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9-12 | The Arts | Real World Application or Field Study
Station WTVS in Michigan
My Classroom Innovation
Standing out in the crowd is essential in a job interview. Employers will be judging you based on the content of your response, the design of your application materials, and the color of your wardrobe. Just like an interview situation, establishing a web presence and standing out with quality content, design, and color is key to attracting business. In my advanced web design class, students will be creating a website for Lakeshore Lanes, a local bowling alley, from scratch. Using basic design principles mastered in the introductory class and continuing to learn more HTML, CSS, and photo-editing techniques, each student will present a finished website to the owner by the end of the trimester. The owner will decide which site will then be the new digital home of Lakeshore Lanes. It is imperative to model understanding of social, ethical, and legal issues and responsibilities related to digital culture. I believe, as an educator, one of the first steps that should be taken when introducing new technology into the curriculum is sharing why it is important followed by the specific protocol regarding how-to use it. Forthright discussions on cyber bulling, copyright laws, plagiarism, and Internet safety help students understand the necessity of knowing the proper use for technology. I have an interactive bulletin board display within my classroom which shares with students the dangers of social networking and allows students to respond to various scenarios. PBS specials called Growing Up Online and Digital Nation are shown in class to illustrate how the Internet and technology is changing the world. These documentaries also enhance the website project as students have newfound understanding of rules behind social media.
How Students were Engaged
Complete engagement was evident. Students were excited about sharing their web skills in an authentic application. Choosing a business that students genuinely care about is important. As part of our physical education program, students use Lakeshore Lanes to bowl. They have experienced it. They know the owner, the product, and the facility. These factors make building their website even easier because they already have established a personal connection to it. With budget issues, selecting a business that is close to your school is another essential tip. Field trips are expensive. With the price of gas and time, securing a bus to travel to the business for information or a photo shoot is difficult. Lakeshore Lanes is a five minute walk from my school. This detail will save time and headaches when obtaining information for the website. The only other suggestion that I have is to run this project like a contest. In the creative world, everyone has a different idea of what looks best. With many different layouts, color schemes, photos, and content choices, the business owner will have several different designs to select from. Student started off with basic coding and picture-editing skills and became transformative learners because of their sincere interest in the lesson. They can now take this project with them and design their own personal website or their potential employer’s business in the future. I think PBS does an phenomenal job of raising awareness of the dangers of the Internet; By completing this project, I believe students are showing our community and the world the reasons why the web can be a positive place for growth and learning.
PBS Program/Content Used
Growing Up Online and Digital Nation