The Power of a Small Idea


I was checking Twitter one day, when this tweet by Anna Davies jumped out at me, with its striking red and black colour scheme and professional-looking images.

Anna Davies on Twitter

G5 deeply personal hopes&fears on display. Seeing each other from a different perspective #ishcmcib thanx 4 the inspiration @itsallaboutart

It turns out that Anna had been inspired by my Dover colleague, Nicki Hambleton, who created posters with her Middle School students, based on the work of Designer, Graphic Artist and Photographer, Barbara Kruger.

When I see an amazing idea, like the images in Anna’s tweet, I always want to try it out. As I don’t have a class of my own, I have to pitch the idea to my colleagues and hope that it sparks an interest.

As it happened, our school was just embarking on a PSE unit around the Power of Words. Tech Mentor Mike Bowden jumped on board and took the idea to his Grade 3 team.

Students prepared for the poster by finding a quote that resonated with them about the Power of Words. They took a photo of themselves on a plain background, ensuring to leave enough space to fit the quote.

In Keynote, students added the image, then reduced the saturation to turn it black and white. They used the limited colour palette of red, black and white for the text, experimenting with placement and rotation as needed.

This was a very rich learning task for our students. There were a lot of technical and design skills that we were able to build into an authentic context that met our curricula outcomes.

Naturally, we shared examples of our finished posters on Twitter – these examples were from Mandy Whitehouse‘s class.

Keri-Lee Beasley on Twitter

G3 posters: Power of Words @annadeibisu @itsallaboutart Thanks 4 the inspiration! #uwclearn #pse @debgordon123 @MickBowden @maw0305

What happened next is what I LOVE about social media. Jose O’Donovan saw our examples on Twitter and got his students to make their own – this time, posters about Kindness.

Mr O’Donovan on Twitter

Made some cool posters for Kindness week next week @HISEdTech #iPadclub Thanks @klbeasley !@itsallaboutart #his_learning

So in case you are the sort of person who worries about sharing the learning in your classroom, take the plunge! You never know the power of your small idea and the impact it may have on others. 

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