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Live Lit/Arts Magazine

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Keywords: Virtual Literary Magazine, Writing, Journalism, Creative Writing, Art
Subject(s): Art, Photography, Video, Spelling, Technology, Grammar, Journalism, Writing, Speech and Language, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades P-K through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Pompano Beach High School, Pompano Beach, FL
Planned By: Sandy Melillo
Original Author: Sandy Melillo, Pompano Beach
As the focus of the traditional classroom has shifted with the integration of technology as a teaching and learning tool, so has the presentation of student work. A literary magazine is the perfect product to utilize in sharing student writing and visual art works with peers, instructors, and the entire school community, expanding their beyond those few who would normally purchase a literary magazine. By utilizing a digital format that offers access to a large audience and even allows for constructive feedback, the Live Lit/Arts Magazine becomes an evolving, real time record of student work. Students have the opportunity to create personal art galleries or collections of their written work in a format that is familiar to their peers and accessible to all who wish to view this work. As a flexible portfolio, students are able to assess their personal growth in their creative efforts.
The Live Lit/Arts Magazine will require someone, presumably an instructor or Literary Magazine sponsor, to serve as a “webmaster” to enter and monitor the works that are included in this website. Choosing a resource for this website for me was easy, because I had previously set up my class blog site using Wordpress.com. The bottom line: I was familiar with it and it’s free. Literary magazines, especially ones with student art, generally run from $10 to $25 and offering a free, continually assessable site that does not require waiting until the end of the year for it to become available is the most positive element of this project. Wordpress.com has a large variety of styles and is easy to set up and maintain. For an additional yearly fee, a school can purchase a domain and expand options such as the ability to upload video, but the free domain which will include the “wordpress” part within the URL, with access to 3G of information and the ability to upload text and images, which is all you need. For example, my URL is http://pbhspompanotes.wordpress.com/. If the webmaster has access to any free program to develop a website, certainly, he or she can use whatever one he or she chooses. I will be reviewing the Wordpress version, because it is the one with which I am familiar.
These You Tube tutorials are very helpful and the webmaster can just move past the “purchasing the domain” section. http://websitesmadeeasy.tv/recomends/WordPressTutorial
Once the editor sets up the website, he or she will be able to enter student work as necessary. For written work, either have students send in their writing in Word format or text format for transferring or the editor may have to type it in manually for younger writers. Artwork needs to be scanned into a jpeg format or digitally photographed and saved as a jpeg so that it can be easily uploaded to the website. Depending upon the style chosen, the editor can organize student work in the way that best suits the audience. The editor will also have the ability to post links to local arts or writing events or even a school calendar. The website can include interesting links to other websites on the arts and literature, whatever applies to the particular needs. The webpage will evolve as the editor becomes more proficient and he or she can even expand the responsibility as editor to other instructors and share its management.
To overcome the gigabyte limits of media presentation and storage, even video projects and podcasts may be stored in a public dropbox for easy access with a shared URL. We have utilized this method to share work between students from India, France, Bahrain, and Sweden.
If the other budgeted items are already available in a classroom, such as laptops and projectors, then, of course, these are not necessary to the budget. Students will need access to laptops or computers to turn in written work to upload on the website.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
A virtual magazine is certainly not limited to a Language Arts curriculum. This project has definite uses for all curricular areas and levels of grades, abilities, and focus.
We are in the process of expanding our magazine to world-wide access to share cultural and literary ideas with other students throughout the world.
Links: WordPress tutorial 1
WordPress tutorial 2
WordPress tutorial 3
Websites Made Easy
Materials: Flash Memory Camcorders, Flip Video, Hi-Def Camcorder, Point and Shoot, Hard Drives, Printers, Flash/USB Drives, Tripods, Batteries, English/Language Arts, Reading, Literacy, Writing, Speech and Language
Other Items: 1 Fastest Free YouTube Downloader @19 per month, $190 each, total of $190.00
1 1T portable Drive to store writings and projects, $89 each, total of $89.00
1 Scanner/ Color Printer, $149 each, total of $149.00
1 LCD Projector for class viewing and peer editing, $550 each, total of $550.00
1 Laptop for presenting work for class viewing and peer editing, $600 each, total of $600.00