MySpace as an educational tool?

Like every other fifteen year-old in arm’s length of a computer, I now have my own MySpace account. This online community, for the uninitiated, combines real world ideas of keeping up with friends with the decidely high tech concepts of email and electronic bulletin boards.

My bright idea last week was to use MySpace as a teaching tool in my Art Technology class. We’ve been exploring the links between technology and art and my idea was to learn how to modify the appearance of the students’ MySpace pages.

The high schoolers in this class are learning a tad bit of CSS, some page design principles, and a good dose of type design for the web. Here’s how a week of classwork can look:

Monday: Introduce MySpace for those new to it. Get accounts. Look at sample pages: good and bad.
Tuesday: Color. How to modify the background and text colors. Try it.
Wednesday: Type. Discuss web safe fonts and readable fonts. Change fonts on your page.
Thursday: Boxes and borders. How to decorate HTML divs with nice borders. Try it.
Friday: Project day. Put it all together into a well-designed MySpace page.

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