Well, the short answer is, it all works. I managed to update three “typical” course docs (handbook, scheme of work, assessments) to my Kindle, via an import to Docs, and email as attachment to Kindle in HTML format. The main usability issue around around the way it converts tables. therefore, there would need to be some consideration within the Google Doc design / template to ensure the conversion of tables is accurate.
Something I also learnt, was we’d need to supply within our student support material advice around the management of files and the creation of collections on your Kindle.
So, all very nice 🙂 The next stage is to explore models around how people can share notes around key texts, ie., we all need to read the article (PDF), make notes / comments and share with others on the course. The questions are … can it be done, what is the best way of doing it with the least amount of fuss …
Well, thanks to twitter, the conversion tool of choice seems to be Calibre (http://calibre-ebook.com/) – thanks @nrparmar and @jamesclay
I have downloaded it, and created my first ebook. Which was authored in Google Docs, downloaded in an HTML format, converted and shared with me Kindle. All very simple, and looks great – except it took the authors comments when converted (so I must remove those next time).
The next stage is to take a more authentic material in the format of a course handbook, assessement guidelines, lecture notes etc., and convert these are start to look at formating issues. So, I’ve take four some course content material (in doc format) from a course on our Blackboard system. I’ll upload into Google, sort out the formating, download and convert.
At the same time I’ll review the course to synthesis the functionality from a distance learning, cross reference this with the Inst of Educations – pedagogical templates for e-Learning report (which has already done this) and come up with a cunning plan.
A question which keeps nagging away with me is … how can I distribute a large number of e-books, to a large number of ebook readers with the least amount of effort? I feel some work on google is coming up, plus help from friends on Twitter.
Well, the first approach stage of being able to share notes to the kindle, and being able to edit those has been a success. So we have a mechanism for students to be able to access (update) course handbooks, workbooks, text material on their Kindle.
My desired workflow is … our distance learning courses are deployed using Google Educational Apps, we send a kindle each student at the start of the course with reading material, handbooks, reading lists etc., We might then be able to update those and send the later version. These documents are located within the google educational apps area so they can access them without a Kindle (if so required), and will also be able to complete the other functions expected on the course, ie., access learning material, synchronous and asychronous communication, group collaboration, complete quizzes & surveys, and the submission of an assignment / report.
This is quite exciting because if we sent them a Kindle Fire (see a comparison with the iPad 2 – http://digitaldesi.com/) they should be able complete the required tasks on one device 🙂
So, next step is to look into the ease of authoring Kindle ebooks …. there must be an effective, convert your html docs to Kindle format application somewhere 🙂