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Publisher or InDesign?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by jweb2k, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Does anyone use Adobe InDesign for KS3 pupils? I've taken the plunge to move away from Publisher today for many reasons (#1 Wordart...), but the Year 7 class I've just taken is split - half find it difficult but see the use and with time will be able to make very professional leaflets. The other half couldn't get to grips with it, blue boxes inside yellow boxes, the extremely difficult to find and use gradient tool and a "is it cropping, is it moving" issue, they were completely perplexed and turned off.
    Resources on the internet in terms of paper-copy tutorials in pupil language seem scarce, but I'm reluctant to give up and go back to Publisher without giving it a proper go!
    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Does anyone use Adobe InDesign for KS3 pupils? I've taken the plunge to move away from Publisher today for many reasons (#1 Wordart...), but the Year 7 class I've just taken is split - half find it difficult but see the use and with time will be able to make very professional leaflets. The other half couldn't get to grips with it, blue boxes inside yellow boxes, the extremely difficult to find and use gradient tool and a "is it cropping, is it moving" issue, they were completely perplexed and turned off.
    Resources on the internet in terms of paper-copy tutorials in pupil language seem scarce, but I'm reluctant to give up and go back to Publisher without giving it a proper go!
    Any thoughts?
     
  3. I've wrestled with this for a while. We have Publisher (Windows only), InDesign and Quark Express. We're also shortly to have Pages (Mac only). As much as Publisher can be a bit naff, I think that the things it CAN do are fine. It can do text flow, it can do alignment, and so on. DJP has an excellent video tutorial on replicating a newspaper front cover that takes about 6 hours (to do *properly*) and I've turned it into a Moodle course and run it very successfully with Y9. Ultimately you're trying to get across the DTP principles. Whitespace, textflow, rule of thirds, colour schemes, etc. Although InDesign and Quark can help you make a more professional job of it, the learning curve for the software package is too steep to make it really justifiable at KS3 (certainly Y7).


    All 'IMHO', naturally.
     
  4. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    Have got to say that I am a serif pageplus convert for DTP and the younger ones. It's dirt cheap for a site licence, has fab tools like cutout studio, and the kids can buy a copy for home for a tenner. It's not Mickey Mouse either and I know one major political party uses it as the standard for production of all their literature.
    Thanks for the mention of the DTP resource of mine in the resource bank, have always been pleased with that one and it's a lot easier in pageplus/drawplus than Publisher/fireworks.
     
  5. I've used that one too.
     
  6. Serif PagePlusx4 gets my vote...currently looking at the Web version as my A level students are struggling with Expression Web for their e-books. It does just so much more for such a good price!
     
  7. Unfortunately, I cannot see any good reason to deliver InDesign to year 7 or KS3. It is the principles of composition, good content and impact in a print document you are teaching.
    Publisher or PagePlus will be more than enough for most purposes at secondary level, surely? Leave InDesign to a KS5 level where onward transferable skill becomes a factor for those who may go off and do a Graphic design/print based degree.

     
  8. oc7

    oc7 New commenter

    We use Scribus and I would strongly reccommend giving this a go before you pay for anything else.


     
  9. oc7

    oc7 New commenter

    I would also avoid using a full DTP before KS4 we use Writer and Draw to produce DTP type documents, these are sufficiient to teache the the principles outlined by tayberry and HH snd also requires them to consider which of these is the most appropriate for the task. It sldo doesn't take long before students want to use Writer functionality in Draw or vice versa which leads nicely into the benefits of a DTP ready for S3 (Year10).
    I would draw the line at using Publisher though ;0).

     
  10. oc7

    oc7 New commenter

    Sorry my previous post is barely English.
     
  11. clickschool

    clickschool New commenter

    I've recently used PagePlus x4 with Year 8 students. Even with limited guidance, they've soon got to grips with the basics. Unlike Publisher 2003, tools such as "alignment" are easily accessible and there are lots of great features such as instant effects. It certainly gives inDesign a run for its money. Plenty of powerful tools, representing excellent value for money.
    I have found that X4 runs slower than X3, but X5 appears to performs quicker than X4 and for those DTP "geeks" out there, it has new useful features such as the ability to layer multiple master pages on to one page... also links to tutorial videos... plus a few more...
    I've played with Scribus too. Excellent capabilities but I found that it ran slowly. PagePlus has the added advantage of built-in tools such as the photo editor. I don't think Scribus has such "extras".
     
  12. Yes this is a good option, which ive used.
     
  13. I can't believe that I am going to say this, but we've got Publisher 2010 and although it's a bit of a kiddies tool, it can do everything that the students need. It's easy enough to use and the students can generate reasonable documents. It can also make PDFs for semi-professional printing. In-Design is a fantastic tool, but unless you've got some very gifted and talented students, they're going to find it quite a frustrating experience.
     
  14. As much as I hate to say it I feel that for KS3-4 Publisher is probably more suitable than InDesign.



    Assuming DTP is a 6 week (6 hour) project this would be barely enough time to scratch the surface of InDesign, though I would be interested in having a look at the 6 hour moodle course for it mentioned earlier.
     
  15. JimShortz

    JimShortz New commenter

    For those of us embracing Open Source software Scribus is a fantastic DTP programme, and far better than the kids toy that is MS Publisher. This really is professional
    standard Desktop Publishing software, and also very straightforward to
    use if you are willing to put in an hour or two to start with to grasp
    the basics of how it works. Its downfall is that when you first open it
    up you look at the interface and probably decide it looks confusing and
    shut it again... This is a great shame as actually it's not too
    complicated at all and with minimal effort you will soon be right at
    home - and appreciating the power that Scribus offers.



    In the school where I work MS Publisher has been seriously lamented by
    many teachers since we switched to Ubuntu. To try and help them out I
    have created a series of video tutorials and put them up on our school
    Moodle (Virtual Learning Environment). I can't give you guys access to
    the Moodle, but I have also put these tutorials up on YouTube. This is a
    bit of a blatant plug for my screencasts, but I hope at least some of
    you will find them useful and become as a big a fan of Scribus as I am!



    You can find them at http://www.youtube.c...07?blend=3&ob=5



    If you find them useful (or not!) please leave a comment - constructive or otherwise!

    [​IMG]
    PS I am also using these tutorials to introduce Scribus to Y8 students. The Moodle course includes all of the files used and the tasks set. I would be very happy to share all of this. Does anyone know how I can host this Moodle course online for free, and so share it?
     
  16. Hiya Jim. Great to hear about Scribus and I'm interested in your Moodle work with it. How about going into the Moodle course, then down to Course Administration >> Backup and zip up the MBZ and host that online with megaupload or similar? Us Moodlers could then download and use the "Restore" feature to import it into our Moodles to view. It seems the easiest way?
     
  17. Excellent videos by the way, easy to follow for pupils. Do you use Linux Mint for pupils at school? We're looking at dual boot Thin Clients with the second OS as Linux ...
     
  18. JimShortz

    JimShortz New commenter

    Yes, I could do that, but it seems a shame to force people to download the course blind. I would like to host it so that others could look at it and see if they want it or not...
    If nobody comes up with a way that i can do this I will zip it up at work today and do as you suggest (I'm in Thailand, so 7 hours ahead of you - on my way to work in an hour!)
     
  19. Perhaps backup/restore into your own moodle and turn it on as Guest access for a month? I'm happy if you want to do the first Zip option and I'll host it on our schools' Moodle with guest access.
     
  20. JimShortz

    JimShortz New commenter

    Thank you for your nice comments! [​IMG]

    I have been using Mint at home for the last few months, just to check it out really (and I love it by the way - super easy to setup and use with all plugins installed; much easier than ubuntu for newbies). I have been using Ubuntu at home for the last three years, and we have used it site-wide at school for the last two years. Mint is more like Win XP in the layout of menus etc. but Ubuntu is much more widely used and so better documented/supported.

    If people are interested in our Ubuntu experience I will start a seperate thread with details of software used, etc. Any interest in this?

    I actually don't understand why UK schools would still; be funding the Evil Empires (Microsoft/Apple) when they could be teaching kids about freedom and using Open source, and having masses of money left to spend on hardware... Any UK schools doing this? I'd love to make contact.

     

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