Sunday, 18 January 2009

techlink - bebo - snapshot

Found this while looking around for ideas for year 10's on techlink, this looks to be quite interesting and would work well against the computer art class that is happening.  

Catchphrase – Bebo

Bebo's logoClass: Year 10
Teacher: Nicole Hunt
School: New Plymouth Girls' High School
Category: Class unit

Second year Technology teacher Nicole Hunt hooked her Year 10 students into their website skin project by asking who had a Bebo page* and telling them they would be designing a Bebo skin. Although every student, including those without home computers, had a Bebo page, not one of them had designed a personal skin for it.

With the whole class focussed on the lesson, Nicole then downplayed the Bebo aspect as she explained the that they had four lessons in which to create their skin, after which they would each create a skin for a school-based interest or sporting group in an eight-period project on which they would be formally assessed.

Nicole started with a breakdown of Bebo requirements, using that page on the site to familiarise students with it so they could easily make another skin later. Students learnt that they had to follow guidelines on intellectual property issues, sizing and upload time if they wanted their skin accepted for publication; just making a skin wasn't enough, it had to be approved for the site, and something like incorrect sizing would result in an automated rejection message. All students received a 'How to(.PDF document, 150Kb) handout to explain and guide them through the process.

Starting with the Bebo skin gave students the opportunity to design something that they all wanted to do, and meant they were likely to be more motivated when given a more specific topic for their next skin.

The class had learnt how to use Fireworks in the previous four weeks, so were able to apply some of these skills to their projects. Students worked through the technological process as they designed their skins, starting with discussion of terminology, such as 'issue' in their given brief. They had to brainstorm ideas and research other skins on the website, critically analysing both these and their own work.

Students had to include six components in their skins – navigation bar, main background, main icons, main footer, module header and module footer. As well as meeting requirements for height, width and upload time, they had to consider resolution of images, something many hadn't thought of when they first found a 'cool' photo or drawing.

Nicole considers this a successful unit and plans to use it next year, when she will also require students to include text so that they have to think about colour and sizing for optimum effect. She says that the unit is an introduction to the technological practice students will use in Year 11 and has been a helpful stepping stone for those who continue in the subject.

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