“Most Likely to Succeed” via Slate.com


You wouldn’t know it to look at the products, but the school yearbook business is kind of shady. There’s a good chance you and your kid’s school are paying way too much for yearbooks…

When Aaron Greco, a young tech entrepreneur, started sniffing around the yearbook business a few years ago,…he realized, was that big yearbook providers were producing their books using offset printing—an expensive printing system that’s great for books with large print runs but that leads to high costs and little flexibility for yearbooks, whose print runs number in the hundreds or low thousands. Over the past decade, we’ve seen the rise of digital on-demand printing, which is now commonly used for photo books (the sort you order from Shutterfly or Blurb) and self-publishing. Greco had a brilliant idea: Why not use the same printing process for yearbooks?

Thus was born TreeRing, Greco’s four-year-old yearbook startup, which now serves 2,000 schools across the country and will produce about 200,000 yearbooks this year. By printing yearbooks on demand, TreeRing beats traditional yearbook companies in pretty much every way….

“When we go out to talk to schools and tell them what we do, there’s only one question we get,” Greco told me when I met him at TreeRing’s offices earlier this month: “ ‘What’s the catch?’ ” I wondered the same thing. At first, I suspected that TreeRing’s yearbooks might not look as good as those produced by offset printing. But Greco showed me a sample yearbook that looked great—the paper and print quality was fantastic, and the hardcover was glossy and substantial. It looked just as good as any school yearbook I’ve ever seen….

Greco managed to convince me that TreeRing’s model was better than that of traditional companies. But I did wonder one more thing—was his business doomed in the long run? As more and more of our kids’ lives move online, they no longer need printed books to remember what happened in school. You can always just flip back on your Facebook timeline—and Facebook has the added benefits of including just your friends and making you the center of attention. So why buy a yearbook?

Predictably, Greco believes there’s a big future in printed books, despite Facebook’s intrusion into our lives. He points out that even though we all take pictures on digital cameras, photo-printing companies like Shutterfly are experiencing huge growth. “People still want printed things, but they need to be curated—they need to be valuable,” says Greco.


Student Discovers Scepter of Truth

ScepterOfTruth ScepterOfTruth2

I noticed one of my students carrying around this novel, which featured a familiar cover.

The book was one of half a dozen novels that my now-defunct novels class wrote in 2007. We printed copies for the author’s friends and families, and we bought a copy for the school library, where Savanna found Scepter of Truth by Elizabeth DeWitt.  Unless they’ve been disappeared–I’m looking at you Mrs. Burkett!–there should also be copies of novels by Amanda Workman, Bobbie Clifton, Felisha Mitchell, Karen Nelson, and Casey Shortt.


Jostens Yearbook Avenue Page Designer Tips

  • Under the Edit menu you’ll find a Select option.  Under the select menu you can choose: All. But that doesn’t mean just selecting every element on the DPS. You can also select all:ImagesText Boxes




    Locked Elements

    Locked Position Elements.

    These options allow you to apply changes to multiple elements at once without having to all select individual elements.

    Let’s say you have used blue accents on your page and you want to change them all to green. Choose Edit > Select > Color. From the content menu choose All. Pick the Current Color of blue and then Pick a New Color of green This will then change all your green elements from blue to green.

    Or if you want to put a one point black stroke around all your photos. Choose Edit > Select > Images. Then in the Format tab apply the 1 point stroke to all the photos.

    Of course you can hold down the shift key to select multiple items, but the select option allows you to select multiple items faster.

  • You can click in the ruler area at the top or left side of the page to bring in guidelines. Simply click and drag your guides to where you want them. You can also apply columns and rows by clicking in the rulers at the top and left. To delete your guides, simply right click (control click on Mac) in the ruler and choose ‘clear all guides.’
  • In the Format tab, if you have more than one item selected you can access additional functions such as: alignment, distribution/spacing and grouping.
  • When you rotate elements using the circle at the top of any selected element, they rotate in 15% increments. To rotate in smaller increments, hold down the shift key while you rotate.
  • If you copy and paste elements from one page to the next, they will paste in the identical spot on the next page.
  • There is a difference between Lock and Lock Position. Elements that are locked can’t be moved, deleted, or changed.  Elements that are in Lock Position mode can be edited (placing photos, changing text, etc.) and deleted, but not moved. This allows you to preserve the integrity of the layout. Students with ‘editor’ status can lock/lock position elements.
  • If you want editors to stay off a certain page, but you, the adviser, still want to be able to work on it, go to the Page Ladder and mark that page as ’Top Secret.’ To mark it ’Top Secret’ click on the little circle in the corner. This hides the pages from all students, but you can still work on the page.
  • Do you like to multi-task? Place a photo on a page, right click on it, and choose ’Show in Image Library.’ This will open up a second browser tab of the image library. This allows you to upload images in the image library and while they are uploading, you can go back to the other tab (your Page Designer window) and continue to work on your page.

via Tom Shields

Meet the Author of The Giver, Lois Lowry [Bonus]

On Thursday, April 2 from 7 to 9:30PM, Lois Lowry will be at the Springfield Art Museum (1111 E. Brookside Drive). Lowry, author of books like The Giver and Number the Stars, will talk about common themes in her work, answer questions, and be available to sign books.

The event is free, and no tickets are required. For more information, visit the event page at thelibrary.org.

Students who attend the event can receive 20 bonus points in the English class of their choice. To receive the points, you must (1) snap a picture of yourself at the event and (2) write a one-page typed reflection.

Note that your appreciation of this event will be infinitely increased by reading one or more of her books in advance.