Digital Learning Day Activity: Yearbook Building
Its Time for Yearbook Club!
So here at Digital Wish we are starting to run our yearbook clubs again, and we have found a really simple yearbook builder. And its cheaper than other yearbook builders out there. Starting at $8.49 for the first 20 pages, which includes a free e-version and 4 free customizable pages per student. Furthermore, its the perfect fundraiser for technology in the classroom. Just register with Digital Wish and start building your school’s yearbook. All profits from your yearbook will go into your Digital Wish account so you can buy more technology for your school.
Explore the yearbook builder. Sit down and decide what size and style of fonts you want your students to use. Also, click through the backgrounds and stickers to find ones that work for you. If you don’t set boundaries your students will take 3 class periods to sort through some 3,000 background options. Make a list of approved backgrounds, fonts and stickers. Make a powerpoint about what you expect this will become your yearbook clubs style guide.
I made a powerpoint and as our style guide evolves I add it to the powerpoint, and since we only met once a week I put the powerpoint up at the beginning of class as a refresher. The powerpoint included rules such as only use readable fonts, and how to write a photo caption. I told my students that in the real world style guides are ever evolving and that the reason for them is that design is supposed to look uniform. I used the example of People Magazine. I explained to them that yes each page looks creatively different, but that the overall magazine looks as if it was made by one person. Also, use a magazine to show students what a photo caption and photo credit looks like. Explain to them why we would put from left to right in front of the names of the people in the photo. For example, we read a book from left to right; therefore, thats how we read a picture.
Compare and Contrast: How can we do it better?
On the first day of class I went over the yearbook club style guide. After, I handed out yearbooks from the past years and we looked for consistencies. For example, what is always in a yearbook? Does our school’s yearbook have something that makes it different from the other school’s yearbooks? At my school we traditionally have a dedication on the first page and 6th grade students get to design their own custom page.
Next, I asked my students what don’t we like about our past yearbooks? How can we improve. They had all stated that a lack of organization and consistent design confused them.
You are going to need a lot of pictures, and lets be honest you don’t have a camera attached to your hand throughout the school day. Enlist the help of fellow teachers and parents. Ask them to take pictures of school events you can’t attend. Ask around to find pictures of the halloween festivities, school dances and basketball games. Upload the pictures to the yearbook builder. Its simple, create a new section of the yearbook, the button is located in the upper left. When you are editing that section there is a button located at the bottom of the screen titled, “add photos”. It adds those photos specifically to that page, so students don’t have to go looking in a large photo database.
The Nuts and Bolts:
The yearbook builder is great because you can invite students via email, but unfortunately my school’s firewall blocks emails from outside the school . So the way around this problem is to create Gmails for each student and invite them using that email. Do not give these email accounts to your students, its not necessary for them to have, and it may upset parents. So, invite the email accounts on the yearbook builder by selecting add new team member, located on the upper left of the screen. Log into each created gmail and accept the invitation and click the link provided in the email. Click register when signing into your yearbook builder and use the email you created. Repeat for all of the email accounts you created. If you are still a bit lost check out picture below. Now, when yearbook club begins hand each student an email with a password you created when you registered that email with the yearbook book builder.
The great thing about the yearbook builder is that you can assign tasks to your students and they can only edit that portion of the yearbook. So, I assigned different class pages to every student and prior to assigning them I acquired a copy of every students ID photo and uploaded them to each class page. I then printed out a copy of each class, so my students knew how to spell last names, and who went in what class.
You are the Editor & Chief:
Its okay to tell a student that their first attempt wasn’t quite what you expected. With my students it usually takes them three tries to incorporate the style guide correctly. The last five minutes of class are for edit approvals. I will point out what they can do to make their assignment better, and I ask them to write down what I want them to approve upon for next class. Explain to them that in the real world this is how graphic design works, its a collaborative team effort.