Subtext is even better than I thought! (But still has more room for improvement. Don't we all?)

In the Talmud in Taanit 7a it is written:
Rabbi Hanina says: I have learned much from my teachers, and from my colleagues more than from my teachers, but from my students more than from them all. 
In the 21st century, I would add, "And from my members of my PLN (Personal Learning Network) on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets even more-so!"

Yesterday, I wrote a blog posting on my Top Ten Free (or almost free) iPad Apps that I Learned More About at #ISTE13.

In my description of Subtext, an amazing app for hosting discussion forums and other learning activities, directly "in the book", I pointed out 2 areas for further improvement. Firstly, Hebrew did not seem to work on Subtext. When using the "Find Free Web Articles" feature and adding a Hebrew text from a website, the Hebrew came out as gibberish. This was disappointing to me since I could imagine Subtext being just as useful for discussions about a text of Tanach or the Talmud as for an English story or play. I also could not see any way from the app to add a PDF file, a feature Subtext has been promising for some time.

Was I wrong!

After I published my post, I then tweeted this post mentioning the various apps that I featured. Almost immediately, I received the following reply from Subtext.


I immediately started doing my own experimenting and confirmed everything Subtext had written. Adding a PDF to Subtext is simple. Just email yourself the PDF file. Open the email on your iPad. Click on the action button to open the PDF and choose, "Open in Subtext" and the PDF will be imported into your Subtext app. Here is a screenshot of the process.



This could be great for adding to your Subtext free books or articles in the Pubic Domain which often have PDF versions online. It is also a useful workaround for adding Hebrew files. Even Hebrew files with Nikud. See the screenshot below from my Subtext.



As you can see, not only does the full chapter of Jeremiah appear in a beautiful Hebrew font with vowels but I can use Subtext features like adding discussion questions or quizzes for students etc. Well sort of...

Note: Hebrew text capability is still far from perfect. While Hebrew text appears perfectly in the Subtext reader, the Hebrew does not appear when you post a comment. Instead, you get ??????? Furthermore, the highlight and search features do not yet work with Hebrew. My suggestion would be to type the Hebrew word in your comment on a line above your questions. Not a perfect solution but adequate if you want students to still have the ability to toggle between the full text and the discussions. You can see an example of this below.



It is my hope that Subtext is reading this blog posting (as they read my previous one) and they will plan to add full Hebrew capability in the near future. Considering how much the app has already been improving on a consistent basis, I have a hunch that I will be proven to be correct. To be continued...