Here's my Hit List of Summer Yearbooking Things To Do...
Let's run down a long list of things to consider for your storytelling and your 2018 yearbooking effort. Please consider them and see how many of these you and your staff can do...
CHECK OUT YOUR 2018 YEARBOOK AVENUE WEBSITE: It's been active since April, have you been on yet? Log on now and if you know your staff for next year, perhaps create their logins as well now rather than later. Summer is a great time to start yearbooking with no classes and tests and plenty of free time.
In particular, visit your YBA Digital Classroom and see the great material there for your use. Absolutely look over the Starters for Success including the individual lessons (enough for every single day of the school year!) and the awesome seven week series to start the school year to really train your staff and supercharge your effort.
And be sure to view the great video series in the Digital Classroom, terrific short videos on YBA and top yearbooking and journalism topics. "Flip" your classroom by watching the videos, then follow with lessons and great work.
YBA ADVISERS, DON'T FORGET TO ROLLOVER: OK, that sounds strange, but I'm talking about copying needed material from your 2017 YBA site to your new 2018 site. For images, go to the 2017 YBA Image Library and click on any image category in the left column that has images you want to carryover to 2018. Then look for the 2018 button at the top of the column - click it and look for a tiny arrow over the category folder. Now those images will carryover to next year's YBA. And for page designs, in 2017 YBA open a spread you wish to keep and choose Save as Template. Once saved it automatically carries over to your 2018 YBA.
CHECK YOUR CAMERA EQUIPMENT: Do some inventory work now to see what you have on hand and what you really need for next year. If you're short, now is the time to make a shopping list of needed items. And you can do some camera "window shopping" on your Yearbook Avenue site, terrific brand name equipment and well priced packages from our friends at Wolfe's Cameras. Drop me an email and I'll let you know how to find it.
CONSIDER ATTENDING A SUMMER WORKSHOP: As I write this in early June, there are still some great opportunities for you and/or your staff to improve your skills, do plenty of prep work for next year, and have lots of fun along the way. Here are three options...
Jostens Adviser University: July 16-19 in Scottsdale, AZ, the best adviser event in the nation. Register by June 15 to save some money. And JAU is open to ALL yearbook advisers, not just those who work with Jostens. The learning is THAT good. Click here to get all the information on the event and registration.
Jostens Gettysburg College Summer Workshop: July 30-August 1 in Gettysburg, a fantastic event for you and your editors or your entire staff. Create your new custom cover, work your theme, learn new skills and embrace new ideas to make your best yearbook ever. Click here to get more information and to register. It's a great chance for a staff to do some summer bonding before the school year begins. Don't wait, consider attending now.
Meet Me in State College: And if you're on a tight budget, let's see if we can meet at our State College Creative Center one day over the summer and we'll do your own staff workshop complete with an artist session and plenty of learning. Free of charge, just let me know.
READ JOSTENS ADVISER & STAFF MAGAZINE: If you haven't already, please check out the great stories and information in the spring 2017 edition including pieces on getting or keeping your yearbook class at school, our great new partnership with Pantone and proper use of color, plenty of creative inspiration and more.
DESIGN YOUR 2018 CUSTOM COVER: If there is ANY way you can do this early over the summer, do it! Having this done early means less stress once classes start, a firm idea of your theme and look, and a better start to the year. If you can't attend a Jostens yearbook workshop over the summer, perhaps we can schedule a visit to State College or if not we can schedule a virtual artist session online with one of our outstanding State College artists.
CHECK OR CREATE PAGE TEMPLATES: If you've done some preliminary work for next year, start thinking about your page designs for your new book. And I'm a big believer in using page templates to offer consistent coverage in sections of your book and concentrate more on the content on those pages.
YearTech/InDesign software users, peruse your Jostens Page Surfer template book for great designs. YTO online users, do the same but also examine all of the great layouts in your YBA Design Gallery. If you have some design-minded students let them try their hand at template creation. But never just go RANDOM with every page different from every other. Consistency means some similarity which insures better coverage and lots of time saved later. Maybe even layout your entire book over the summer break, then make any adjustments as needed during the school year.
USE REPLAYIT FROM DAY ONE: Here's an area where I plan to brainstorm over the summer - every school utilizing their great ReplayIt.com website and app next year right from the start. It begins with picture taking and uploading immediately but also on getting EVERY person at school to register for your ReplayIt site/app immediately to view all of your material next year.
ReplayIt is your yearbook's digital companion during the year with instant coverage of any event, and everything is archived at year's end into your own digital Time Capsule for viewing years into the future, pictures AND videos. As I like to say, the best material next year makes your book but EVERYTHING makes ReplayIt.
And start considering including VIDEO as part of our storytelling. Yes, you can easily upload videos via YBA to be viewed on your ReplayIt app and website. We can now take quick videos with our smartphones, and nearly everyone has a smartphone, so let's expand how we tell our stories of your school and its people. Then we have...
USE AUGMENTED REALITY TO GO INTERACTIVE: You can really expand your yearbooking effort and jazz up your storytelling with Aurasma. Kids love the COOL factor and it's easy to do once you setup your free account through aurasma.com. Check your YBA Digital Classroom and enter "Aurasma" in the search bar for more information on using AR. And there's an AR link through your ReplayIt app so the two can work together.
CONCENTRATE ON CONTENT, NOT PAGE MAKING: After 18 years as a Jostens representative I know that one area where too many staffs waste a ton of time each year is simply making their page designs, or changing them, or doing it again, etc. Note my reference above on using page templates and please follow that idea. Then you and your group can concentrate on what your readers REALLY want - the content on those pages, the pictures and information shown. Great page designs are great but if the pictures are bad and the information lacking, your readers won't be happy. There's an old adage that content drives design, not the other way around.
WHAT STORIES WILL YOU TELL?: And on this idea above, WHAT will you feature this year? Too many staffs "wing it" during the year when you should instead have plans in advance on what you wish to cover. And with your combination of your yearbook, your ReplayIt site/app with no image/video limitsand even augmented reality, now you can literally tell at least one story about every single person at school next year. And you can tell someone's story with just a picture or short video and a caption, either in your book or on ReplayIt.
And imagine the difference that could make at your school if EVERYONE is covered? You and your staff could be making a powerful positive change in the life and culture of your school, all by telling people's stories. Please consider it.
THE ULTIMATE GOAL FOR 2018: Remember the school year -every team, every club, every event, every PERSON (yes, including the adult staff) because EVERYONE has a story to tell. And with all of our Jostens tools it's no longer WHAT stories will you tell but HOW MANY stories will you tell? It's all up to you...