Today, students can create multimedia magazines and distribute them globally through the web. Here are four good options for creating multimedia magazines and distributing them online. Jump to the end of the article for another idea about using multimedia magazines in the classroom.
Lucidpress is a slick for collaboratively creating multimedia documents. If you watch the video below you'll notice that Lucidpress has some similarities to Google Documents. In fact, you can use your Google Account to sign into Lucidpress and you can use items stored in your Google Drive account in your Lucidpress documents. Lucidpress has commenting and sharing features that are similar to Google Drive too. What makes Lucidpress different from Google Documents is the selection of layouts and the layout customizations available to you. I look at Lucidpress as being the best of Apple's Pages and the best of Google Documents combined into one slick service.
Update 12/26/2014 - SimpleBooklet is no longer free. Glossi has gone offline.
This post would be incomplete if I did not mention iBooks Author. If your school has modern MacBooks, your students can use iBooks Author to create and publish multimedia magazines. iBooks Author is a powerful too, but to master it takes more time than it does to master the three services mentioned above. To help you get started using iBooks Author I recommend spending some time with the following tutorial resources. Publishing with iBooks Author is a free 110 page publication from O'Reilly Media. I just discovered the guide a couple of days ago and I wish I had found it earlier because it would have saved me a lot of time in learning how to use iBooks Author. Publishing with iBooks Author covers everything from copyright, DRM, and the End User Agreement to templates, layouts, media insertion, publishing, and distribution. You will have to register for an O'Reilly Media account to download the book (that does take a few minutes and requires email verification) but I think that's a small price to pay for an excellent free ebook. Publishing with iBooks Author is available to download as an ePub file and as a PDF.
Kinetic Media has a nearly one hour video that takes you through every aspect of creating an iBook with iBooks Author. The video covers everything from choosing a template to using custom HTML5 widgets in your iBooks. That video is embedded below.
If sitting through a one hour video like the Kinetic Media iBooks Author video is a bit too much for you, take a look at this playlist of 25 iBooks Author tutorials from DIY Journo. The videos cover the same things as in the Kinetic Media tutorial, but each tutorial is its own short video.
Applications for Education
Creating a multimedia magazine could be a good way for students to create a digital portfolio. To form a multimedia magazine students can pull together videos, pictures they've taken, and documents they've written throughout the school year.