Scribd is a popular document-hosting site where you can upload documents to the web and then have others access it. It had been on several of my “The Best…” lists because it had a great feature for English Language Learners that allowed anyone to click a button and hear all the words on the document read to them. Students could then easily write something that would be much more accessible to their friends and family members than something that didn’t have that audio support for the text.
Scribd eliminated that option awhile ago, and I just haven’t gotten around to posting about it until now. I’ve now removed that site from a few “The Best…” lists. For other sites that provide text-to-speech capability, you can visit The Best Listening Sites For English Language Learners and The Best Reference Websites For English Language Learners — 2008.
The ability to upload a document and embed it on a student or teacher website, however, can still be a useful service. If you’re looking to do that Scribd is a a decent tool. There’s a new web application that might even be better called Docuter. The advantage that Docuter has over Scribd for student use is that it doesn’t appear you can search the site for other materials, unlike in Scribd. The problem with that is that even though Scribd says they’ve removed pornographic and offensive material from their site (there used to be tons of it there), there might still be inappropriate documents they missed.