InDesign Projects for the Classroom
- One of the easiest ways to use InDesign in the classroom is to create a class newsletter. The class newsletter can be published monthly, quarterly, or at whatever interval works best for you and your students. It can be assigned to different groups of students throughout the year, so that every student has the opportunity to work on it at some point during the year. The audience can be other students, parents, or even school district personnel. The content can include classroom "happenings," including the curriculum content being studied, updates about awards, achievements or student hobbies; and due dates for large projects or tests. The content could certainly be adjusted depending on your classrooms' particular needs.
- Publish a class collection of writings. One of the more ambitious uses for InDesign (or any publishing software) is to create a book of student-created poetry or prose. For instance, if an English teacher is asking students to write their own poetry, students could then work together as a class to self-publish a book. Social studies students could be asked to write a book reflecting their local area's history. Language students could write essays or fiction in their language of study. Music students could publish the music or songs they have written. The possibilities are endless. Of course, there is typically a cost involved with publishing a class book. Websites such as lulu.com can help your class self-publish for free; however, most "free sites" ask for a fee when it comes to printing hard copies.
- Assign a newspaper project. Asking students to create a newspaper about a particular subject or time period is an effective way for students to use a publishing program like InDesign. For instance, if students are studying Huckleberry Finn, they could create a newspaper based on the historical setting of the novel, or even create fictitious articles based on the events taking place in the plot. This project could also work well in a social studies class, where students could be required to research and report on a particular historical event in a newspaper format.
- Create a digital magazine, newspaper or other publication. As e-readers, smartphones and tablets continue to grow in popularity, so does the demand for digital books and magazines. A cost-effective and technologically advanced classroom project would be to ask your students to create a digital book, magazine or newspaper related to the content you're studying. The process would be similar to creating one of the documents above; however, the end result would no longer be a hard copy. Instead, students could work with a website like lulu.com to learn how to publish in a digital format, and perhaps try to place their digital document in an "app store" or on a website.