Most of the time, when students are asked to write texts about their interests, their feelings or simply things they relate to, they don’t really take it seriously because the task doesn’t seem to be concrete or real for them. Actually, for a majority of the students, a writing assignment at school is simply something obligatory to do in order to accumulate a certain amount of points to graduate. But what if they had the chance to customize their texts, to share them with the rest of the world and to receive feedback, comments and congratulations for their work? Wouldn’t this increase the effort they put in their work? I believe so! This opportunity has now been given to the students with issuu, a website designed to publish home-made magazines on each and every subjects.
This is a quick overview of what is Issuu.
Like mentioned in the video and on the8blog, Issuu is a platform that permits to everybody, to publish their own online magazines or journals. With this website, everyone can transform his personal works or researches into an international tools which can be consulted all over the world. Just like a blog would do, Issuu gives the opportunity to its members to express themselves about whatever they want, from personal poetry to deep social researches for examples. The only major difference between a blog and Issuu is that with Issuu, your work can be customized into magazine-like online pages, which makes the whole process much more interesting for its user. The fact that Issuu is so creative and interactive is one of the reason that makes it a wonderful tool to use in today’s classroom. Indeed, with Issuu, a teacher can download his or her course plan and make it available for his or her students, but this site can also be used in all the student’s writing assessments! Think about all the possibilities!
Issuu gives the opportunity to the students to transform a boring writing assignment into a creative process. They can write a Short Story magazine of their own, they can make different researches on sciences, literature and so on and publish it directly on the Internet in a way that makes their works available all around the world. Issuu also gives the opportunity to teachers and students to have access to works of their peers from everywhere in the world.
When I tried to make my own magazine, I realized that Issuu was, at first, a little complex. To register, the site asks to add friends on your account, which I found useless and against privacy, something that can cause a problem with students, but then I realized that I could skip this step, which solved my problems. With Issuu, people can simply upload their PDF files or create their own magazine with the website. This part is, in my sense, more useful in our classrooms. Another “problem” with Issuu, like mentioned in Devan Goldstein‘s blog, it that you Issuu magazine is not so easily accessible to the rest of the world. Other people, unless they have the complete link to your website, won’t be able to find your magazine by looking for it on Google, for example.
Here is a quick tutorial of how to publish with Issuu.
To conclude, I would say that Issuu can be a wonderful tool to use in classrooms. It can engage students in their assignments, involve them more in their creation processes, like mentioned on weebly, it can create a link between the classroom and the parents and finally, it can allow them to share their work which can give them the impression that they are doing something real and concrete, not only an assignment to graduate from high school. Used correctly, Issuu could completely transform writing homework!