How to Effectively Use, Annotate and Mark Up 
E-Readers, PDFs and Other Digital Materials

One of the biggest battles in today's education system is how compatible and useable digital materials are in higher level education. Many individuals don't feel comfortable or supportive of a digital file on a computer versus a hard copy book, but the fact is that digital files can be just as useful and can be annotated just like a hard copy book.
How Do I Engage with OER in my Course?
OER can come in a variety of forms such as text, video, audio, and mixed media. Within each of these, there is an additional layer of variety. For instance, text could be a Microsoft Word document, a PDF, a web page or other types of text-based documents. Audio could come in the form of streaming sound or .mp3 files. Below, some tools have been identified for engaging with OER content along with recommendations about each tool.

Where possible, students are encouraged to download OER onto their computers for quick reference. By downloading, the student may be able to annotate or manipulate and organize the content as he or she sees fit.  

Note: Students using computers in the Library computer lab should save any content that is downloaded onto a thumb drive or consider other storing options, such as Google Drive or Onedrive. Students are unable to save their materials on college computers.

Tablet and Mobile Devices
Students can download their content onto their tablets or mobile devices depending upon the storage space on the device. Students should be aware of  what type of file formats the OER is in and which application is most likely to be useful. Most content should be accessible through a web browser, but, for annotating, note-taking, and editing OER for the student's own use, it might be a good idea to find the best app for the job.

Apps for Android
There are several apps for Android that are capable of eReading. The most noteworthy is AIReader which supports almost every book format imaginable. Again, finding the right app for the right format may require extra effort if AIReader does not meet your needs.

Apps for iPhone
iPhones have their own proprietary app known as iBooks which is capable of reading .pdf and .epub formats. Because the vast majority of eBooks are saved as pdf or epub, you should be able to access your content.
Note: If the tablet or device has a mobile data plan, it might be useful to download the OER content when you are on a wi-fi network (such as at home or at NECC) to avoid going over a download or data quota.

Physical Copies
When it comes to text-based material, students have a variety of options around getting the material in physical form. Students are encouraged to take a look at the Printing OER section, although multimedia is much harder to turn into physical copies. While some audio and video content can be downloaded onto tablets and mobile devices, going beyond that to store the content would require the files to be burned into audio CDs or DVDs.
Applications for Reading and Annotating OERs
There are many options on what programs and applications on can use to annotate a digital PDF, and many of them are web based, meaning you don't even have to download them onto your computer. Still, it is important to identify what operating system you have. The two most common Operating Systems that this page will be covering are Windows or the Microsoft operating system and Mac or the Apple operating system. After identifying the operating system you have, you can then scroll down to see what suggestions and options you have.
Any Operating System a.k.a Web Based Programs
Here are some of the web based applications you can use for annotating your digital materials.
​Program Tutorials​
​Adobe Reader Annotating PDFs with Adobe Reader X​
Docent EDU
Windows Users
​Program ​Tutorials
PDF XChange Viewer
Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
Mac Users
Program​​ ​Tutorials
​Built-in Preview program Mac Preview Tutorial​
PDF Reader X​
​Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
Tablets or Mobile Devices
​Program ​Tutorials
​Adobe Acrobat Reader
College of the Canyons
Open Educational Resources