The Edtech Files: Episode 2 - Creating a Magazine Cover


A teacher from Grade 1 approached me regarding a topic the students were doing on Gamechangers. She asked how we could integrate technology into the topic, she particularly wanted the students to create a magazine cover. She also wanted all the specialists to create a video that would talk about a Gamechanger in their specialist field - I will come onto this part later.

My idea was to use Google Slides as a way to create the Magazine cover. Google Slides offers a really basic way of teaching design and concepts of Desk Top Publishing. I also saw the opportunity to teach the students many of the skills they needed to progress, such as Copy & Paste, Adding images, adding shapes, manipulating size, changing the color, opacity, zoom etc.

Initially I set to get the children to experiment. I shared a presentation with them via Google Classroom and assigned one slide to each of the students by the student name to each slide. Beforehand I changed the page layout of the slides to the size of a magazine cover, about A4 size. I then used TIME Magazine as an example of a cover and their task was to recreate something similar. I showed them an example of a real TIME magazine cover and then showed them one that I created.

(The first one below is an actual cover, the second is one I recreated in Google Slides.)

The students had to use many skills to achieve this result. Watch the video at the start of this post for more detail on the skills or click here. This was lesson one.

Lesson 2 involved using the skills from Lesson one and creating their Gamechangers magazine cover. In addition I wanted the students to insert a picture of themselves into their cover (see below).

However, this presented a problem. How could I get the students to delete the background of the image? How could I do this for Grade 1 students? This time I sent them an individual presentation via Google Classroom and set the students going to use their skills to create their Gamechangers magazine cover. In the meantime I set up a desk in front of the class green screen and students came to see me individually to do the following:

  • Use Photo Booth on the Mac to take a picture of themselves in an appropriate pose in front of the Green Screen

  • Open Keynote and start a blank white presentation, delete the text boxes

  • Drag the picture from Photo Booth into the Presentation

  • Use Instant Alpha to delete the Green screen background (watch this video to find out how)

  • Copy (Cmd-C) the image

  • Paste (Cmd-V) into the Google Slides presentation

Some of these steps for Grade 1 were tricky for some of the students, so I used my own judgement on the ability of the student on how much they did and how much I did. The result was that the students had the image of themselves in their Google Slides presentation and could then continue editing their magazine cover.

#TheEdtechFiles #googleslides #desktoppublishing

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