Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Zeen: A Beautiful Way for Students to Display their Work

I'm always on the lookout for great ways for students to share their work--and especially with authentic audiences. Zeen looks like one of those ways! (Thanks to @mrsebiology for the tip.)

A screengrab from Go explore!

Zeen allows users to create interactive online magazines (get it? Zeen?) incorporating text, images, and even video. The interface is very straightforward, and it works right in your browser. When creating a Zeen, you have a workspace that shows the page you are currently working on. On the left-side are tools that affect your whole Zeen (fonts, colors) and across the bottom edge are tools that allow you to edit the page currently under development--adding titles, quotes, blocks of text, images, videos, links, or page breaks. You can link to images or upload your own. For video, you can search YouTube right on the page and link to videos there.

Sharing is simple too--it has built-in tools for sharing your Zeen via popular social media sites, or you can just share the URL on a blog or other website as well.

Caveat time: like so many online services, you'll need to create a (free!) login, and if you're going to use this with students, they'll need to have an email address to use when signing up. Also, you might have to be careful when exploring Zeens...who knows what content people have already created there that might be in questionable taste. Bearing those cautions in mind, I think there is a lot of potential here for educators.

I already have about 18 ideas for student projects that might incorporate Zeen. I hope you'll find it useful as well!

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