Sunday, June 21, 2009

Why clip art still sucks...

I've just visited the most appalling classroom blog. The teacher has discovered slideshows and clip art and has added these to their blog. What they really need is a lesson in web design.

The blog now has a slideshow with floaty flowers swimming all around over the photos and it just looks naff. The kids artwork might be quite good but you can't see it (they need photography lessons too). Then there is the new blog "background" imported from some other site - monkeys with bananas!

Now this isn't just a matter of aesthetics or taste. This stuff sends important messages to kids about what is "good" and that their own stuff needs tarting up before it's any good, and that "fluff" is cool and "teacher approved". And all this is wrong. BAN THE FLUFF. Value the kids' creativity, which is so much better than the commercial monkeys and floating flowers. Teachers must teach this, model it. No clipart in our school, ever. No superfluous borders and other crap.

Worry about the content. Ask the students, "What are you saying, what are you showing? Is is quality? How do you know?" These are thinking skills. The thinking skills we neglect, unfortunately. Critical judgement.

1 comment:

  1. Very true. I think it's pretty sad if a teacher feels the need to use this "fluff" on a class blog - I wonder if they colour in their work book at the end of each day/week, put stickers all over it...