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Zeen for digital magazine creation

In shopping around for a meaningful new way for students to publish their discoveries around Hamlet quotes and themes, I came upon Zeen.

A free, new platform, still in beta, Zeen allows users to curate text, video, images, and links into beautiful digital magazines, using a lovely variety of themes, fonts, colors

Developed by YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, this digital space for magazine creation feels like a kind of hybrid of Pinterest, Tumblr,, Themeefy, and Smore, the digital poster creation tool.

Like the design of Smore, Zeen is super-easy to use and allows digital publishers to continue to add modular segments.  Users may integrate Flickr images and YouTube videos and develop textual context around them.  A bookmarklet allows for on-the-fly curation.

Zeens display as vertical magazines, with a handy left nav bar index.

Zeens are sharable on Facebook, Google+, Delicious, and Twitter.  An embed code option appearing on the dashboard, seems to embed a user’s work rather than an individual Zeen.  (See the Zeen material below.)

It would be lovely if documentation traveled over into your Zeen with the media you import.

I can see lots of classroom applications for Zeen.  The Terms page notes that it is for ages 13 and older. Certainly it is a platform for interactive, media-rich student writing. It can be continually updated and function as a type of blog on a global issue. We can use it to publish professional development materials.  It may also serve as a new vehicle for the library monthly/annual report.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Hi Joyce,
    This is Jessie from Zeen. Thanks for the kind words about our site! I noticed that you said this: “It would be lovely if documentation traveled over into your Zeen with the media you import.” Could you clarify what you mean by that? We love user feedback and if you could expand on what you mean, I’d be more than happy to pass your thoughts on to the development team.

    Feel free to respond to this, or if you have more feedback, please feel free to send us an email at


  2. Joyce Valenza says

    Thank you for your response! I love the platform.
    As for those suggestions:
    I’d love for attribution to come over with media you include in your Zeen.

    In addition, it would be wonderful if Zeen creators could embed a variety of media/widgets, for instance slides, posters, spreadsheets, calendars, polls, tag clouds, feeds, etc.

    But perhaps most important would be the ability to embed links in text.

    What do you think?


  3. Hi Joyce,
    Thanks for the super helpful feedback! We are currently working on adding hyperlinks, and for now you can attach links, just not within text. That feature should be coming soon.
    As far as your other suggestions, those are really great ideas. I will pass your thoughts along to the development team and we will take a look at how we could implement those features.

    Thank you again for your input!

  4. This sounds absolutely awesome. I’m clipping it and showing it to my students!

  5. I think it is a wonderful creation. Digital Magazines have made a name for themselves all around the globe. They are popular, accessible and convenient to read. I created my digital magazine using


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