KDES Computer Technology Class Moves from Practice to Publication
In the technology classroom six, seventh, and eighth graders from Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) are busy working on their editorial tasks and learning the business of publishing. Student Marcus Pointer is one of the sports copy editors. At this point in the year his assignment focuses on reviewing the sports photo captions using the on-line publishing software called Jostens Yearbook Avenue. In identifying the people in the photos, Pointer claims to know most of the students at the school but still checks each name against a master list for spelling. He likes being part of the yearbook staff. "It's about having fun and seeing what we did during the year. I like sports and wanted to work on the sports photos. I play basketball and in the spring I want to play rugby like last year," he said. Each of the students in grades six, seven, and eight has a role in the production process.
"The publication is one of their technology class projects for the year. All of the students reviewed prospective job duties for the yearbook," said Kathy Pongor, education technology teacher and editor-in-chief of the yearbook. "The students picked three jobs that appealed to them and I assigned them one of those roles. We have section editors, copy editors, and photo editors." The yearbook staff does not meet as a whole group-student staff members for each grade attend different technology classes. As a result, coordinating the communication between the teams from different grades offers quite a challenge. This is where the on-line software program provides a key tool.
"The on-line software allows each group to review what the previous groups have done. We have a centralized photo file to collect and sort pictures. In the main hallway we have a publications wall to chart our progress, review ideas of page layouts, and track deadlines. We also communicate through e-mail," said Pongor. "It's kind of neat how the skills they have learned in computer class of editing, cropping photos, and working with text and design are coming together in an actual tangible product that gets published."
The yearbook staff is starting to realize how fast a year goes by when they are trying to keep track of field trips, sports, and special events and to set up class portraits. Final copy is due at the end of April. A separate publication featuring a memory page for each graduating eighth grader will also be published.