Bill Gillespie
Rosemary McDowall

Adobe develops industry standard publishing software. Whether it is for the web, print, video or audio, Adobe has products that rank among the best. What is not as well known is that Adobe has developed a range of high-quality apps that build upon its already established reputation. While products such as InDesign and Premiere can be purchased via a Creative Cloud account, Adobe’s apps are free.

The latest app off Adobe’s production line is Adobe Slate, a free, easy-to-use iPad app that lets students and teachers turn words and images into beautifully formatted stories they can publish on the web.

Many of you may be aware of Adobe’s InDesign and Dreamweaver. Both programs are the industry standard for publishing; it takes, however, considerable time to become proficient in their use. Adobe Slate on the other hand allows users to become proficient users in about 10 minutes. Unfortunately for android and Windows users, Adobe Slate only comes as an IOS app at this point in time.

The Slate interface is fantastic for classroom learning and projects, because it is simple to add text, choose the right photo layout and apply curated looks and motion. Scrolling transitions make words and images move for an engaging read.

According to Adobe, “Slate is a powerful communication tool for teachers and gives students an easy way to share their knowledge and express their creativity. At the same time, both teachers and students can learn about layout, design and interactivity on iPads as well as publishing for multiple devices. Through a simple link to the web, they can share their ideas and knowledge with the world.”

So we set out to test Adobe’s assertions. We went to the iTunes store and downloaded and installed the app. The app has icons located at the top of the screen that can take you back to your project, allow you to browse other public projects, show theme choices and preview your work.

The theme you choose — there are 11 to choose from — determines the fonts, colours and overall layout of your project. Within each theme there six different page layouts you can choose as you develop your project.

We tapped on “Create a New Story” and added a title, subtitle and photo and we were on our way. Then it was just a simple matter of adding content to the pages.

We found the app extremely easy to use, with plenty of options over how we could lay out our text and photos. Once we had finished we could share our story via Facebook, Twitter, and email or make it public on Adobe’s servers.

If you are looking to quickly build a standalone webpage for a school report, newsletter or journal Adobe Slate is a fantastic option. While there are some limits Slate is an easy-to-use app that produces truly impressive results.

Rosemary McDowall teaches at The Forest High while Bill Gillespie teaches at Elanora Heights PS. Bill is an Adobe Educational Leader. They can be contacted at