Sribd is an interesting resource for would-be authors; indeed anyone who is interested in seeking an audience for their work should consider signing up to Scribd.

Scribd is a site where all kinds of documents can be uploaded and shared with either the general public or selected people through assigning them to groups (ideal for schools as these documents are accessible only to those invited to the group). Writers can receive feedback from readers and threaded discussions are available to both readers and writers, so Scribd makes it is easy for students to collaborate with others.

Documents uploaded to Scribd can be converted to a file called ‘ipaper’. ipaper files can then be easily embedded into blogs or websites; rather like the way YouTube videos can be embedded.

Scribd supports a number of document types such as

  • Adobe PDF (.pdf)
  • Adobe PostScript (.ps)
  • Microsoft Word (.doc/ .docx)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt/.pps/.pptx)
  • Microsoft Excel (.xls/.xlsx)
  • OpenOffice Text Document (.odt, .sxw)
  • OpenOffice Presentation Document (.odp, .sxi)
  • OpenOffice Spreadsheet (.ods, .sxc)
  • All OpenDocument formats
  • Plain text (.txt)
  • Rich text format (.rtf)

so any or all of these document types can be uploaded. Tags and categories can be assigned to uploaded documents, and folders can be used to keep documents organised.

Scribd has an extensive FAQ sheet, which is sure to answer any questions that you have and several that you haven’t thought of!

As well as providing an instant audience for writers, there is a vast library of documents for members to read and review if they wish. Once any documents that are deemed to be open or available to the general public, they become searchable in Google and other search engines. Scribd also supports numerous languages, so LOTE classes are well catered for.

Just a note of caution, there may be some documents on Scribd that are inappropriate for school age students. As with any Web 2.0 site that the general public has access to, there are items that as educators, we would rather our students not see. You can flag any documents as inappropriate if you are concerned.

Scribd is an excellent resource for English classes, especially where students wish to seek feedback from an audience other than their teacher.