One Page At a Time

I thought that I would go for something relaxing for my goal here – which is yearbook design, from top to bottom, the whole thing – and then some. A bit of context may help describe the learning curve required here, for starters I come from a culture that yearbooks don’t exist in, I have never designed one before and I saw my first yearbook just before Christmas. So perhaps I have a little bit of work to do…

I have already had a few conversations with some colleagues about this seemingly insurmountable task. Some have been supportive, and others are trying to be – they aren’t there yet ?. But here’s the thing – even though I have very little experience in this field, I do have some website design experience, I love design and I really like to learn new things. I also believe that I possess a Growth mind-set – thanks Carol Dweck, and I am keen believer of the 4-stages of learning, of which I am currently somewhere between the conscious incompetence/competence phase.

4 Stages of Learning

When You Put Your Mind To It…

And isn’t is what learning is all about? Learning what we thought we couldn’t – and then maybe pass on that learning, and approach to learning, to our students? Teaching our students to grow beyond their expectations, guiding them to achieve things they thought they previously couldn’t. Also, as the deadline for the yearbook is approaching rather quickly it has become a matter of urgency (see Chris Lonsdale’s talk on language learning – particularly the bear reference) to pay attention to what needs to be done, and to apply new knowledge, skills and understanding quickly. As Doc Brown, from Back to the Future, said…

Doc Brown from Back to the Future

Make it Happen Davey

Task No. Description Possible PLNs Time Frame
1 Research and decide on 3rd party software. Meet with editorial team to agree ways forward including page quantity, overall theme. Previous yearbook designer. Completed by 20th February, 2019
2 Review old school yearbooks (and other schools too) and use this information to create a yearbook ladder – i.e. page content, themes, pics, who’s will be responsible for each section. Other school’s yearbook designers Completed by 20th February, 2019
3 Create student roster, choose theme, upload text photos and create test page – run through with a colleague and get feedback for improvements. Show completed test page to other stakeholders before asking for them to start their pages. Other teachers/colleagues who will be working on different sections within the book. Completed by 1st March, 2019
4 Upload remaining photos and ask colleagues to start tagging these. Marketing department Completed by 1st March, 2019
5 Start collecting photos for chosen topics in the year book. Also start collecting quotes and blurbs for the main topics, before delegating to page owners. TBC Completed by 30th March – I know past the end of the course 1
6 (next year) Seek feedback from students and families about what they would like to see in the Yearbook. Create Yearbook after-school club/committee. Create legacy documents, folder structure. Students and families Next Year!

Research Skills Applied

After reading this blog post from graduate student Seyi Ogunlande, I felt humbled by her comments about the fact that most of her classmates “came from different parts of the globe”” and that she thought it would be “great to make something that included a bit of everyone”woah, what a statement! Seyi, unbeknownst to her, has inspired this very green yearbook editor to go the extra mile (just like my predecessor) and create something special that our students and their families can cherish for years to come.

I also read a few other blogs on year book designs and sponged a few of their tips, such as “Make a Page a Week” from Becky Higgins’ blog; although given my time frame this needs to be 1.9 pages a day for the next 58 days. Of course, there are copious amounts of yearbooks out there too to investigate, not to mention the somewhat bias advice from the various yearbook providers* to read through; pinch of salt required when taking on board advice; after all they want you to use their product.

When it comes to proofing, yes I know this is a long way off, I like the 5 steps from image seven on their article titled school marketing news, particularly the bit about using a ruler when reading each line – so old school. Again, another good bit of advice for next year, is to set up a Yearbook after-school club, at the beginning of the 2019/20 year. Don’t ask me my opinion on whether I think a yearbook should be printed or digital (it’s digital), but Beta Boston make a detailed comparison about the two, saying that ditching yearbooks has worked for some universities, like The University of Virginia’s Corks and Curls yearbook for example, whereas sales for the printed MIT’s Technique yearbook have remained steady. I am for the inclusion of some techy bits, like QR codes, which I will link to some Padlet pages for different events throughout the year. Once scanned, users will be taken to web-page containing an abundance of pictures – and video and audio. I may even add a little augmented reality to spice up the interactivity.

*Pictavo, Blurb, Picaboo, Treering, Bookbaby

Moving Forwards

Since writing this blog post I have gone and researched Typography, and in turn passed on my new knowledge to Grade 6 students; they are currently creating a digital book for a Individuals and Societies unit using Book Creator. And thus the circle of learning continues, now for that next yearbook page…