Online Magazine Made Easy

We’ve all done it. We were all asked, at one point or another in our student lives, to create a magazine. Using Word to do so used to be the norm but the results were far from convincing and the effort would often be tremendous. There now is a better, funner, easier way to create any type of magazine; Joomag.

Joomag lets you instantly create a fully customizable magazine for fun or for corporative use. Getting set up is super simple; create an account for free in 2 seconds and get started; all you have to do is upload existing PDF if you have them or chose from one of the hundreds of templates offered on the website. Joomag makes it easy to create a sports magazine, indoor decoration magazine, technology magazine, whatever you want magazine. When you decide on a template, Joomag guides you step by step through the creation of the magazine using simple yet efficient guidelines and tutorials. The possibilities are endless and there is so much you can do while editing the magazine it’s surprizing that you can have access to so much for free.

On his blog, JunJazz reviewed Joomag and listed some of its upsides as well as some of its downsides. Starting with the upsides, Joomag is said to be very, very interactive. Since you can create an online magazine as well as a printed one nothing stops you from adding videos, sounds, music, powerpoints, in your magazine. These features are of course not too relevant if what you are looking for is a printed edition. Yet it is great to have the option of doing all that! The numbers of templates available was also identify as a big plus for the reviewer­. The fact that the free version allows you endless editions and that everything is easily sharable through facebook, twitter, email, and so on also makes Joomag a very good tool. Now for the downside. Maybe not to relevant for teaching purposes but if you wanted to make money out of your publications you’d have to get a gold or silver account which can be expensive. 

Killerstartups.com is also adamant about the quality of the tool. What really cuts it for them is how easy it is to create a very slick final product. Even though there are thousands of features available you only need a couple in order to get to a very satisfying result. Most of it is actually very user friendly. As it is mentionned in their review, everyone can use Joomag even whithout prior training in publication and editing.

Say goodbye to old, boring, magazines and brochures botched on Word, say hi to Joomag.   

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Comic Life: Bringing Life to your Stories

This is 2014 and there a no flying cars yet. Disappointment. Maybe you still can’t fly in the sky but that does not mean you have to use powerpoint anymore; Comic Life will bring life to your pictures.

 

We all know telling stories and using pictures are a big part of any ESL class. There exists many different programs that help you liven up your presentations, Comic Life is one of them. Comic Life is a downloadable software that allows you to upload pictures and create presentations under the form of a comic book. Unlike Pixton, no artistic skills are required to make a great presentation; just upload any picture you want and you are set. From then you can very easily insert captions, speech bubbles, and backgrounds. The possibilities are limitless; storyboards, comic books, picture stories are now easily accessible for everyone. 

In its review of the product, Toptenreviews.com awarded a score of 7.7 to Comic Life, praising its intuitive features and hundreds of different layouts. There are, however, some downsides. You cannot draw your own cartoons using the software, meaning you will have to draw your pictures, if you so wishes, using a different program and then upload the files on Comic Life. In that regard Comic Life should be seen more as a comic organizer than a comic generator. It is also mentioned that some features like the sound effects can prove to be annoying. 

Techradar.com also praises the app, especially the limitless possibilities for customization it offers. No comic presentation will look the same as you can choose from hundreds of layouts, backgrounds, fonts, and what not. Techradar also mentions the price of the app as being on the plus side. I do not agree; 40$ for a software that is basically a powerpoint on steroids might be a bit of a stretch. There are, however, discounts available for teachers and educators. 

Comic Life is a great tool for organizing presentations in a different ways. The fact that no artistic skills are required to enjoy the different features of the app can be a plus for some or a big inconvenience for the others. 

Christophe

 

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