Canvastic Inc., a brand-new company based in Colorado, introduced its self-titled software program, a project-focused desktop publishing tool for K-8 students that works with Windows or Macintosh computers, including Mac OS X. Company founder Steve Gandy, a 25-year veteran teacher of K-6 students, said he created the program in response to what he saw was a real need in the marketplace. Other desktop publishing programs are either too full of “toys” (like Kid Pix) that can take away from instructional time, or they are geared toward older users (like Microsoft Office or AppleWorks) and are too complex for elementary-age kids, or they are built on a proprietary publishing platform (like HyperStudio) that is really a separate programming environment and not just a publishing tool, Gandy explained, adding, “This is the solution I’ve been looking for in my own classroom for years.” A unique feature of the software is that it can grow with the user, Gandy said. It comes with a complete set of tools for drawing, painting, or adding graphics to text–but it’s scalable and can be customized to fit the ages or ability levels of students by adding or removing toolbar items. Using Canvastic, students and teachers can write and present information in a variety of ways. Its tools allow for the creation of maps, diagrams, and graphs, as well as the importing of pictures and text. Pricing starts at $69 for a single license or $949 for a building or site license, with volume discounts available.

About the Author:

eSchool News