The American Red Cross website is both aesthetically pleasing to look at as well as easy to find information. The home page grabs the reader’s attention using a slideshow of pictures with short descriptions. Information is organized by using different sized text and styles for headings, subheadings, and descriptions. The amount of color and bold text is limited and only used for emphasis. Text is left justified, black, and the appropriate length (not too long, but provides enough information). The name of the organization is large and in color at the top of every page. Navigation buttons are also in the same place on every page for easy access. The entire site is color coordinated using only three colors: red, black, and grey. Each page is not text heavy and uses illustrations, columns, and short descriptions to assist pictures. Uppercase and lowercase letters are utilized and paragraphs are double spaced instead of indented. This format is a good example for other organizations to follow when creating a website. (http://www.redcross.org/)
Open content and open source materials can be great resources for teachers. Many schools have limited funding in different areas like technology, so these sources can be a great way to get free information. Open source software is free and can be customized and shared. There are also various online forums if users need assistance. Open education classes are free classes for people to learn about a topic for free without needing the credit. This is a great way for teachers to learn new techniques. Teachers often share their own classroom ideas with other teachers, which is the same basic idea as these open sources. I have used open source software without realizing what it was and will continue to use it when funding and other resources are limited. It is not necessarily important for teachers to use these resources, but they will find that it very beneficial. Maybe one day I will make a contribution and share my own ideas or software.
Before the Word and Graphics 2 lesson I already knew how to use the tools we worked with, with the exception of “mail merge.” Although I probably won’t use the mail merge tool every day, or even as a student at all, it will be useful when I become a teacher. This tool will easily allow me to personalize letters to parents without having to create individual documents. I didn’t think of using shapes to design and organize a newsletter. This will be helpful for me to create newsletters for parents and projects for school as well as teach my students how to create colorful and creative projects. Creating the newsletter made me realize that it would be a good idea to have a classroom newsletter when I am a teacher. It is a great way to get information and important dates to parents. I thought it was a good idea to add a section about what the students learned that week so that parents could review with their child or at least have an idea about what’s going on in the classroom.