Project 2A: Storing your Work on Your Google Drive

January 30, 2014

VoiceThread is a great place to share work, but it has some limitations:

  1. The quality is pretty good, but not as good as the original files. It’s also hard to get the file to fill the whole screen.
  2.  You really can’t edit or change the files. They’re pdf’s and it costs extra money to download them.
  3. What about printing? Uhh, you can’t really do it from VoiceThread.

So we need a second way to store your stuff, and a second place to do it. Your GoogleDrive is a great place to do this. Why?

  1. Everybody gets 15 GB for free. That’s a lot of space. Plenty for storing all your DW projects and then some.
  2. Sharing is pretty easy. That means your teacher can see your work as the original file and help you solve technical problems, or print things out to BW or Color printers around the building, printers that your laptop computer can’t see. That’s a lot easier than swapping files on a flash drive.
  3. You can organize and back up all your files here. If your laptop crashes, not to worry. You have complete copies right on the Google Drive.

Here are the steps:

You have done enough work now that you wouldn’t want to lose any of it. Take a few minutes now and do the following:

  1. Organize all the work on your laptop into one Design Workshop folder.
  2. Label a subfolder for the project you have just finished. There is an example posted below. This example shows what your folder should look like at the end of the quarter:


Got it? For the next step, sign onto your Google Drive.  Most of the students in our class who haven’t used Google Drive this year should follow these steps:

Go to your favorite browser and open up Google. You have an account here, whether you know it or not. Go to the Firefox Toolbar and look for a little Blue “G” and the words “Google Drive Login.”  Click it and it will take you to a screen like this…


  1. Your password is firstname.lastname  You don’t have the add the here because Google does it for you.
  2. The first password will be your 8-digit birthday. Check off “Stay Signed in” and you won’t have to log back in every day.
  3. Make it simple and easy to remember, for cryin’ out loud! But you still have follow Google’s rules about the length of password and including numbers and letters.

So now you’re in. Good! Look for the big Red Box over on the left side of the screen that looks this:       driveinred.png

This is where most of the Action is in Google Drive. Next Step:

  1. Click “Create” and Create a Folder. Label it Design Workshop. Here’s where you will keep copies of all your work.
  2. Inside the Design Workshop folder, create another folder labeled “Project 1 Words of Wisdom”
  3. Now click that little white arrow in the red box next to Create to do an upload. Upload your Pages document, and the PDF also if you want to.
  4. Last big step: share it with your teacher. Click the little light box next to the Design Workshop folder you made. It looks like this: design-workshop-icon.png
  5. Make sure it’s checked off. Then look for the little person icon above it, just to the right of the red box. It looks like this: share-icon.png
  6. This is the Sharing Icon. Click on it, and share your folder with Mr. Ingmundson. His address is  Spell that carefully, or you won’t be sharing with anyone!

Now, everything that you put in this folder is automatically saved and shared with your teacher. Most convenient.

You will get a grade on setting up your Google Drive and sharing this folder. It should take maybe 15 minutes, and if you do it you get an easy A.

Do it, even if not all your work is quite complete. At least you will have a place set up to put the work when you’re finished.

Project #2: Posting Work to VoiceThread

January 29, 2014

The site:
Go to

This is where you will sign in to Voicethread. Bookmark the site to make your life easier.
We will use Voicethread for a couple different reasons:
To save your work. You actually can save projects for all the years you’re in high school.
To submit your work. You have to put it on Voicethread so the teacher can grade it.
To reflect on your work. You will post comments about what you like, and what you don’t like, about your designs.
To share your work. You have a chance to see and comment on other people’s designs. This is like our class Art Gallery!

Your username is all lower case, like this:

Your initial password is design.
How easy can that be? After you sign in with this password once, you can change the password if you want to, or just leave it as the default.
Now that you’re in, you can start posting your work. VoiceThread won’t accept Pages documents, but it loves pdfs.

Now, 4 steps:

Take your Pages document and turn it into a pdf. There should be nine pages in the pdf. What does PDF stand for anyway? Why do we use it?
Go into your Voicethreadt page, and choose the Create tab.
Post a thread that has all nine designs. You can add to it, or change it later.
Title the thread “Words of Wisdom.”

Got it in? There should be some gears grinding, then you’ll see your design.

One last step.

Go to My Voicethread. See the groups listed over on the right? You should be a member of the Morse High School and Design Workshop Spring 2014.
Drag your finished project into your new Group, Design Workshop Spring 2014. Now everyone in the class can see your work, and I can grade it.

Project #1A: Three Quotes, Done Three Ways

January 28, 2014

You started by making three different versions of one quote:

“Do the Thing, and you shall have the Power.”

That’s a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Now pick 2 more quotes on your own, and illustrate each of them 3 different ways.

So, in the end, you should have 3 quotes, each done 3 ways. Put all of them in the same Pages document so there are 9 pages in the document.

Some hints:

To make a second page in the same Pages document, go to INSERT > Pages > Blank Page.
Try to use up the entire page. By default it’s 8.5 x 11 inches, either portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal). Stick to one format, portrait or landscape.

Looking for ideas? Go to
I just found one I really like about music: “Without music, life would be a mistake.” —Frederick Nietzsche
Now I have to figure out how to illustrate that. Think I’ll do a search for “broken guitar…:

Start organizing your work in one folder inside the documents folder. Call it “Design Workshop” or “Tom Design Workshop” Something simple that identifies it as yours. We are going to move the whole folder onto your Google Drive for the next class. Inside your Design Workshop folder, make a folder that says, “Project One: Quotes” Put everything for this project inside that folder.

That’s the way we will keep things organized.

Project #1: Design a Poster with some Words of Wisdom

January 25, 2014


  • To get you to start thinking about your computer as a Design Tool.
  • To get you comfortable with Pages as a Design Tool.
  • To get you used to the class procedures, how we do work, how we share work and hand work in.


American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson probably came up with more inspirational quotations about people than anyone who ever lived, how they think, work, and act. Take a look at his quotations at this website and copy down one or two that you like.

Got a good one? Now get to work.

Open up Pages, go to Page Layout, and choose the the Blank Landscape format.

Copy down the quote and then open up a text box in Pages. Paste the quote into the text box, and make it bigger. What font would be appropriate for your message here? (Warning: don’t include more than two different fonts on the poster)

Do a Google Image search and find some possible graphics that fit the quote. Save them in a folder on your desktop, and drag one onto your canvas.

Now start playing around with the design. What should be the most important element, the one you look at first? Where should the eye go next? What colors are going to work for the type? How do you control the colors?
How do you control the line breaks so they add to the message and don’t just seem mindless and arbitrary?

End up with three different designs for the same quote. Change the picture, font, and placement of the lettering. Experiment. There is no one “right” design solution. Here’s an Emerson quote design I came up with, using an image from Creative Commons I found through a Google Image search, then modifying it in IPhoto and adding the text in Pages.


Design from Emerson


Handing it in.

  • Complete each of the three designs as a Pages document. Each one should have a different image, different font, different placement and cropping of the graphic, but the same words.
  • Export each document to a .pdf file and stick them all in one folder on your laptop.
  • Create a folder on your Google Drive. Label it “Design Workshop Projects.”
  • Share the folder with your teacher. Share it with
  • Post your finished designs to the VoiceThread site. But that’s another lesson. We’ll get to that later…