The Grade 5 students were given the option of printing their display boards in one piece using the large format printer, or they could assemble their boards by printing individual sections, as usual.
The majority of the groups chose to print using the large format printer, which was quite a leap of faith. Time was tight, and deadlines were shorter for those wanting to use the printer (we had to factor in time to print, after all).
I presented to students about:
- The elements of design (CARP - Contrast, Alignment, Repetition & Proximity)
- How to pull people in by maximising visuals and making numbers pop
- Choosing a font which is clear and easy to read
- The importance of a minimalist colour scheme
Some tips which helped students included:
- Breaking information into sections, so that related information was in the same section (Proximity)
- Having a semi-transparent shape behind a text box to make text stand out.
- Arranging text in columns or chunks, instead of going all the way across the page.
- Using Creative Commons images, such as the wonderful ones found in The Noun Project.
- Searching for the largest image size, so no pixelation occurred in the finished poster.
My colleague Dave Caleb and I touched base with as many groups as we could to give suggestions. It was lovely for us to see the different ways the groups chose to display their understanding. The other powerful thing was seeing the students' faces fill with pride when they saw their printed work.
One student said, "I never thought I would be able to create something THIS professional!"
Some of the advantages to using printed display boards include:
- An understanding of proportion and scale of the finished product. A big blank space on the page equals a big blank space on the poster.
- The ability to experiment and make changes easily. Want to know which font is easier to read? Duplicate the page, and test them out - look at full screen view to see which is clearer (see image on right by way of example - 17 pages of changes!).
- The range of colours available to use was wider than the colours of backing paper we had available in our store room.
- Access to tools like the colour dropper in Pages, which meant we could customize colours to images used on the boards.
- Tools such as the edges and midpoint alignment rulers, which enabled students to align objects easily.
We were very proud of the students' efforts, and hope that even more will take up the opportunity to choose a printed board next year.