I've always liked the idea of the publishing party, however I've always found it a little hokey. Making a construction paper cover with yarn or lanyard binding is crafty, but it's a far cry from the experience of cracking open a crisp new permabound hardcover. Everyone plays along, but we all know there is something missing.
I've written about this in the past: The most exciting thing about using technology in a classroom is not necessarily enhancing the stuff you're already doing, but doing stuff that was never possible before.
Taking those worn-out charts and remaking them in PowerPoint is nice, but it's missing the point.
What's exciting about new technology is that it makes old technology more accessible. Bloggers have always liked comparing their publishing platform of choice to having their own personal printing press. Companies like Lulu
and others have taken it a step farther; they've given content creators access to actual printing presses at an extremely affordable rate. CafePress has made it possible to produce shirts, cups, clocks, and more without the prohibitive upfront costs. YouTube
, and other have made it possible to share video easily without pressing costly discs or tapes. Recording artists and videographers can produce their work in their bedrooms and avoid expensive studio time.
Technology really ups the ante on the publishing party. For the first time, students can publish in the exact same medium as professionals
—not just a cute interpretation. Through Lulu, teachers can publish their kids' work complete with ISBN numbers. MagCloud allows students, clubs, and classroom to produce professional-grade magazines on glossy paper and have them printed at the same facilities as the magazines sold in the news stands.