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Replacing Publisher on Chromebooks

Until now, the best choice for printed student projects -- from newsletters, to banner signs -- has been Microsoft Publisher.  With the move to Chromebooks and the disappearance of Microsoft Office, how can you replicate those same projects with the new tools that are available to students?  Here are four options to help you make the transition:

1. Google Draw


This is part of the Google Docs suite that everyone in Edmonds can access.  It offers simple layout and drawing tools that are quick, and well-suited to simple projects like graphic organisers and diagrams.

Pros:  Simple, free, and no additional sign-in required.  Integrated with Google Drive, and easy to share projects with students (either through the Share menu, or through Google Classroom).
Cons:  Limited to one-page projects.  Some advanced tools are missing.

2. Canva


Offering more dedicated desktop-publishing tools, Canva is a speedy way for students to put together slick, professional looking publications.  Based around photos, it offers Instagram-like filters to stylise pictures, and simple snap-together templates to focus on content rather than appearance.

Pros:  Simple to use.  Photo filters.  Many templates.  Single sign-on with Google.
Cons:  Not many options to create original graphics.

3. Lucidpress


The fact that Lucidpress can import Adobe InDesign documents should be the first sign that it's a serious contender for the best online desktop publishing program around.  Teachers and students can take advantage of Lucidpress for Education and obtain many pro features for free.gh

Pros: Single sign-in with Google Account.  Many advanced design features.  Sharing and collaboration built-in.
Cons: May be complicated for novice users.  Limited storage.

4. Gravit



A relative newcomer, Gravit is built by vector-graphics enthusiasts, this is the perfect tool for students who want to create their own print-ready graphics, rather than rely on photos.  It offers many web-ready templates to get you started.

Pros:  Free.  Many advanced graphics tools.  Icon library for web-centric designs.
Cons:  Labour-intensive -- can take students a significant amount of time to complete a design.

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