For years I’ve been using tools like Adobe Illustrator to layout documents and websites and as I work with teachers I have often encouraged them to use tools like Microsoft’s Publisher for classroom newsletters and with kids. Recently that all changed. As I’ve become more dependent upon my Chromebook, I’ve been looking for a substitute, online creation tool that will give me the flexibility that I need. I had been a Lucidchart user for some time and knew that Lucidpress was available but I hadn’t really put it to use yet.
If you’re a fan of cloud-based educational software, you already know the advantages of switching—these programs run in your browser and allow for easy classroom collaboration. But some programs take it a step further. Lucidpress seamlessly integrates with Google Apps for Education, and it’s completely free for students and teachers. It’s the ideal tool for cloud-based design projects, from newsletters and brochures to posters and magazines. If your institution is using Google Apps, integrating Lucidpress will be a snap. Playing around in this program is not only intuitive, it’s fun.
You can sign up for Lucidpress for free. There are no unnecessary gimmicks—just a reliable, sleek design program that runs from your browser. You can use it on traditional desktop PC or Mac setups, but, to meet my needs, it had to workjust as well on Chromebooks or on tablets.
By using Lucidpress, you can save money, teach students valuable skills for the twenty-first century, and most importantly, create beautiful print and digital documents. Lucidpress is an elegant alternative to programs like Microsoft Publisher. Here’s a documents that I made using Lucidpress for some summer camp opportunities for students in my district.
Lucidpress provides a library of templates to get you started. Many of these templates are ideal for use in an educational setting. Here are some examples of how your school could be using Lucidpress’s templates:
Create a school newsletter. Try this newsletter template. With bright colors, attractive sidebars, and solid font choices, your newsletter will engage students, parents, teachers, and alumni.
Make an event poster. Whether it’s a bake sale, auditions for the school play, or the senior prom, announce your school’s event with striking design and eye-catching colors. No more posters with illegible fonts and bad clip-art!
Create a magazine. The headache of getting your articles edited, set, and printed have plagued the staff of school newspapers and yearbooks for decades. Now, you can start with a template which is already laid out beautifully, and focus on producing engaging content with your students. Both photographers and writers will appreciate the ease of arranging columns, setting headers, and importing images from services like Facebook, Dropbox, or Google Drive.
Using a web-based design program has several advantages. Lucidpress, in particular, has features which distinguish it from the pack.
- It’s simple to collaborate. Educators and student can work together on documents. It’s easy to invite others to view, comment, or edit, depending on their needs. If you’re making a newsletter for your school, you might invite a colleague to edit, and your supervisor to view. Using cloud-based software eliminates the dreaded email chain.
- It’s fast to log on. Integration with Google Apps is a part of Lucidpress’s DNA. If you sign in with a Google domain, it’s one click to import Google Drive documents. Rather than being tied to a given machine, your documents are securely stored in the cloud. That newsletter you were working on at your desktop? You can view it on a tablet at home.
- It’s easy to learn. You can get students of any age on desktop or mobile devices creating, editing, and sharing within minutes of starting a new canvas. For those who are less tech-savvy, the options in Lucidpress are straightforward and easy to experiment with.
Sign up for a free account with Lucidpress. It is currently in beta and free for all—using your educational email address (often ends in .edu or .org) ensures that you will be considered to have an educational account. Happy publishing!