Dear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.
Here’s a great question I got from Ganasini:
I want to create a literary e-zine for my small, rural elementary school. What is the best program or venue–blog, wiki, or something else? I am looking more for a way to display work. In the past, I’ve done hard copy photocopied “newspapers” for students to publish their stories, reports, art work, book and movie reviews etc. I would like to try to publish something similar on the computer. One idea is that each student contributor could have a bi-line with their photo and then links to their various entries, or else I could organize it with links to student fiction, for instance. I think it would only go out to our small school community. Thanks so much for your input and direction! It is much appreciated.
This is especially important because of the requirements for publishing in the CCSS K-5 education standards and ISTE technology standards. There are a lot of solutions, I think, that could work for you:
- Adobe Professional–collect pdfs into a bundle and publish online with a cover, table of contents, or whatever else you’d like to include. I did this one year for a 4th grade poetry book. Students designed the cover. I added a TofC with each student poem, and then each poem. It can be displayed as a book or a rotating selection or a variety of different ways. And, it didn’t take long to create
- Issuu–collect all student work into a traditional magazine. Just upload and Issuu does most of the heavy lifting.
- Glogster–create a poster which includes each student name and is linked to their work..
- Check this link at Cool Tools for School. Scroll down to ‘publish’ (it’s under ‘presentation tools’) and see nine more options like Youblisher and Scribd.
Most of these are free (one exception is Adobe Pro–it’s software. If you buy it, be sure to get the wonderful education discount).
I keep a list of teacher resources on my blog called Great Resources. You might also find something there that fits your unique needs.
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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a K-6 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, creator of two technology training books for middle school and six ebooks on technology in education. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blog, Technology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.