Xodo

Submitted by Ken Harmel, Educational Technologist / Sessional Faculty, University of the Fraser Valley | @harmelken

What is it?

Xodo is a PDF reader & annotator that can also read other eBook formats.

What can it do?

There are a lot of PDF readers and annotators but Xodo facilitates annotation by groups by synching updates when documents are shared via Google Drive or OneDrive so that no one needs to download or keep track of versions.

Download the App

How does it work

Post downloadable readings, typically in MS Word or PDF, into a folder in your Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox. Everyone then opens the document in Xodo on their mobile or computer for a comfortable read and annotate it with highlights and comments for later reference. And then simply close it (no sync is required so no lost markups which is why I love this app!).

For accessibility, PDFs can be read “Reflow” mode so fonts can be enlarged.

Extend your learning

When you’re ready to write your assignment or need to reference your highlights and comments just go into your Google Drive or OneDrive folder, find the PDF and you’ll find it all marked up with your valuable references.

Learn more about the mobile app: http://feedback.xodo.com/knowledgebase/articles/614835-getting-started-xodo-basics

Using Xodo in teaching and learning

When reading is assigned, convert it to a PDF and recommend Xodo to students. Typically, students still read on their PCs, which makes online learning cumbersome. Some read using the default Adobe Reader, but highlights can easily get lost as they are stored locally and don’t sync well to PCs. This was my frustration when I was a student. Students should not get frustrated trying to read.

Xodo is an app that supports learning on an ongoing basis as instructors and learners interact with the resources they have found. For example, when posting a reading assignment you can recommend Xodo to students so they can better manage their online readings, such as this posting in a Blackboard learning object:

For reading eBooks I highly recommend using XODO (I wish I had found it earlier in my postgraduate studies). Install it on your mobile devices for easy reading. You will find it as intuitive as highlighting and writing notes in a physical textbook. Upload articles to your Google Drive or OneDrive and you can access all your markups from your PC when you’re ready to write your assignments.

If you’ve signed up for a Xodo account, you can share access to your PDF. Send it to your students to share your annotations (if you share via email address, you can share annotation permissions as well).

A short task – challenge yourself!

Annotate a shared PDF

Use the link below to open a PDF in Xodo (on your mobile device or desktop, with the app or in the web view), and do some highlighting and commenting of your own. Let us know how it worked, and how this might be something you could introduce to your courses.

Caplan, D. & Graham, R. (2008). The Development of online courses. In T. Anderson (Ed.), The Theory and practice of online learning (2nd ed.). Athabasca, AB. AUpress.
https://www.xodo.com/app/#/collab/a5a144a6-7b7b-4472-8ce3-7504ab1b30c9

Start your own collection

Download the Xodo app and create an account. Use it to highlight and comment on a document you use in teaching and learning. Share a link to the Xodo version of this document in the comments below so other can chime in.

Don’t forget to come back and add a comment below, write a blog post or share your results somewhere on social media. Use the hashtag: #12AppsBC

CC BY 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.