EDLD 5366 included a course embedded activity that had us design and produce a four-page newsletter with a consistent design theme throughout. There were several design guidelines given and the newsletter had to serve an obvious function and contain contact information.
I began blogging about 5366 before the course even became active. This was one of the courses I anticipated because it had been 6 years since taking a design class. I’m not very good at design and don’t have an “eye” for it so I really have to work hard to get something that looks remotely “professional”. I do feel that I’ve gotten better over the years and 5366 helped me a great deal both as a teacher and as a learner. There were numerous Web 2.0 tools that I became familiar with while researching my activity. I HAD to research new tools because after dragging out my old copy of PageMaker, I realized quickly that I no longer remembered how to use it.
“Today’s world demands graphic design and pictures for communication to work.”(Yearwood, 2009) Many DTP programs have templates addressing the four design principles and the user needs only to insert personal information. “Visual organization helps a lot. Chiefly, alignment, contrast, and proximity help readers associate and track visual information” (Yearwood, 2009). I benefitted greatly by the refresher on design principles. I settled on Publisher because I’m familiar with it, but knew that one obstacle would be gathering enough interesting information for readers.
After considering the questions of “audience, purpose and content” (Lamb, 2005), I created a functional newsletter that I used at school. With all the changes at my school, I had more than enough stories to fill a 4 page newsletter. I had trouble choosing a template that I liked, but eventually found one. It’s a challenge to maintain an attractive, balanced work when you start changing fonts and image locations, even in a template. I was satisfied with my performance in creating a pleasing, usable newsletter and actually published it to the school website. Also, I relied on the videos and readings to guide my creation. I now use it as template for our school newsletter.
My future learning has been greatly impacted by the introduction of so many open-source and freeware programs. My students and I are researching animation and DTP software on SourceForge now. My colleagues at work have been attending short technology sessions with me to learn how to use these fun tools.
Lamb, A. (2005). Desktop publishing: planning newsletters. Retrieved
Yearwood, J. (July 2009). Basic elements of page design. Beaumont, TX: Lamar University.
Yearwood, J. (2009). Opening lecture: graphic communication in context, a brief overview of
the history of writing [PDF document]. Retrieved from