Teachers can download QuarkXpress 9, worth nearly £1,000, for free in new offer
QuarkXpress offerThere was a time when QuarkXpress was the page creation software program of choice for most of the publishing industry but was hardly known in schools. Since those days increased competition – particularly from Adobe with its compelling education discounts – has produced some very useful offers for schools and teachers.

Now QuarkXpress is available free of charge to all teachers as part of the QuarkXpress for Teachers scheme. And the good news is that the program is no longer just a tool for print; teachers can also use it to create publications for the web and for digital tablets like the iPad and ereaders like the Kindle.

Teachers have until December 31 to enroll for the scheme online and download the software for free (it is worth almost £1,000 to commercial companies). While the scheme is attractive for the financial savings alone, the ability to create high-quality materials for digital tablets and ereaders has great appeal as they increasingly find their way into schools.

Apple's own publishing tool for iPads, iBooks Author, is very impressive but it ties schools to the iTunes Store and should they want to offer materials they produce for sale – quality curriculum materials for example – they have to use the iTunes Store and give Apple 30 per cent of their income.

Quark says that its software can now be used for interactive creations, and links to audio and video can be integrated into teachers' productions. Whether it is as easy to use as iBooks Author is another matter (distributor Douglas Stewart EDU has kindly supplied an evaluation copy). This is how it describes the benefits of the scheme:

  • Experiment with digital design through the integration of interactive features;
  • Teach students collaboration and designer-driven automation skills that will prepare them for the world of digital publishing (students can buy the program for £81);
  • Create documents for print and web, in addition to Apple’s iPad and ereaders like the Kindle for your class and campus.

Teachers can register for their free progam with the QuarkXpress for Teachers scheme