Studying the Syrian Crisis in Contemporary Global Issues: Using @AdobeSpark to Create Visually Impactful Presentations with @BullisHGS #edtech

Written with my colleague, Dr. Sara Romeyn, our Director of Humanities and Global Studies

The Class:

The trimester elective, “Contemporary Global Issues,” allows students the opportunity to investigate the world and analyze current challenges and problems. Sophomores and Juniors in the class have explored a variety of contemporary crises, including the Cape Town, South Africa water shortage, the Rohingya Crisis and the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Recently, we investigated the reported use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The Assignment:

Students were given a few days in class to make an Adobe Spark page that covered several specific components of the Syrian Crisis and attack. Project components included the following:

  1. Title and subtitle
  2. Header photograph
  3. Overview of Crisis in Syria (text plus map or chart)
  4. Explanation of recent chemical gas attack (what do we know? how do we know it?)
    1. Include quotations
    2. Include images, charts and graphs
  5. Global response (be specific)
    1. How have major countries responded?
  6. Your opinion: US response
    1. Role of President Trump
    2. Role of Congress
  7. Sources cited (please use a minimum of four sources)


Why We Chose Adobe Spark:

Our goal was to have students create a visually rich presentation including a variety of media types – text, images, and video – with bold headings to organize information in a reader-friendly format. Adobe Spark Pages allows students to tell their story in a web page format without requiring any coding or time-consuming setup. Adobe Spark Pages gives some design choice without offering too many options, thus keeping the student focused on the learning task. Additionally, these projects can be shared using a public link with a global audience or kept private and only shared with a teacher or class. Adobe Spark Pages was the perfect tool for this particular project as it allowed students to summarize and share their learning in an elegant, visually engaging way.

The Results:

Students created Adobe Spark pages that were concise, informative and visually interesting. They shared the pages with their classmates and we are pleased to share them beyond Bullis.

Here are some exemplars (click to view full Adobe Spark project):

Screen Shot 2018-05-11 at 5.40.27 PM  Screen Shot 2018-05-11 at 5.40.52 PM

Screen Shot 2018-05-11 at 5.41.05 PM



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