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Becoming a Teacher-Author Entrepreneur Step 19: Creating Fillable PDFs as a REMOTE READY RESOURCE

So, with Distance Learning we have a new aspect of our resources to look at - creating the resource to be COMPLETELY useable for remote online teaching, or a REMOTE READY RESOURCE. If you are a seller with TpT, you have probably seen the offers to do the BETA testing of their automatic "fillable distance form" versions of your resources. I tried it. I did not like it. It is basically a text box placed over every page. And, from what we teacher-authors have been hearing, customers don't like these either. So, what's an Entrepreneur to do? Create the resource to match the need!

All of the Novel Study Guides mentioned 
are available on AUL, The Wheel Edu and TpT
Fortunately, this is a fairly easy fix, IF you create the way I have tried to show you, in PowerPoint. It took me 6 hours to recreate our Touching Spirit Bear Novel Study Guide, 4 hours for the Novel Study Guide for A Long Walk to Water, and a whopping 2 hours for Rumble Fish to become a REMOTE READY RESOURCE. With Rumble Fish, it actually took longer uploading the new files to the storefronts! Notice the cover now proudly proclaims the remote readiness of the resource?

So, let's stroke my ego a little and pretend that you create the way I walked you through. Now to make the resource remote ready, make a copy of the PDF BEFORE you secure it, and name it "(RESOURCE) Digital. Now, secure your original PDF with password encryption and put it into your "resources to upload" subfolder. Now, open the copy for "Digital". If you are using Adobe Pro, on the right hand column, about second from the bottom, you will see "PREPARE FORM". Click on this, then have it use the open PDF to prepare form. This is now a fillable PDF. Click the  button at the top that says "PREVIEW" and change it to "EDIT". This is how the form will appear to students and teachers using the resource. 

Scroll through all of the pages of the form document. You are looking for ONE THING - a light blue fillable text box on every blank line where you want students to enter their responses or show their work.

If, like we had to do with the novel studies, you have pages or sections without the fillable areas, you need to go back to your PowerPoint and add lines in a text box. I used bullets and blank lines for this to make the text box the right size. One thing I learned was that you CANNOT get a vertical fillable box, only horizontal. This was really frustrating when I was doing the plot diagrams! I had to create a second set of PowerPoints and PDFs for these, and include them in the resource!
After you go through the PDF, if you have to add the boxes, DELETE that copy you just reviewed! Export a NEW PDF from the PowerPoint, and name it "(RESOURCE TITLE) Digital", then open it, prepare the form again, and reinspect it to ensure it is complete.

Once your Form is complete to your satisfaction, go into the "Protect" tab for encrypting with password. Select "Encrypt with Password", and under the pull down options for "Changes Allowed" select "Filling in Form Fields and Signing in Existing Signature Blocks".  Then, save with your password, and - Voila! You have a Remote Ready Resource in the format of a fully digital, fillable PDF that is secured!

You will now need to open the original zip file (if this was a pre-existing resource) and make a new zip file for your storefront for the resource. Now, a lot of people are saying, "The FORM is PRINTABLE, so I can just use it!" Yes, you could. Or, you could upload it as a "NEW DIGITAL RESOURCE" that you offer as an ALTERNATIVE to the original, at the same price as the original. And it would be. But I ask you...just because I COULD go fishing with dynamite, does that mean I should?

I am repackaging my entire resources, with BOTH the PDF - now designated as "Print and Teach" - and FORM - designated as REMOTE READY RESOURCE. I am NOT competing with myself, AND pre-existing customers who already have the PDF can come get the digital for FREE. I am raising my prices on the combined resource though, by 40% on the Novel Study Guides, and probably 20% on assessments - a lot less work there. And you know what? Literally 25 minutes after posting the new, REMOTE READY RESOURCE version of our A Long Walk to Water Novel Study Guide, at the higher price, IT SOLD! How do you like me now?

Let me give a shout out of thanks to Debbie Mendoza of Froggy About Teaching, Christy Gandara of Homeschool Holidays/The Happy Hive Homeschool, and Cortney Gaynes of The TeacherSorce for being my test subjects in figuring out how to secure these Forms! Thank you, ladies!  



 

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