MiddSouth Innovates

Issue #7

Hot Off The LucidPress!

Mrs. Whitmore's Journalism I students had a tough task ahead of them. Not only did they have to learn how to write newspaper articles like a journalist, but they had to find a way to published them for free and completely paperless. As a group, they decided they wanted something that they could learn easily, integrated with Google Apps and the Chromebook, and would look high quality when it was finished. Enter LucidPress.

LucidPress is an online print and digital publishing tool that allows you to easily control all aspects of your publication without having to learn fancy interfaces. The program has a variety of templates to choose from, allows for drag and drop creation of articles, real-time collaboration (great when a whole class is working on 1 newspaper), and an approval system for the teacher before any media gets published.

The class used a variety of brainstorming techniques for everything they encountered from selecting interesting articles to finding the right name for their newspaper. They settled on The Eagle Echo to play off of The Eagle Eye (the actual school newspaper) and because the alliteration sounded appealing. As you can see in this issue, articles range anywhere from the TEDxAsburyPark event coming in May to things to do around Middletown for teens to the Freshmen experience. Check out LucidPress before you send out your next publication.

Sometimes You Just Need Some Perspective

One of the more difficult skills for an Art student to master is perspective drawing. However, Mrs. Fischer was up to the challenge when she decided to use this concept with her Autistic classes. The students used a variety of materials (crayons, water colors, pastels) to create their blue background. Then they discussed the basic shapes of a snowman and cut out his body parts from construction paper. Fine motor skills are important for an Autistic population so basic shapes worked really well for them. Then, to really give their creation depth, the students put small foam dots in-between the different layers.

When I asked Mrs. Fischer why she chose this particular project she explained that this is the 3rd year she has been teaching the same group of students so she knew she wanted to tackle something new for Winter. To help them understand what they were doing, they talked about how birds and humans see the world. They also talked about identifying all of the important colors they see in the winter and especially on a snowman.