Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Best of My Blog

No, not the best of this blog. This was not a meme or a blogging retrospective. This was about the best of my third grade students' blogs, a book.

Best of My BlogMy students just compiled their best blog articles from the year to be their books for our school's annual Young Authors' Conference. They looked through the articles they have published this year on their blogs (some had over 50). They selected the best, copied and pasted into Word, reformatted the text, and added illustrations. They used watercolor pencils to make pictures to go with their writings. I photographed those pictures, edited them (cropped, resized, etc), and put them in their networked folders.

The kids really had a wonderful time taking their writing to another dimension. In their blogs on classblogmeister, they have very little latitude in terms of appearance and formatting. And no pictures - at least not easily included, for 8 and 9 year olds.

So for the past couple of weeks, my students have pulled information from the Internet (their own work!), and have experimented with how that information, their writing, should look - in a for real book that you can hold in your hands.

A few of the things they learned about in the process: cropping and resizing images, pixels, image color/contrast, image placement, font appearance, consistency and variation in appearance, and much more.

It was nice to be able to guide them through seeing their writing in another dimension. Dean Shareski has said for a long time that Design Matters.

Now Dean was talking about more sophisticated presentations - video, PowerPoint, and such. But I think that these days even in the simplest, shortest, most basic pieces of writing, design does indeed matter.

Maybe next year my kids will be publishing their books online.

Naturally, they blogged about the process :)

1 comment:

Dean Shareski said...

Hey Mark,

Having kids think like designers at an early age is so critical today. As they are faced with more and more decisions in a world with so many choices, it's easy for them to accept "default settings" of everything. Their ability to critically examine they way the world around them is designed is not only transformative as consumers but in a world where they are ever increasing in their ability to design themselves, it's an essential skill.

Hopefully we'll see more of their work next year.