Dear Otto: What’s a good program to create an online ezine?

tech questionsDear 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 has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Author: Jacqui
Welcome to my virtual classroom. I've been a tech teacher for 15 years, but modern technology offers more to get my ideas across to students than at any time in my career. Drop in to my class wikis, classroom blog, our internet start pages. I'll answer your questions about how to teach tech, what to teach when, where the best virtual sites are. Need more--let's chat about issues of importance in tech ed. Want to see what I'm doing today? Click the gravatar and select the grade.