Thursday, April 23, 2009
Adapted Learning Print Editor to Go Live Soon
Yesterday I had a very interesting web conference with Bob from Mayer-Johnson about some of the features they are planning for their new Print Editor (which remains in public beta if you want to try it out).
Print Editor is a feature of Adapted Learning that will allow you to open files stored your "my files" section of Adapted Learning and change them before directly printing them. No downloading, no need for you Boardmaker disc. This will eliminate the issues many of us have with not being allowed to download files or not having Boardmaker installed on the same computer as the internet.
Print Editor is a very rich application within an application. Although it shouldn't be expected to do everything Boardmaker does it actually comes very close. The key thing to remember is that it is an editor not a creator (although from what I saw in the web conference you can come very, very close to creating full materials with Print Editor, which is very cool for some of those crazy, last minute kind of days when everything is working against you. The only thing you really can't do is create symbolated text, but you can edit symbolated text). You can change buttons - everything from the symbols in them to the text, to the lines, to symbolation. You can create new buttons. You can clear one button or multiple buttons (allowing you to create a template from a board in one fell swoop).
My favorite thing is that Bob told me the developers are very close to fixing the bug that wouldn't allow you to print out multiple boards saved as one board. I use the multiple board feature frequently.
I have heard from some parents who are worried that teachers will use Print Editor to download boards without changing them and hand them out to kids with out putting any though into curriculum or methodology. I think Print Editor may actually cut down on that. If teachers can easily open boards and change them, without too many extra steps getting in the way, I think they are more likely to customize those boards. At least I hope so. Our time is always at a premium, so the more of it we spend on customizing and the less on saving to flash drives, carrying to another computer, opening in Boardmaker, editting and then printing the better.
Of course the question people ask when something comes out of beta is, "how much?" Print Editor will be a subscription service. It will cost about $80 a year, less if you sign up for multiple years. At first it will be credit cards only, no purchase orders (some kinks to work out of the system before they can offer P.O.s). You will have to have a licensed copy of Boardmaker to subscribe to Print Editor and your subscription will be tied to your Adapted Learning log on (and if you share your log on only one person can use Print Editor at a time - which I think is very generous, they could have made it so only one person can log on at a time).
I know for a fact that Mayer-Johnson reads the comments here, so comment away, you will be heard.
P.S. Bonus nerd factoid - Adapted Learning can track things about the boards we post, i.e. if most of us put a symbolated title on most board then they start thinking, hmmm... how can we make that easier for people. They can tell how many boards are interactive vs. print only, how many use advanced features, how many are for what age groups, what topics and subjects we frequently make boards for then they can use that info to make Boardmaker better for all of us. I am thinking Boardmaker 7 will be, as the kids say, "da bomb!"
(And Bob told me that Mayer-Johnson heard their customers loud and clear about Boardmaker Player on a flashdrive - he couldn't say more and who knows if "heard" means they are doing anything (they would be dumb not to) but I am thinking we should get excited!)