Creating newspapers and brochures is a popular way teachers get students to display their work. Microsoft word is able to do this, but I sometimes find it tricky to use. The Teaching History with Technology website had a section on Newspapers so I thought I would check it out. I recognized one of the websites listed, ReadWriteThink, from our class discussions and I was curious to see that it had a “Printing Press” to create newspapers, brochures and flyers.
I hadn’t had a chance to explore the ReadWriteThink site so I decided to do so. They have a section called student interactives which lists 58 different ones for all age groups, from games and activities to the creation of crossword puzzles, a variety of concept maps, comics, timelines, Venn diagrams plus many, many more. There were so many I wanted to try, but I decided to stay with my original plan and try the Printing Press first.
I decided to create a brochure as an example for a student project to design a mining town for the moon. This is a project in the BC Science 9 textbook. I thought I would add a brochure element to it. I don’t think I have ever created a brochure so easily. There are 5 templates to choose from and you are prompted to pick one for the front and then one for the back. Once your templates are chosen you can easily add text and images from your computer. If a mistake is made, editing is simple. Once you are finished you can print it out, save it to your computer or send it in an email. If you can’t finish it at once, you can save a draft to continue working on later. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. Creating newspapers and flyers with this tool looked just as easy. The brochure I created is just a sample. If I was really using it as an example for students I would have added more instructions etc. about the assignment. It is just to give you an idea of what you can do with this tool.
As a TOC, I have long seen students in class creating paper brochures as part of a project. I think creating a brochure using the Printing Press from ReadWriteThink is an excellent alternative and one students would enjoy. I did try a few of the other tools from ReadWriteThink, but the ones I thought would be good for my space science topic (creating a timeline, crossword, book cover) could only be printed, not saved, so they were not appropriate for this assignment. I also tried the comic creator but the graphics you can use are limited. I will be bookmarking this site however, as there are many more tools I would like to try for use with students and teachers.
ReadWriteThink (2013). The Printing Press. International Reading Association/National Council of Teachers of English. Retrieved from http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/printing-press-30036.html
Teaching History with Technology (2012). Creating Newspapers. EdTechTeacher Inc. Chestnut Hill, MA. Retrieved from http://thwt.org/index.php/research/newspapers