It feels like its been quite some time since the last entry to this blog for class. I feel a little out of practice. Of course I had all kind of intentions of continuing to blog through the summer as I enjoyed some quality professional development and quality vacation. But as they say about good intentions…
Setting the stage
So here we are and I’m excited about this course. I’m not necessarily great at it but I do enjoy design. I dabble with it from time to time and enjoy exploring my creative side.
I’ve had several blogs and webpages that I’m constantly tinkering with to try to get them looking just right. We even just recently launched a blog for our 8th grade at Lincoln. The students are responsible for the content, but I’m taking care of the design. I’ve got big plans…
I actually had to come back and add this bit. As I reflected on my writing and content I thought back to the first student post for my humanities class. Nisreen actually applied a lot of the concepts discussed in the articles this week. Check it out here:
As for my COETAIL blog, I’ve definitely made some improvements. I’ve included a screen shot here of the old page.
As I look at it now, it is filled with the wrong kind of CRAP and needed a good bit of work. To be fair, there are quite a few limitations to the themes that are available, but I still knew I could do better.
I think that as you enjoy the ease of a short easy read thanks to employing some concepts from Brandon Jones’ article on visual hierarchies you’ll agree that vast improvements have been made. I don’t think I’d call it perfect yet. There are still some things I’d like to figure out how to accomplish.
At a minimum, I’d like to have some sort of border around the widgets on the side and perhaps even have them fade to a slightly lighter color while the reader is focusing on my writing. I’d also like to have a bit more control over my fonts. Not to go crazy or anything, but just to be able to make things a bit more interesting. Maybe my new coding club will help me figure some of this stuff out.
So now to apply this to my teaching. The class blog is an obvious example, but I think James Daly’s interview with George Lucas makes some great points.
If you’re going to put together a multimedia project, you need to know that you can’t have a fast rhythm track if you’re talking about death. It just doesn’t work. You’re not communicating well.
I know this, and you probably know this, but do kids know this? I can recall posters about the black plaque that were done on neon paper, student videos about the industrial revolution that had hip hop music, with lyrics, in the background of the voice over and countless other fantastic design flaws. If we really want students to learn to express themselves, we need to discuss this and give them the tools to be successful. Students are asked to make countless posters, pamphlets, presentations and Power Points throughout their careers. Just as we spend time helping students craft their essay writing skills, we should help them build their visual expression skills as well.