Review: Subtext

"Imagine your whole class in the pages of a book together. NOW IT’S POSSIBLE WITH SUBTEXT, A NEW IPAD READING APP FOR SCHOOLS.Subtext makes it easy to interact with your students in the pages of digital books. You can post and answer questions, link to relevant Web content and create assignments and quizzes—all right in the text. Better yet, your students can share ideas and work together to make connections as they read. Think of it as anywhere, anytime classroom reading guided by you."

My take: Subtext is a great site. This site is ideal for English teachers with 1:1 iPads. However, any classroom seeking a community reading environment will be excited. I am highly impressed with this site and available iPad app.

When I first started writing my blog and reviewing educational technology on my website (Stealing and Explaining Technology) I continually found new and cool tools for educators. However, as time has passed I have reviewed more and more sites and I have found fewer and fewer sites that have caught my eye. 

Subtext currently is a great site and it has potential to be a fantastic site. After reviewing the Subtext video description and advertisement (available below) I was excited. 

I emailed a few questions to one of the founders Rachel Thomas and her responses only further impressed me. The vision and outlook for this company are impressive. I highly recommend checking out Subtext. Using Subtext is easy. 

The site's primary function is to allow anyone to participate in community reading. Public or private groups can annotate ebooks together participating in discussions as they read. In addition, teachers can create in text quizzes, have their students write blog posts about the ebooks they read. One of the many great features is the easy group sign up (the ease of using a integrated Google login helps and having students join with a group code is ideal) - teachers can create private and public book discussion groups and build bookshelves for their classes. The bookshelves can be stocked via Google Books (some free ebooks are available), buy ebooks from Subtext (volume pricing will be available in the fall), or upload your own ebooks (see Greg Kulowiec great blog posted easy to follow directions here

Rachel explained her favorite feature of Subtext: "I have always loved Web Linking because it connects books to all the amazing content on the web. We are also working on a feature called Tag It that allows teachers and students to highlight text and tag it as an example of a literary device or with a unique label like “Morality in Shakespeare.” They will eventually be able to export tagged notes to Google Docs for use outside Subtext. I think Tag It has huge potential."

Finally, Rachel also shared "we’re happy to buy a free book for any teachers (or more broadly educators) who want to read in Subtext this summer. We are putting whole faculties in the app right now. Nathan on our team just wrote a quick blog post on it:
http://subtext.com/education/blog/. But keeping it super simple, they just need to email us, and we’ll get them set up."

I highly recommend checking out Subtext.

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