Monday, August 11, 2008

Review: The Old Schoolhouse Magazine--Digital Format & Contest

I've been a long-time subscriber to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I devour each issue immediately upon arrival, and often refer to their articles again and again. I'm also quick to refer other homeschooling moms to this great resource, because I feel that it's the best homeschooling magazine available.

So when their digital model debuted I thought, "How can it be better than having the actual paper copy of it to hold in your hand?" As any true bibliophile knows, there's just something about holding a book--or in this case, magazine--in your hand, that reading from a monitor just can't touch.

However, I was in for a very pleasant surprise. There are in fact, many reasons to "go digital". For example;

  • Instant access is at the top my list. Reading the magazine before it hits the stands and not having to wait for it to be delivered is great for impatient people like me. :o)
  • It's a great savings at $16.95 vs. the $29 print subscription rate.
  • Links are interactive. Now I don't have to try to remember which sites I want to visit later. I can simply click on it right there, and voila`!
Of course, you can still print any article you like, or download the entire issue to your computer to save. (If you're like me and *have* to have something in your hands.)

The Old Schoolhouse's digital format is very easy to navigate, courtesy of the guide on the opening page. A Navigational Bar visible at the top features tools such as;

  • Arrows for easy page turning
  • Contents Page
  • Page views--this is one of my favorite aspects. You can actually see each full color page as it appears in the magazine, before you click on it. I thought this would be especially great for us "visual" types, as oftentimes an article's photos can make you want to read it more than simply reading the title on the Contents page. (The whole "judging a book by it's cover" thing.)
  • The Settings button allows you to customize your view from 1 to 2 page spread, adjust the zoom factor and page turning speed.
  • The Archives button--hands down the coolest feature, allowing you to view all of your subscription's past issues right then 'n there.
  • A handy search button, where you can type in any word/phrase and find articles containing them.
  • And finally a "share" option which allows you to email your favorite articles to friends.
I think even with all these great features, I'll still keep my print subscription addition to the digital. (I'm greedy, what can I say?) I love the feeling of bound paper in my hands. I can't help it.

However, for all you extremely organized, anti-clutter, psychotic types, this is a crucial element in the preservation of your sanity. Now you won't have stacks of magazines to keep tidy (like I do). They'll all be on your computer (or online if you choose not to download), and off your shelves. :o)

Pretty neat, huh? (Pardon the pun.)

Now comes the fun part! If you're excited to try TOS' new digital magazine, simply leave a comment at the end of this post. I'll select ONE random winner to receive their very own 1 year subscription. Winner will be posted on Wednesday.

Good luck!

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