magcloud.com Retail Price: Free
In addition to other hardware announcements, HP showcased their four-year-old product, MagCloud, at ISTE. This free, online publishing tool lets anyone create professional-looking documents, such as student information, class notes, curriculum content, yearbooks, literary magazines, and even student-written stories. You can use any desktop publishing, word-processing, or design application to create a MagCloud-ready PDF. Then you can upload your PDF to the MagCloud Web site, set your publishing options, and you’ll be able to view and order the publication within minutes or get a free digital download.
Quality and Effectiveness: This online tool excels at what it is intended to do—help you create a professional-looking document that you can print, ship on demand, or view online or with an iPad app. It’s free to create your book and the cost of buying your book is essentially the cost of the paper and shipping. You can add to the price and earn a profit. (As with most e-publications, you can earn a profit with a 70-30 split. You earn the 70%.) This could be a great way to sell yearbooks or do fundraisers.
Ease of Use: Creating publications with the online software is easy. It loads and operates efficiently and quickly. Instructions and support materials are clear, concise, and easy to follow. However, preparing your publication before you use the software is the key to having great content. This software can make any content look beautiful.
Creative Use of Technology: If you want a professional-looking document, using the HP MagCloud is an easy and cost-effective way to achieve that result. You will have access to a URL that has a direct link to your publication. You can share your content and use the source code to promote your publication on a Web page, blog, or social media.
Suitability for Use in a School Environment: This software is great for educators and students who want to create, publish, print, or download their publications. If you want to encourage budding writers or hone your own writing abilities, you can achieve that goal with this tool. However, if you’re looking to place your book in an environment with other education publications, this site isn’t there yet. Similarly, this is not the place to go for great resources (other than your own) just yet.
Please note that you have to be a member to create, order a print publication, or download a digital copy on a PC. However, you can get a copy of any free eBook by using the app.
• MagCloud provides a wonderful opportunity to create publications for any class, grade, subject, etc.
• It’s free to create and download the document.
• Any print-on-demand fees you incur are essentially the cost of printing (at 16 cents per page) and shipping (available through both USPS and FedEx).
OVERALL RATING: MagCloud is easy to use. The hard part is preparation, but once you have everything prepared, producing a professional document is easy, inexpensive, and rewarding.