Multimedia Journalism and Web Design

Producing multimedia journalism and professional websites

Looking for Study Participants

RECRUITMENT Flyer

The Prick in My Relationship: Exploring Relationships with Type I Diabetes

IRB#:  20151216JC01023

 

Researchers:

Jamie Pond-Cobb, MA (Principal Investigator)

Erin Kyle, MS (Co-Investigator)

Dr. Leah LeFebvre (Faculty Advisor)

 

We are interested in how you communicate as a couple about Type I Diabetes (as a chronic illness).

 

You are eligible to participate if:

  • Both participants must be 18 years or older.
  • Participants must currently be in a romantic relationship (dating, engaged, married) for at least 12 months.
  • One partner must have been diagnosed with Type I Diabetes.
  • Participants of any sexual orientation may participate.

 

Approximately 14-20 individuals from homosexual/heterosexual couples (7 to 10 total couples) with one partner having been diagnosed with Type I Diabetes will participate in this research study. You will be asked to meet with the researcher at the University of Wyoming Department of Communication & Journalism Oral Communication Center (Ross Hall 442), Coe Library (Ross Hall 461), the Wellness Center conference room at Half Acre or agreed upon location depending on your comfort and ease of location where you and/or your partner will engage in an interview pertaining to your communication regarding Type I Diabetes. The process will take approximately 30 minutes for individual interviews and 60 minutes for couple interviews. You and/or your partner’s participation are completely voluntary.

 

We appreciate your help. This research investigation collection will begin in December 2015.

Please contact Jamie Pond-Cobb at jpond@uwyo.edu if you would like to schedule an appointment or have any questions regarding the study.

Week 3: More Building Blocks for Construction and Planning

Krug, Ch. 4: Why Users Like Mindless Choices

Each click should be mindless and unambiguous. That is more important than the number of clicks.

Present users with brief, easy-to-process, and timely options in your navigation. If it takes three clicks to get somewhere, that’s fine. Three easy clicks are better than bombarding the user with all of the options on a text-heavy, confusing, and distracting page.

Krug, Ch. 5: Omit Needless Words

Most likely, 50% of the words on a web page can hit the road.

What are the advantages of less words?

  1. Less distraction
  2. Useful content POPS
  3. Pages are shorter.

Here is a website that could benefit from these guidelines.

What should you delete?

  1. The “welcome” talk and the promo talk
  2. Instructions; we don’t read them. Example.

Chapter 3: Building Blocks – Web Page Construction

From Chapters 1 and 2, we know how to build a basic webpage with text and links. We know about paths as well. Now, we’re going to learn more HTML elements (tags), the difference between block and inline elements, and what nesting means.

We’ll do this whole chapter together, with the exception of the exercises in the back of the chapter.

Creating a rough sketch of your web page on pp. 78-81.

Working from an online to create a web page on pp. 82-84.

Quotes with the <q> and <blockquote> elements on pp. 85-93.

Block elements vs. inline elements vs. void elements on pp. 94-99.

Ordered and unordered lists on pp. 100-106.

Nesting on pp. 107-109.

Class exercise: Find what’s wrong with the code on p. 110.

A few more elements to learn on pp. 114.

Chapter 4: Getting Connecting – A Trip to Webville

Domain Name Registration and Web Hosting

You’ll be designing a website using HTML (hypertext markup language) and CSS (cascading style sheets). Then, via Dreamweaver, you’ll upload your files to a website host using FTP (file transfer protocol), who will store and provide the files for your website when a person requests it (i.e., when they visit your domain name).

While you can use UW’s free student hosting service, I recommend buying your own domain name and hosting service for several reasons.

  1. Branding. In search engine optimization, you want to have your own website appear first on a search. That may not happen with UW’s hosting service.
  2. Also, there are limitations to file size on the UW account. You may exceed the storage limit with your work.
  3. You cannot solicit money or work on the UW service.
  4. And, your student account will be deleted when you graduate.

If you buy your domain name, it must be unique and you’re not allowed to use one that’s already been bought. You can visit Go Daddy to check and register your domain name.

Don’t be disappointed if your full name is not available. Domain names that are simple are the easiest to remember and share with people. Sometimes that means cutting your first name for a first initial. For example, PeterStevens.com is not available. However, PStevens.com is available.

You’ll see there are other options besides “.com”, such as “.org” and “.biz”. But, the standard “.com” is the easiest to remember and share.

Let’s discuss your domain name now in case you have any questions. The company you buy your domain name from does not need to be the same company that you use for the hosting service, but oftentimes they are the same.

Your hosting service will allow you to manage and upload your content to your domain name. I use GoDaddy.com for both my domain name registration and my hosting service.

Let’s buy now, in class, so we don’t get confused.

Back to HTML

**We will cover p. 128-141 once we have purchased our domain name and hosting service.**

External links on pp. 142-145

Relative vs. absolute links on p. 146 and 154

Linking within one webpage on pp. 149-153

Title and target linking on pp. 147-148 and pp. 155-157

Apply for Graduate School at UW

Have you ever wondered what professors do, besides teach? Have you ever wondered what COJO graduate students do, besides teaching public speaking or reporting & newswriting to undergrads at UW?

Or, perhaps you don’t know what to do with your life after your undergraduate degree?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I’d love to share some information with you about our master’s degree program here at UW.

Briefly: It’s a 2-year program that gives you the research and teaching skills needed for preparation for a PhD program. If academia is not for you, then the program gives you research experience and teaching/speaking/leadership/management skills needed for many professional careers.

If you’d like to talk about what our master’s program can offer you, please email Dr. Cindy Price-Schultz, the directors of graduate studies.

If you’d like an assistantship (i.e., funded education), please apply by March 10. You will also need to take the GRE soon.

Check out our website as well.

Week 2: Building Blocks for the Web

Krug Chapter 2: How We Really Use the Web

What is the sad reality about how we use websites? (hint: billboard vs. great literature)

Why do we scan? –> On a mission. Don’t need to read everything. It’s a basic skill.

What is satisficing and why do we do it? –> We use the first reasonable option because we’re in a hurry, guessing is fun, and no harm is done if our guess is wrong.

We muddle through. It’s not super important, so we figure it out quickly and be done with it.

But…you want users to “get it” and not muddle through. Because

  • They will feel smarter
  • They will feel in control and explore more
  • They will find what they want

But how do we do this?

The solution is Ch. 3: Billboard Design.

Krug Chapter 3: Designing for Scanning, Not Reading

What is billboard design?

Six major tenets:

1. Take advantage of conventions

  • We have expectations about: Where things will be located on a page. How things work. How things look.
  • As beginning web designers, use these conventions.
  • Be consistent, but be clear first
  • In the end, you can be creative, yet make the creativity usable

2. Create effective visual hierarchies

  • Visual hierarchies (i.e., prominence, grouping, and nesting) reveal relationships
  • This relates to the design principles of proximity and emphasis as well

3. Break pages up into clearly defined areas

  • Use design principles to make the header, navigation, body, subsections of the body, and footer distinct areas

4. Make it obvious what’s clickable

  • What are some visual clues to “clickable”?
  • How does CSS fit into this idea of clickable?

5. Eliminate distractions

6. Format content to support scanning

  • Use a lot of headings
  • Make the headings VERY DISTINCT
  • Keep paragraphs very short, just like in newswriting.
  • Use bulleted lists to break up the text
  • And, highlight key words

And Now…Let the Coding Begin…

First, it’s helpful (and very awe-inspiring) to know the history of the Internet before we start building our own webpages.

Now you’re familiar with the Internet’s skeleton, let’s start learning about its guts – the web!

R&F Chapter 1: Universal Language of the Web

Servers, browsers, and hypertext markup language (HTML) – pp. 2-8.

Class exercise on p. 7.

Instructor-led exercises on pp. 9-31.

Individual exercises on pp. 32-42.

R&F Chapter 2: Hypertext

Instructor-led exercises on pp. 43-67.

Individual student exercises on pp. 68-76.

 

Week 1: Design Principles to Showcase Your Work

Why You’ll Thank Yourself for Knowing HTML & CSS

(1) You can now showcase your own material and skills: If you’re headed for a media or communication career that involves new media and social media, it’s a great idea to have your own website. You can post and host all of your journalism and communication material–print stories, audio stories, photography, video stories, slideshows, interactive graphics, artwork, etc. This effort will help you “brand” yourself. There is a lot of competition out there.

(2) You can now work with a content management system: Most large companies have a CMS (content management system) that is like a standard “shell” where you insert the content. You have little control over the layout and design, rather, you merely insert the content into the shell. With advanced knowledge of HTML and CSS, you will understand the CMS and you may even be able to make or suggest improvements.

(3) You can now design websites for others: Once word gets out that you can design websites, don’t be surprised if your friends, family, acquaintances, organizations, companies, etc., start asking you to design their website. You can make some money out of this skill!

Let’s read an article about getting a job in journalism code (from NICAR: National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting).

Inspiration and Reflection: Examples of Portfolio Websites

Next, let’s examine examples of portfolio websites. Think about what these students and young professionals are communicating through their website. In particular, concentrate on the:

  • Domain Name
  • Typography (text)
  • Color
  • Navigation
  • Layout
  • Links
  • Work Examples

Student Example 1 | Student Example 2 | Student Example 3 | Student Example 4 | Student Example 5 | Student Example 6 | Student Example 7 | Student Example 8 | Student Example 9 | Student Example 10

Design Principles for Creating a Clean, Professional Website

Emphasis

Definition: Highlights the importance of the site’s content. Also relates to hierarchy.

  • When creating a draft of your site, list all of the information that needs to appear on the page.
  • Then, number the information by order of importance.
  • Design the visual hierarchy so the page reflects the determined importance.
  • Avoid emphasizing everything and avoid emphasizing nothing.

Good example.

Balance

Definition: How the elements in a design are distributed and how they relate to the overall distribution of visual weight within the page. As elements are grouped together in a page, visual weight is created. You want to balance the visual weight so as to create stability. Two kinds exist:
1. Symmetrical Balance: Equal visual weight is given to elements so that two halves mirror one another. Example.
2. Asymmetrical Balance: Visual weight is distributed equally, but elements do not mirror one another. Example.

Websites can mix the two types as well. Example.

Alignment

Definition: The arrangement of elements in such a way that the natural lines (or borders) created by them match up as closely as possible.

  • Don’t mix alignments. Choose one alignment and use it on the entire page. Not-so-hot example.
  • Break this rule for creating contrast and focus. Like this.
  • Do not center everything.

Proximity

Definition: The relationships that items develop when they are close together. When items are close, ensure you want the relationship to exist. When items are far apart, relationships are less likely to exist.
Example of proximity creating relationships.
Example of potentially confusing proximity.

Repetition

Definition: Throughout the website, there are certain elements that are common and unify the disparate parts together.

  • Each page should look like it belongs to the same website.
  • Color, shape, line, fonts, spacing, layout, typography, and imagery are some examples of potential repetitive elements.
  • A benefit of repetition is predictability. Users will better understand the design, navigation, and hierarchy.

Good Examples: Color repetition. Font repetition. Layout repetition. Imagery repetition.

Poor Examples: Lack of color repetition. Lack of font repetition. Lack of layout repetition. Lack of imagery repetition.

Contrast

Definition: The visual differentiation of two or more elements. Contrast creates emphasis and focus toward the distinct elements, and can create a visual hierarchy as well.

  • Elements that have strong contrast appear distinct and unique. Elements that have weak contrast appear unified.
  • If you want elements to appear separate, use strong contrast. Go all the way. Don’t make them almost the same.
  • Ensure that some elements of your website have contrast, which subsequently creates focus. You don’t want everything to have the same visual priority.
  • Create contrast with color, size, position, and font.

Examples: Color contrast. Size contrast. Poor use of contrast. Another poor use of contrast.

Background Images

Related to contrast is the background image. Should you have one on your website? The answer: it depends. If there is enough contrast and the image is repeated in a seamless manner, then it is OK: Example 1 | Example 2.

Do not use a background image if the image if the contrast is too weak or the image is not seamlessly repeated: Example 1 | Example 2.

What are your thoughts on these examples? Example 1 | Example 2 | Example 3

Flow

Definition: The path the users’ eyes follow as they examine a website. Flow results from the execution of the design principles explained above.

  • Consider that our eyes typically examine webpages from left to right and top to bottom.
  • Ensure our eyes do not bounce around the page, darting from right to bottom and back up.

Example of smooth flow. Another example of smooth flow. Example of poor flow.

Typography on the Web

This refers to the use of fonts, font size, and font style on the web.

  1. Text is appropriate size.
  2. Hierarchy of information is clear.
  3. Lines of text are not too long to read.
  4. Background does not compete with text.
  5. There is enough contrast between background and text color.
  6. Uses sans serif fonts for long portions of text.
  7. No large blocks of text in bold, italic, all caps, or small caps.

What do you think about these examples in terms of typography? Example 1 | Example 2 | Example 3

Color Schemes

There are several types of color schemes to choose from when designing your website. Let’s familiarize ourselves with these terms and the color wheel.

  1. Monochromatic: Only one color is used, with varying values. Example 1. Example 2.
  2. Analogous: Several colors that sit next to one another on the color wheel are used. Example 1. Example 2.
  3. Complementary: Joins colors that sit across from one another on the color wheel. Example 1.
  4. Triadic: Three colors that are equally spaced on the color wheel are used. Example 1.
  5. Color Discord: Color discord can be visually disturbing, attract interest, relay ideas or themes, and create surprise. Example 1.

You want to pick one color strategy and stick to it in order to create a visually appealing website.

Layout and Themes

There are many options when it comes to the overall layout and theme of your website. Here are some ideas:

  1. Ultra clean and minimalist designs lean toward minimalism, but emphasize the crystal clearness of the design. They are timeless and are easier to build and maintain. They offer professionalism as well. Example 1. Example 2.
    Example 3. Example 4.
  2. Type-focused designs use the text as a dominant element and use text in an elegant way. Example 1.
  3. Visual-oriented designs use images, graphics, or multimedia in an elegant way. Example 2. Other examples of visual-oriented websites.

Note: Definitions and listed material are adapted from The Web Designer’s Idea Book, Vol. 2 as well as The Non-Designer’s Web Book, 3rd ed..

If you want to examine even more examples of websites, check out these student websites. Note that some websites are great and some are a throwback to poor web design principles from the 1990s.

Week 1: First Law of Usability and How to Learn HTML

Krug Introduction

What is a usability consultant? What do they do?

Why should you, as a website designer and future employee of a company that probably has a website, understand usability?

Krug outlines seven key words that define usability:

  1. Useful: Does it do something people need done?
  2. Learnable: Can people figure out how to use it?
  3. Memorable: Do they have to relearn it each time they use it?
  4. Effective: Does it get the job done?
  5. Efficient: Does it do it with a reasonable amount of time and effort?
  6. Desirable: Do people want it?
  7. Delightful: Is using it enjoyable, or even fun?

Krug Chapter 1: Basic Usability

Most important usability concept: “Don’t make me think!”

You want to build a website that is OBVIOUS and SELF-EVIDENT to the user and does not require thought.

For example:

  1. Navigation is easy to find, understand, and use.
  2. Web pages give a clue as to where the user is and what page they are on.
  3. Links standout from the normal text color, yet coordinate with page colors.
  4. Link text gives a clue as as to where the user will go once they click on it.
  5. Consistent navigation across the website enhances usability.

Why is building a self-evident website important?

R&F Introduction: How to Use This Book

I’ve taught this class four times before. I finally found a conversational, fun, and memorable HTML book. The introduction has a few key points that I’d like to emphasize.

Embrace the silliness, graphics, and conversational style. They are novel and fun. You will remember them more.

Embrace the struggles. We learn when we struggle and fail. Get yourself to think more deeply and critically when you fail.

Embrace the redundancy. We will create the examples in the textbook. Then, you must apply these concepts and skills to your own website. It’s redundant, but it will stick to your brain more.

Embrace the ambiguity. There is often no “right” or “wrong” way to design something. There are many approaches to achieving the same overall result. However, there are design principles that matter and should influence your work.

Embrace the details. On the flip side, details matter. There is a “right” and “wrong” way to write code. One missing backslash or colon can ruin your website.

 

Advanced New Media: Welcome

Students of media, journalism, and strategic communication (e.g., PR, advertising) need to diversify their skills. This class gives you a platform through which to share your work and add HTML, CSS, and Dreamweaver skills to your resume. You’ll create and design your own portfolio website to house your professional work. Get psyched, get inspired! This is fun stuff! Here are some examples of what I mean by portfolio website.

Student Example 1 | Student Example 2 | Student Example 3 | Student Example 4 | Student Example 5 | Student Example 6 | Student Example 7 | Student Example 8 | Student Example 9 | Student Example 10

DyannDiercks

Course Blog and WyoCourses Website

You can find all of our course materials on this blog as well as our WyoCourses website. I’ll post all of our course materials and assignments here, under the COJO 4530 tab in the left-side navigation column.

Now let’s review the syllabus (found on the COJO 4530 tab and the WyoCourses website).

Readings For Thursday

Don’t Make Me Think (Krug): Introduction & Chapter 1

HTML & CSS Book (R&F): Introduction

Online Reading

Adding a Resume and Achieving that “Wow Factor”

Adding a Resume

For the final website, you need the resume in both PDF and HTML versions. This means the resume should be downloadable by PDF and should be coded in HTML (or appear as an image). See classmate Olga’s resume page for a good example of how she met this criteria.

To embed the PDF, save your resume as a PDF file from Word (go to Save & Send –> Create PDF Document). Ensure you save it in the same folder as your website files. Then, in the HTML code, insert the PDF file as a link: <a href=”my_resume.pdf” target=”_blank”>Download my resume</a>.

To insert the resume as an image, open the Word document in Adobe Illustrator (or another editing program that can open .doc files). Go to File –> Save for Web & Devices –> Save as .jpg file in the same folder as your other website files. Then, in the HTML, insert the image element code: <img src=”my_resume.jpg” alt=”My resume as an image.”  border=”1px black solid”>.

If you have any trouble, please let me know.

Improving the Application of Design Principles

Many of you need to improve the professional look and feel of your website. You may have met the requirements for the final website, but you are missing the bonus “wow factor” that “A” websites possess. To meet the “wow factor” requirement for an “A”, you must apply design principles in a clean and professional manner. Let’s review the design principles before examining some example websites.

Here are a few student websites that have the wow factor and some that don’t.

Wow Factor Websites

  • Example 1: Uses simple repeating background image with a jello layout
  • Example 2: Simple color scheme with repeating background image and jello layout
  • Example 3: Simple color scheme, clean look with simple graphic and font

Websites That Lack The Wow Factor

  • Example 1: Poor color scheme, inconsistent font choice, and more problems
  • Example 2: Poor color scheme, but otherwise it is OK. See what a poor color scheme can do?
  • Example 3: Odd choice of fonts, poor color scheme, distracting and odd background image. Layout looks pretty good though.

Aiming for the Wow Factor: Adding a Simple Repeating Background Image

What is a simple repeating background image? Check out my personal website to see what I mean. Right-click to “view background image” andimg09 you’ll see that there is a simple rectangle that is set to repeat in my CSS. See the corresponding CSS code below:

#bodyindex { background: #DEDEDE url(images/img12.png) repeat-x left top; }

#bodypages { background: #DEDEDE url(images/img09.png) repeat-x left top; }

To explain: I created an index page that looked slightly different from the rest of the web pages, so it has its own division (#bodyindex, just for the index) and its own image (img12.png, just for the index page). The other web pages use the #bodypages division and the img09.png image. Notice that I’m only repeating it horizontally once (that is the “repeat-x left top” rule). Then, when the image is done repeating, it defaults to the background color of #DEDEDE (the light tan color).

To refresh your memory on the background selector options in CSS (such as background-repeat, background-position, etc), please see p. 380-383 in the textbook.

Aiming for the Wow Factor: Adding Rounded and Stylized Borders

Notice how my dropdown menus on my personal website have rounded edges. This effect looks professional and is easy to create using the border-radius property in CSS. See. p. 386-389 in the textbook for a refresher on how to create and style borders using CSS. In another example, classmate Hannah has applied a stylized border to her home page.

Aiming for the Wow Factor: Adding a Logo or Photo That’s Consistent Across Pages

On my personal website, you’ll notice that the home page has a larger photo with my name and the content pages have a cropped smaller version of the same photo. This creates visually consistency across pages.

Consider using a consistent image across your websites as well. For example, classmate Gabrielle has used a golf-related image for her golf-themed website.

Classmates Jordan and Olga have created logos that are used consistently across their websites.

To create a simple logo, go into Photoshop or another graphic design program and experiment with the text tool, shapes, and lines to create an original logo for your website. Simple is fine. It does not have to be fancy or complicated.

Photo Galleries & Slideshows

Photo Galleries

If you want to organize your photos in a gallery, then here are some options that I’ve created for you. Feel free to adapt this as you see fit.

Photo galleries are great for a large number of photos to display. If you only have a few photos to display, or want to display photos in a slideshow manner, see the section called Photo Slideshows below.

I will walk you through some of the major coding concepts. Otherwise, it’s up to you to play around with the HTML and CSS to adjust to your website. Please let me know if you have questions.

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Photo Slideshows

Dynamic photo slideshows are even more complicated than static photo galleries. Let’s skim over a tutorial to get an idea of what’s involved.

We can work through the key pieces of code that you need to understand in order to adapt the code for your own website.

Photo slideshows are great for less than than a dozen photos or so. If you’d like to showcase all of your photos on a webpage, then go with a photo gallery. If you want to highlight a few important photos on a home page or content page, then go with a short slideshow.

Note: The more photos you add, the more complicated the code gets and the more you’ll have to work to re-write the code to fit your needs.

Example 1: Automatic slideshow with no captions

Example 2: Automatic slideshow with captions and play/pause buttons, very complicated code

Example 3: Automatic slideshow with captions when you hover

Example 4: Automatic slideshow with captions all the time

You could also download the code from the first example we looked at and edit that code as well.

The Importance of the Printing Press: Snowy Range Academy, 1st Grade

What is the printing press?

  • What do you think a printing press would do?
  • First version developed in China 1,000 years ago.
  • Modern printing press was invented in Germany by Johannes Gutenberg in the 1400s (more than 600 years ago).
  • Printing presses had mechanical, movable metallic type (or letters). Ink was applied to the metal letters and then stamped on a blank page.

Model_of_The_Printing_Press.

Metal_movable_type

What did people do before the printing press?

  • There were scribes who had to write everything.
  • Do you think that scribes were faster or slower than printing presses? Why?
  • Do you think that a printing press made creating books faster or slower? Why?

mark-writing

What impacts did the printing press have on society?

  • More books were printed –> More people want to learn to read
  • More people reading –> More people want to learn to write
  • More people reading and writing –> More information, opinions, and ideas can spread and be shared with others
    • Example:
      • The most popular book was the Bible.
      • More people read the Bible by themselves instead of relying on a church.
      • A huge change in the Catholic Christian religion occurred because of this.
      • People who were Catholic started their own religion (Protestant Christianity), based on their own reading of the Bible.
  • More people reading and writing –> More inventions of other things, like electricity, trains, and cars
  • More people reading and writing /  More information and ideas –> Less reliance on authority and kings/queens for news and governance
  • Less reliance on authority and kings/queens –> Development of a democratic society where all people are equal

How did the printing press affect the American Revolution?

  • Why did the colonists in early America want to break free of England’s rule?
    • “Taxation without representation.”
    • Freedom of religion and democratic ideas
    • Any other reasons?
  • Who was Benjamin Franklin?
    • Franklin had a printing press. He was a publisher, or a printer.
    • He printed pamphlets, letters, newspapers, and opinions about the American Revolution.
    • Because he printed things about the Revolution, people were informed and knew what was happening.
    • His printing press helped the Revolution.

new-england-courant

  • Franklin also printed political cartoons. This was made from a woodcut. He cut the picture in wood and printed it.
  • This is “Join, or Die.” It’s a snake that is cut up and dying.
  • Franklin meant that South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and New England should join together to fight England and become free. Or else, they will die and keep losing their freedoms.

join_or_die

Review

  1. How did the printing press work? Movable type (letters), ink, paper, machine…
  2. How did the printing press change the world? Reading, writing, information sharing, new ideas, new religion, less reliance on authority…
  3. Who had a printing press in the American Colonies? Ben Franklin
  4. What did Ben Franklin print? Pamphlets, newspapers, letters, opinions, stories, political cartoons…
  5. Did Ben Franklin’s printing press help the Revolution or hurt the Revolution?

Activity Time!

Objective: Show students how a printing press makes copies much faster, easier, and with less errors than a human can with handwriting.

Demonstration: I will come to class with a piece of cardboard that has a short sentence constructed with letter stamps. This is how a printing press worked. Then, I will take ink and spread it over the sentence. Next, I will push a piece of paper on the stamped sentence to show them how the ink transfers to paper. This is how copies were made quickly.

Instructions: I will tell students that they will have a turn at the printing press, but first, we need to see how long it takes to hand-write the same sentence four times.

  • Activity 1: Students will write the same sentence four times on their own piece of paper. I will time them. I will record the time when the first person is done, and I will record when the last person is done. I will calculate the average and put it on the board.
  • Activity 2: Students will get into groups of four. Each group will get a turn at the printing press at the front of the classroom. I will apply ink to the press. Then, each of the four students needs to make a copy of the sentence, so there are four copies of the same sentence. I will time the student groups.
  • Activity 3: I will compute the average group time for the printing press. We will compare that time to the average time it took to do the same four handwritten sentences.

Conclusion: Finally, I will emphasize that printing presses make writing much faster and provide more consistent copies. This ability to make many exact copies allows more books to be made, which makes more people want to learn to read books, which spreads information quickly, which allows people to think for themselves and take more control over their lives, such as wanting an American Revolution from the British crown.

In terms of materials:

  1. The students will need plain lined paper to hand-write their four sentences.
  2. I have plenty of cardboard, so no worries there.
  3. Do you have letter stamps that I could glue onto the cardboard to create a short sentence?
  4. Any suggestions about what the sentence should say?
  5. Also, I’ll need about 30 pieces of white construction paper for the students to use for the makeshift printing press.
  6. I’ll also need an ink pad and ink roller to apply the ink to the makeshift printing press.

The students can take home their handwritten and printing press copy of the sentence.

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