Scribd Team: Joel Reinhard, Jeff Cobb, Grant Henry, Brandon Kresca, Katie Lutz, Sarah Schutter, Drew Sheppard, Cathy Billingham, Erin Bliesner, Adam Burton, Asher Burton
To provide an effective and useful web tool for writers to learn and be inspired by other works.
What does Scribd do?
Scribd gives users a free, online platform where written work can be viewed and uploaded. Users can publish, discover, and discuss original writings and documents. Everyday, people identify and share documents on Scribd. Accessing this content is as easy as going to Scribd's website and signing in with an existing Facebook account or simply creating a new user profile. Scribd's document reader is so popular that it is used by tens of thousands of other websites.
Scribd's document reader is called iPaper. iPaper allows users to upload and share works on Scribd easily with very little time and effort. By transforming PDF, Word, PowerPoint and multiple other file formats, documents can be displayed on the Scribd website. By uploading writings, people can have their work looked at, discussed and shared by possibly every member of Scribd's community. Not only just Scribd readers but everyone on the internet can find your work as it is indexed for search engine optimization, which makes it easier to find on Yahoo and other search engines. (2)
Who uses Scribd?
Everyday more than 50,000 documents are uploaded to the Scribd website where they are then read and discussed by the 50 million Scribd readers each month. Scribd is growing so large and so diverse that it includes users that speak over 90 different languages. Scribd is becoming more popular now that important organizations and people such as The New York Times, World Economic Forum, Environmental Health Perspectives, and even President Barrack Obama use this web tool. (1)
Table of Contents:
How scribd relates to other applictions:
Demonstration of Educational Value
Real world application-lesson plans:
How Scribd is used internationally
1.1 How Scribd works
It is not necessary to be a member of Scribd in order to read documents that have been uploaded. However, if you wish to upload documents, download eBooks, make a comment on someone else's documents, or get technical support, you must first create an account. While other places require you to pay for their service, signing up with Scribd is free and easy. All you need to have is a valid email address and create a nickname that you will use for your Scribd account, and then you're good to go. To login, you can use either your email or your username and then your password. (3) (4)
Uploading documents is just as easy; you click the yellow upload button that is at the top of every page, choose your file, and then click the blue upload docs button. You also have the option of re-naming your document, sharing it publicly or privately, and can also post it to social bookmarking sites like Delicious and Stumble Upon.
Scribd has made files easy to download as well. They are available in PDF or plain text format, with the user being able to choose which they prefer. You have two options when downloading: Download by clicking the 'Download' button at the top of the document, or by saving the document through iPaper. However, there is a limit to how many documents you can download in a day. This limit varies based on your account's downloading habits and Scribd's network resource availability at the time. (5) (6)
The iPaper feature can also be used for emailing purposes. One issue with emailing attachments to people is that you may not be able to open attachments between different email services. Using the iPaper application, you can send your email recipients a link to a private iPaper document only viewable to the recipients. This eliminates the issue of incompatibility between various email programs and makes document size limits a thing of the past. The following is an example found on Youtube explaining the importance and simplicity of Scribd iPaper.
Directions on how to use Scribd for this email purpose is listed below:
2. How is it related to other applications?
2.1 Comparison to Competitors
Scribd is a website that, in many ways, resembles one of the most popular sites known among teens today--YouTube. According to testcrunch.com, "Scribd is the text version of YouTube." This site allows a subscriber to upload his or her own work onto the page to share with others throughout the world. Also like YouTube, this website contains a wide variety of work to appeal to nearly all users. The two websites have similarities in the basic design principles as well. Common traits nearly all authors desire in websites such as these are the ability to see reviews, responses, and the number of people who have viewed his or her document. Because of this, Scribd implemented a nearly identical system to YouTube that allows a user the opportunity to receive all of these characteristics, making for a more efficient, interesting, and successful application.
Scribd is also very much related to the application Google Docs. Google Docs, like Scribd, is a free web-based application that allows users to create and edit documents online such as word documents, powerpoints, and spreadsheets. Scribd and Google Docs application upload process is very similar. Users upload their work directly onto the web page and then viewers can share, view, edit, and comment on their work. Many professional authors post their work on both Scribd and Google Docs, however, neither program has restrictions about what can be placed on their website. Both applications are completely free and open to the public to view, post, edit, and blog. As Scribd is so similar to Google Docs, there are now two major applications for the public to be able to post their original work online and receive feedback from around the world. Below are two links and some information related to information pertaining to Google Docs allowing you to compare the two applications on your own.
Another similar application to Scribd is Gahzoo. Scribd is the world’s largest social reading and publishing company, while Gahzoo is an online marketplace for documents and files. Unlike Scribd, Gahzoo lets you buy or sell any type of document you like. Both websites are useful, in the fact that they let you upload documents that can be looked at by the public. The only difference is Gahzoo, you can buy or sell documents. Neither Scribd nor Gahzoo have restrictions on what can be posted.
One other application that is similar to Scribd is Calameo. Calameo offers you a new publishing method that has an incredibly wide variety of options and is simple to use. From a PDF file, you create magazines, brochures, sales catalogs, annual reports, presentation brochures. Unlike Scribd, Calameo is used mostly by businesses, associations, and agencies who want offer a dynamic and innovative medium that meets the new communication standards.
One can create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.
Free 1GB storage (cost if more than 1GB is used. For 20GB it costs $5/year, and for 80GB it costs $20/year).
Multiple people can edit a document at once.
All major document types can be formatted into ipaper.
free to use.
has been considered the "youtube of written documents."
2.2 What are some unique ways of using Scribd?
Upload documents to the web: Scribd is a social publishing site where people are able to create word documents or powerpoints and post them on the internet. Scribd is essentially a huge online library where anyone can post their work. It is unique because it provides a way to post and even publish a paper, a powerpoint, or a lesson plan while allowing it to be viewed by the public. Example: Teachers can post lectures on Scribd for students who missed class or weren't able to follow the lesson as fast as others.
Upload more than just word documents: The items that can be posted on Scribd include: books, puzzles, games, brochures, catalogs, business and law documents, creative writings, manuals, illustrations, maps, magazines, newspapers, spreadsheets, presentations, recipes, menus, research, resumes and CVs, sheet music, and lyrics. As you can see, the possibilities are practically endless. Example: Teachers can upload study guides for tests and quizzes.
Lesson Plans: Teachers can upload lesson plans for other teachers to view and utilize in their own classrooms. Students can view uploaded notes and lesson plans.
Blogging and peer review: Scribd also has a blog correlating to each individual item posted, allowing people to make comments. This form of blogging is a good way to communicate with people around the world and find out what others think about the particular work that has been posted. Example: Teachers can have students post their papers on Scribd and have them review other students papers.
Creating a community of like minded writers: Scribd allows for the development of communities pertaining to a particular topic by utilizing Scribd's group feature. There are three options a user can choose when using the group feature. The groups can be public, which allows everyone to be able to access the documents and join the group as they please, they can be slightly selective where everyone is still able to read the documents, but only invited individuals are able to become a member, or they can be very selective with only invited members allowed to read and comment on the documents. These communities allow a group with similar types of writings and posts to join together.
Read books and book excerpts from authors: With books that are published on Scribd, the public has the chance to read excerpts of a book, or in some cases the entire book, depending on how much of the book has actually been posted. Through reading just a portion of the book, readers gain a general idea of the book contents which helps them to determine whether or not they want to actually buy or read the book. Example: Teachers can ask students to read the excerpts of a few books on Scribd and then vote on which one they would like to read the most.
Access all documents with iPaper: With Scribd's iPaper feature, documents on Scribd can be viewed directly without having to download separate software just to view the documents. This allows any file to clearly and easily be viewed.
Post updates: Some businesses have even used Scribd to post schedules within groups to allow attendees of a meeting to know the details and have a chance to read any documents that might be relevant or required as preparation for the business meeting. From a educational perspective, instructors can post updates concerning various classroom business such as a change in the syllabus, assignment information, test or quiz solutions, and online readings. Example: Teachers can post a schedule for when all assignments are due, when tests and quizzes will be held, and when projects are due.
Readcast:Allows for automatic sharing of documents on Facebook and Twitter. Once the documents are posted on scribd they will immediately and automatically be uploaded to the social media sites of the users' choice.
Phones:As of February 2010 Scribd has been available for eReaders and smart phones.
3. Demonstration of Educational Value
- For Teachers and Students Scribd has definite potential for use by both teachers and students alike. However, it must be recognized that Scribd is a document sharing program and therefore in the public domain. Teachers must be mindful of copyright laws and perhaps more importantly, privacy issues. Students must also be made aware of the risk of disclosing personal information that could in any way endanger them.
- Uploading Students' Works Before launching into any lesson plans that will conclude with the uploading of students' works onto Scribd, the teacher will need to establish that all students are familiar with the required formats for this program. (Disadvantaged communities, especially, may present a challenge in this area so it is important for the teacher to incorporate the necessary content into earlier lessons before attempting any project in Scribd.)
- Group Projects Scribd lends itself well to collaborative projects (such as group assignments) where an entire class effort will produce an interesting and varied document. The pride in seeing their work 'published' should inspire students to excel, and this sentiment should be wholeheartedly exploited by the teacher. The success of the initial Scribd assignment will motivate students as the teacher can always do a final 'year presentation' of best works that were produced within each individual class.
- Access to Classroom Content From the teacher's perspective, the uploading of the year's basic lesson plans would result in an accessible document from any location by both teacher and student and would allow for resource sharing amongst educators. Important basic knowledge, such as scientific and mathematic formulas can be made available through this site for use by students. In this way, teachers can ensure that the information shared with the students is correct and "up to date."
- Access to School Wide Content At a school level, the yearbook could become accessible to everyone involved including extended and distant families as well as prospective students (and their parents) with the intent on researching the activities and achievements of different schools.
Further uses for this program include:
- Showcasing works art or school work
Scribd would allow teachers and students to showcase their work throughout the year and let others see the progress they have all been making.
- Replacing textbooks
Scribd would allow teachers to put textbooks online to help save money. Also, it would be convenient if a student say forgot there book and needed to finish an assignment. They would just need to go on to Scribd, and use the online version of the book.
- Distance education applications
Scribd would allow teachers to put assignments online, where students would then have a certain amount of days to complete the assignment and turn it in.
- Specific subject content such as readings and various forms of information
Scribd would allow teachers to put articles or documents online that deal with a certain subject matter. This would give their students the opportunity to learn and understand more about a certain concept that may be difficult for them to grasp.
Scribd would allow both teachers and schools to put up their rules and handbooks online for the students and parents to have access to.
- Documents pertaining to the various aspects of school administration (e.g. Enrollment, absentee, permission slips for activities)
Scribd would allow teachers to put permission slips for field trips, watching certain movies in class, etc.. online for parents to print off, sign, and turn in.
Scribd isn't currently popular in the education field, however, more and more teachers are starting to incorporate Scribd in the classroom. Teachers are becoming comfortable with the idea of turning to Scibd for posting lesson plans, powerpoints, class notes or in-class readings. Not only are teachers turning to Scribd but students are as well. Students are using Scribd to research information for a research paper or finding a good book they want to read for fun.
Scribd's future is bright and filled with potential. In a recent interview with the CEO of Scribd, Trip Adler, he stated that "Scribd is three times the size of Wikipedia." Today, students often turn to wikipedia, however once the name of Scibd becomes more popular, students can turn to it for most of their research needs. Scibd had over 50 million people visit the website last month and it continues to grow. With the recent signing of major publishers, Scribd is going to become more useful in the educational society. (11)
4. Real World Application - Lesson Plans
Lesson Plan #1
Lesson Plan #2
Lesson Plan #3
Lesson plan #4
Additional Lesson Plan Ideas
Additional Lesson Plan #1 - "Exchanging Lesson Plans on Scribd"
For teachers who would like to incorporate various information, activities or assignments into their own everyday schedule, lesson plans can be exchanged via Scribd. For example, an English teacher wants to incorporate spelling words and grammar that had been taught on a previous day by another teacher, but s/he wants the other teacher to know that s/he is doing this without having to e-mail him/her or physically notify him/her. If teachers created a daily schedule of activities and post them onto the Scribd website, other teachers would then be able to view the material and incorporate it into their own curriculum. Students could also be allowed to access this information, and could prepare ahead of class for the day's lesson plan.
Additional Lesson Plan #2 - "Blogging on Scribd"
Students in a sixth grade music class will be asked to make a Scribd account. The teacher will have already made a Scribd group for the students to join. They will all be asked to research a different musical composer and make posts on the groups Scribd webpage about what information they have gathered. Then the whole class will be asked to read two posts from other students, comment on what they have learned, and be asked to write a brief paper on the information that they have gathered. Not only will they learn about various composers, but they will also gain useful knowledge in accessing and using the internet and Scribd.
Additional Lesson Plan #3 - "Under the Sea"
This lesson plan could be used for any elementary grade. You simply assign each student a sea creature. They then have to write a short story on what it would be like to be that sea creature. The students need to include facts about their sea creature such as where it lives, what it eats, and who they are constantly running from (who eats them). They need to be creative. These things should not just be in a list in sentence form. They need to have a creative story behind it. They will then put their stories on Scribd and review each other’s. This process allows the students to all learn and grow together as a group by sharing their thoughts and ideas with each other.
Lesson Plan #1
Lesson Plan #2
Lesson Plan #3
Unit Circle Lesson Plan
Additional Lesson Plan Ideas
Additional Lesson Plan #1 - "Using Scribd in a Foreign Language Class"
A lesson plan for using Scribd in a foreign language setting could be to create a partner classroom in the foreign country whose language you are studying. Then have the students write an essay about American culture and explain some things about American culture, values, and ideas, and the students in the partner classroom will do the same about their own culture. Next they would have to upload their document onto Scribd and read some essays that the partner classroom overseas have written. They can then comment on the essays and improve their fluency in the language.
Additional Lesson Plan #2 - "Using Scribd in a Mathematics Class"
Scribd could be used for a senior mathematics class. Students would be given a mock exam ranging in various components of mathematics. Using scribd, students would have to produce a 1-2 page rules sheet covering all the areas of the exam then produce it as an iPaper on scribd. This could be altered to suit an exam students are about to complete and could be manipulated to become a revision tool.
Additional Lesson Plan #3- "Using Scribd in Writing and Penpaling"
This lesson plan is very simple and could be implemented in various grade levels. Each student is given a name and the information to a student overseas. The students will write an introductory letter, introducing themselves to the other student. Then each student will get acquainted with Scribd and post there letters. The overseas student will then reply and the communication process begins. The students routinely respond back and forth with their pen pal. Other students can also interact among other conversations, giving all the students an opportunity to meet one another. This lesson will teach the students about the Wiki and also heighten writing and social skills. Penpals are a great experience and the students can also stay connected even after the project is complete.
Lesson Plan #1
Lesson Plan #2
Lesson Plan #3
Lesson Plan #4
Additional Lesson Plan Ideas
Additional Lesson Plan #1 - "Using Scribd for Nutrition/Health"
Students enrolled in Nutrition 202 are currently learning about ways to diet and control their appetite. After they read the chapter in the book corresponding with dieting they will then be asked to read Feed Me by Harriet Brown which provides examples of real people's thoughts about their own health. Students can then see what kinds of effects obesity can have on a person's self-esteem. Then students will be asked to write a brief 1-2 page reflection on what they thought of the article and about its content and then post the paper on Scribd.
Lesson Plan #1
Lesson Plan #2
Lesson Plan #3
Additional Lesson Plan Ideas:
Additional Lesson Plan #1 - "Posting Job Applications Online"
Using Scribd it is possible for employers to post job applications online. It would be simple, easy, and convient if employers did this. The applicant could simply go online to Scribd and print off the application then fill it out and turn it in. It would eliminate the hassle of going into the busy workplace and asking for one. Then if the employer chose the applicant could even fill out the application online. Maybe the applicant could answer all of the questions on the application on a word document then post the document on the Scribd page and the employer could view that online.
Scribd takes Copyright very seriously. In fact, Scribd created a copyright management system which they considered being "the best of the best." It is important that Scribd has a great copyright management system considering Scribd is three times the size of wikipedia and larger than many other online libraries. Scribd recently received some heat from a paper in London about copyright issues. However, Scribd quickly cleared the facts up and released a public announcement concerning their position on copyright laws. On their blog Scribd states,
"Every time Scribd receives an official take down request from an author, publisher, or copyright holder, we remove the copyrighted document and add the reference file to our copyright database. If someone tries to upload a document that our system identifies as one of the tens of thousands of works in our copyright database, the document is automatically removed from Scribd." (17)
Scribd is a site where you can post and share anything from cooking recipes to scholarly writings. Scribd strongly encourages their users to be familiar with copyright laws to prevent any copyright infringement that may occur. (18)
5. International Uses
Scribd is a very valuable and flexible tool not only to the Unites States, but also to individuals outside of America. Due to the huge variety of documents and types of texts uploaded to Scribd, individuals and even countries can find a use for it. Governments and tourism agencies can use it to promote destinations. All kinds of schools and learning institutions can post research or notes for students. A writer from Spain, for instance, could have his or her work reviewed and discussed by the entire world.
In an educational context, Scribd is just as useful for a school outside the United States as it is inside. Instructors can post their lectures and lesson plans for students and other teachers to look through. Scribd can even be used as part of an in-class assessment. For example, students could use Scribd to upload material while discussing their own work, the work of other students, and relevant work from outside the school or even outside the country. In all, Scribd gives students and teachers exposure to ideas from around the world that can be discussed, understood, and comprehended in a new way.
An example of Scribd being used outside the US and Australia, is the group '**0001 A GREAT GREECE - UNIVERSALITY (HELLAS)'. This group is set up to promote Greek awareness and includes information about the country of Greece as well as information about the Greek population in other countries. (12)
International users can Publish, Promote, and Profit through use of the iPaper feature, just as a site motto states. The following link is an iPaper PDF file that contains a list of international hotels and travel agencies that are all members of the Jupiters franchise. By publishing this list, a viewer could plan a world holiday based on the various location included in the list.
The State Government of Victoria, Australia has used Scribd as the platform for publishing their 2009 edition of their Environment Yearbook. This is an astute move, and should please both the environmentally aware as well as the budget-conscious. (14)
There does appear to be a growing awareness of the usefulness of this facility in Australia, with a diverse range of documents being currently available. For example, Caravanning Australia has used Scribd for publishing their magazine, and the Petratherm submission to the Adelaide Solar Cities Congress 2008 has been made accessible through Scribd. Cultural studies, with clear international relevance, are also readily available on this site. (15) (16)
Scribd allows a person to do three main things when posting their document on the site. They are the application's three P's: Publish, Promote, and Profit. The individual has the chance to publish their work by way of their post through Scribd and Scribd's recent signing with big-name publishers. By way of promotion, users have the chance to promote their work through being indexed by search engines and reaching millions of people. Then in correlation to profit, users have the chance draw in the interest of readers by way of Scribd, and then have them buy the book or particular work on the user's own site. Ford used Scribd when all the other automakers were asking for a bailout. Ford uploaded a restructuring plan so that everyone could see what there plan of action was, and how they were going to follow through with it. By taking there plan to the people, Ford was able to survive without borrowing money from the government and raising there sales to second in the US, behind Chevrolet. Another company that uses Scribd is The New York Times. The New York Times uploads their articles to Scribd, which gives them an even wider range of followers and marketing opportunities. (19)
Scribd allows for the formation of groups with a specific interest to select documents for sharing within the particular group. There are 3 levels of groups, each with progressively more privacy/discretion, and it would be up to the user to decide which level is most appropriate for their particular requirements. Through these groups, members are allowed to collect documents/articles that are relevant to their needs or interests, and it is expected that documents presented therein are deemed of value by the members themselves. The two higher group levels require that a document be suggested for addition to the collection, the scrutinizing of which is done by the Administrators of the group. This allows for greater control over content.
Groups are formed on three levels. A Public group would cater to people with similar interests and welcome anyone to join. Upon becoming a member, one can add documents of your choosing to the collection. This serves a broad interest. This level is the least monitored, and can attract undesirable material and or members. A Managed Public group has a smaller focus and is able to select new members at the discretion of the Administrator. The addition of articles to the group is more controlled, indicating that the articles selected are of a high standard. From an educational perspective, this may be the preferred group. Any and all submissions can be reviewed prior to adding to the collection and membership can also be monitored. The final community is a Private group. A Private group is very discreetly managed. The information regarding private groups is not available to the general public. Membership is by the Administrators' approval, or invitation only. This level could suit use at an administrative level in a school or institution for the controlled access of student records, for example, amongst other applications. (20)
http://www.allfacebook.com/images/scribd.gif  [Picture 3]
http://www.fotolia.com/id/10039923 [Picture 4]
6.1 Frequently asked Questions:
1. What is Scribd?
Answer: The largest website for social reading and publishing.
2. What dos scribd have to offer for people:
Answer: there's something for everyone like: Twilight fan fiction, reports on global warming, 2.0 slideshow, original flute compositions and so much more!
3. Just how popular is Scribd?
Answer: There are over 60 million month readers that are continuously on Scribd whether it be uploading docs, following, readcasting, commenting, embedding, rating or even rating on the go.
4. Can you connect with people you like?
Answer: Yes! you can follow your favorite readers and publishers, you can also see when they are rating, publishing, or recasting. If you want to share your writings post etc... you will find people on Scribd that care.
5. Can u get updates on your phone?
Answer: Yes! they can be read on your mobile phone or eReaders.Your docs will be easily discover by all major search engines.
Related Links to Scribd