“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. – Albert Einstein
The poster project is one of the most popular assignments teachers give students to show their understanding and research. I still remember the amazing posters my international teens created. They invested a lot of time and money into creating nice labels, printing and pasting colored photos, and citing their research. I was sad when they needed to be discarded, because they were too big or somehow got destroyed. This is the problem with having students work with paper and cardboard. The students can’t keep their hard work and use it for future references or publish their ideas and research for others to be inspired. For this reason, I encourage you to transform the traditional poster project into a multimedia digital research project. Many free digital tools and apps help students create multimedia posters with incredible graphs, illustrations, charts, images, labels, fonts, templates and linked research. Find some ideas and tips below along with downloadable slides to get you and your students started with their multimedia digital research projects.
- My favorite tools for creating digital posters include Canva (opens in new tab), Buncee, Visme, Tackk, Piktochart, Smore, ThingLink, Biteslides, and Glogster.
- If you are creating digital posters with a tablet or mobile device then try these free apps- Canva (opens in new tab) (iPad), Buncee Pro (opens in new tab) (iPad), Thinglink (iOS & Android), Pic-Collage (iOS & Android), Tackk (use on any tablet through the browser), Glogster (iPad), and Grafio (iOS).
- Your students can also curate their research into digital boards with free tools like Educlipper, Blendspace, Pinterest, and Livebinders.
- Before students create their digital posters, have them learn visual rhetoric and design, which covers the best fonts to use for easier reading and the importance of whitespace. ArtSkills and Canva Design School (opens in new tab) have incredible guides and resources for teaching visual rhetoric.
- Integrate digital research and STEAM (Science, Technology, Art, and Math) by having students create infographics. Here’s a great TED Ed lesson plan featuring David McCandless’ inspiring Ted Talk about the beauty of data visualization!
- The research becomes part of the poster when students create infographics or charts and link to their references and citations. You can easily create hyperlinks with many of these multimedia tools, but it is important students also reference their links.
- Easily create a Works Cited page with Google Docs research tool, Cite This for Me, and EasyBib.
- You may also want to get your students to create QR codes for people to access the Works Cited or Reference list if the poster will also be printed.
- QR Codes can also be used to get viewers to interact with the poster. You can link to audio, video, games, or polls.
- Teach students how to conduct digital research. The Kentucky Virtual Library has an interactive infographic that illustrates the digital research process. Use this as a guide and also my slide presentation, Research in the Digital Age, which you can download as a pdf.
- Poster Presentations has many templates for creating digital posters on PowerPoint that can be printed.
- Students will enjoy bringing their posters to life through augmented reality. I recommend Aurasma Augmented Reality App for iOS and Android.
- Teach students how to remix responsibly the content of others they integrate into their posters. Find information about remixing creative commons and public domain content in my bookmarks.
Challenge: Get your students to create digital posters this year and share their research with others.
cross posted at teacherrebootcamp.com
Shelly Terrell is an education consultant, technology trainer, and author. Read more at teacherrebootcamp.com.