.
Below is a Scribd document about assessment in Web 2.0