course based reflection wk 3 digital graphics.doc
A. Design and produce a four-page newsletter providing educational technology
resources for teachers. Each page should be standard 8.5”x11”. The pages
must be numbered and show a consistent design theme throughout. Must have
columns, but the shape and size of these columns is up to the student. The
essential design problem is to create a layout that provokes an appropriate
response. Basic design principles should be followed – contrast, repetition,
alignment, and proximity – and each page should present a graphically
pleasing layout. The newspaper should contain contact information.
In our Digital Graphics course, the instructor utilized a project-based learning approach. At the conclusion of week five, we ended up with a four-page newsletter utilizing all of the skills we had learned throughout the first four weeks of the program. I learned many things about design principles, typography, and using publishing software. I also was able to meet several ISTE’s Technology and Leadership Standards from area’s I, II, III and V.
One of the most valuable pieces of knowledge I gained and that I now use on a fairly consistent basis is the “CRAP” principal, which stands for Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity. The CRAP principal allows for a more scientific approach to design. I always felt that I had an inherent eye for a good line-up of items when I designed flyers and such for my swim team. However, now I combine my intuitive “eye” with a structured and logical approach to my design principals and have created some “eye-popping” designs. I am always pleased to hear when my students or booster parents comment on the clean design of my newsletter. I also enjoyed looking at other classmates work and making comments on what they were designing. Seeing other’s ideas always sparks some of my own.
Learn as a Leaner
As I worked on my Digital Graphics class newsletter, I felt I really had an opportunity to accomplish ISTE’s Standard II, which focus’ on planning, designing and modeling effective learning experiences infused with technology (ISTE, 2001). When designing the newsletter, I really had to take some time to make effective decisions about where and how I was going to place articles, pictures, and such into the space. I really wanted to show myself and others that I had mastered the skills of design. Upon completion of the project, I felt confident in my abilities and that I had accomplished my goal. Another skill I acquired was learning to select the right software for the task at hand. ISTE’s standard V addresses using technology to increase productivity. While I always knew the right technology could make the job easier, I felt I had a better understanding of how critical that technology was to creating a final project and the importance of taking your time to determine which technology software or program was the best fit for each individual task.
I personally enjoy learning kinesthetically, and this course was one of the best. “Project-based learning allows for alternative approaches that address students’ individual differences and variations in learning styles” (Solomon and Schrum, 2007, p. 39). I tend to be more project-based in my learning style, so being able to manipulate software to change designs on the screen really helped me to understand the design principals. I’ve always enjoyed working with software that provides immediate feedback to the task at hand and the project in the Digital Graphics course did just that. This course really reminded me why I wanted to get a master’s in this field.
Lifelong Learning Skills
EDLD 5366 was so much fun to take that it really has spurred me to work on more graphic projects for home and work. I am constantly using programs like Picasso and Publisher to create fun menus, invitations, and cards for family events. Professionally, I have used the design principals when I assign projects that have visual elements in my Health classes. I want to investigate more ways to incorporate class newsletters using technology tools in the classroom as well. Currently, I am exploring a new classroom project using the Web 2.0 tool Gogster, which allows the users to design interactive online posters. The current trend is the use of interactive sites; I can see utilizing digital multimedia based newsletters in which much of these same design concepts could be incorporated. The iPad and other tablet devices have shown us that traditional methods of design have a place in modern technology. “The elements and principal of design are the building blocks used to create a work of art” (Lovett, 2002 p.15). I am now on my own journey to create my own art.

International Society for Education. (2001). NETS for Technology Facilitators and Leaders. Available from

Lovett, J (2002) splashingPAINT Canton, Ohio North Light Books.

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0: New Tools, New Schools.Eugene,OR: International Society for Technology in Education.