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Why a Brochure?

Ditch the Brochure

Why Assign a Brochure?

I think it is really important that we are very intentional about our assignments. Why do we do what we do? Why will students care about the assignment and be engaged? Sometimes we think students will like something and it is a total flop. One of my pre-service teacher students give her students the assignment to create a mock Facebook page only to discover her students think Facebook is for mom’s. While we can not always get it right, we should be looking for authentic ways to engage students.

How to Digitalize a Brochure

I am sometimes asked “How do I get my students to create a brochure digitally?” My response is, why do you want to make a brochure? Simply placing information on an object that folds into thirds does not create additional value. I might argue that the brochure assignment is a “tired” assignment that students have been asked to do too many times.

Authentic Audience

Why is the student making a brochure? Is there an authentic audience? If they are working on a project based learning (PBL) activity for a real problem and they are providing brochures for an organization based on their research, a brochure could be a great activity.

Who is Printing?

I have been paperless for quite awhile. A brochure is generally intended to be printed. This is quickly becoming outdated. How can we update the brochure assignment to be more relevant in modern times and have an authentic audience?

Clearly Communicate Ideas

One of the principals of 21st century learning is to clearly communicate ideas. Given an authentic audience a brochure can be a way to clearly communicate ideas to the community or stakeholders. Modern methods might be:

  • Design a website.
  • Create an app.
  • Use MailChimp or other newsletter generator.
  • Create a podcast with SoundTrap or GarageBand.
  • Design an email campaign.
  • Create a ad campaign for the web.
  • Create a social media campaign.
  • Design an Pinterest board.

Teach Web Design

What are modern skills that students need to know? I create websites all the time, it is highly likely that your students will have an idea and a need to create a website. Knowing how to manage and manage a website and effective design techniques are important skills for students. Consider how students can start a project that requires they clearly communicate their idea through a website or other multi-media platform. Many students dream of being a “Youtuber” (a person famous for their YouTube channel.) Creating effective media for the YouTube platform is a skill that could be included with our instruction. Get started by checking out canva.com’s tutorials on design. Have students research what makes an effective website and web design. What are the elements of a successful YouTube video and channel?

Template

alicekeeler.com/brochure

If you have an authentic need to create a brochure here is a template that may be helpful. It is created with Google Slides.

5 thoughts on “Why a Brochure?”

  1. I love the ideas here! I agree that we really have to be intentional in order for students to have authentic experiences.

    I am experimenting with some different project based concepts in a new English class and this information is going on my list of things to keep on mind. Thanks!

    1. As an older teacher trying to let go of projects from days gone by including making brochures I like the ideas in this post. I have recently been faced with the question of whether I am assigning projects or giving my students recipes from which to plug in information. The questions in the post about engagement and having an authentic audience for an assignment make a lot of sense to me. I am glad you shared the ideas of looking at 21st century learners and taking the brochure to a new and more exciting level by sharing more modern methods of extracting and displaying information. This is my first visit to your site and I know I will be coming back often.

      1. Thanks Gina! Great question to ask ourselves. Love the quote by Chris Lehmann “If you assign a project and get back 30 of the exact same thing, that’s not a project, that’s a recipe.”

    2. When my College Comp students created their Genre Advocacy Projects, they had to choose which genre best fit their audience. They were only allowed to create a brochure if they thought their audience might actually look at it. Their other choices were a TEDTalk, a website, or an infographic. They had to justify in writing why their audience would actually be persuaded by the genre they chose. And they turned them in digitally, just like the other projects. You are exactly right: the type of project they create needs to authentically meet the audience they are trying to reach.

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