How do teachers prepare their students for working life when they themselves have little to no experience working for companies? A new project at the University of Arnhem and Nijmegen (HAN) aims to find a solution. ‘Working internships’ allow students to experience working at various companies and compile their experience in their own magazine.
Teachers often find themselves in positions that allow them to influence what kids and young people want to do when they grow up. However, one problem that has been presenting itself is that teachers themselves have little to no knowledge about the kinds of jobs they are preparing their students for. They went to school to learn how to teach, but they lack the experience to be able to guide students in their career choices.
Working Internships to the rescue
In order to solve this problem, the teacher program at the University of Arnhem and Nijmegen (HAN) has started a project called ‘working internships’. These are internships for students studying to become teachers that allow them to do internships at companies. The project enables these ‘teachers-to-be’ to experience the inner workings of various local businesses. At the end of the project, all their experience and findings are compiled in a magazine they make themselves.
Magazines vs Regular Written Papers
This magazines are printed and a copy is given to the each of the participating businesses and students. This way,the students produce informative magazines, instead of regular written papers that will no doubt end up in the paper recycling bin before long. These magazines provide insight into the students experiences as well as information about the companies. This is useful for current (as well as future) students and the companies they interned at.
One of the students, Lisa, shares her experience creating her magazine:
“Creating a magazine is fun, because you’re creating a real, tangible product, not just a regular paper. You also need to think about the design in order to appeal to the reader.”
From a future teacher’s point of view
If the project is successful, other teaching programs may also pick up the project.
“These working internships allow me to see where my students will end up and how I can best help them prepare for their careers”, says Lisa.
When asked if she was now reconsidering her teaching career because of these working internships, Lisa chuckles:
“Not at all. Quite the opposite in fact, because it has solidified my dream to become a teacher. After a day at a company I look forward to seeing my students. I enjoy telling them about my experience at the companies. It makes it easier to inspire my students.”
The ‘life changing magic of tidying up’ is one of the latest trends. But what if, instead of just a trend, to you or a loved one, tidying up has become a necessity? Maybe you’re moving to a new home, a new country, or maybe your grandmother is moving to a home and there just isn’t room for all of her stuff? For some, getting rid of things becomes a vital part of moving on to a new chapter. In cases like these, the ‘magic of tidying up’ is less about asking yourself whether or not something brings you joy, and more about not being able to bring everything you’d like.
It all started with a volunteer project
Freelance journalist Linda Blankenstein was faced with just such a problem, and we think she found an amazing solution; the ‘tidying up’ magazine! She made just such a magazine for a woman she met through Dutch volunteer program AHN (Algemene Hulpdienst Nieuwegein). At first, she was connected to Mrs. Gosen in order to create a ‘lifebook’ for her. A project that brings creators in touch with elderly folks in need of company and a way to turn their memories into something memorable and tangible; like a book or a magazine.
Why make a ‘tidying up’ magazine?
Once this project was finished, Linda continued to visit Mrs. Gosen to keep her company, and she realized that many of the conversations they had were about certain items or ‘things’ that Mrs. Gosen held very dear, but couldn’t keep. Inspired by the first project and Mrs. Gosen’s stories, she decided to start another magazine to create a place where Mrs. Gosen could keep her things. The ‘tidying up’ magazine was born.
How the ‘tidying up’ magazine was made
Linda: “I visited Mrs. Gosen regularly. During these visits we would take an hour each time to talk about a certain item. We made a list beforehand of the items she wanted in the magazine. I made a few photos of each of the objects and wrote an accompanying story. Once Mrs. Gosen had approved the texts, I got started on making the magazine in Jilster. The creation process is straightforward, especially if you’ve already worked with similar programs before, like photo album creators. I chose to use a standard template (pages from the 50th anniversary magazine), because this suited Mrs. Gosen really well. I often used a photo of Mrs. Gosen as the background image, that I would then make transparent inside the program. When the magazine was completed, she was ecstatic. So much so that she ordered a copy for everyone in her community.”
https://www.jilster.com/wp-content/uploads//2018/06/Screen-Shot-2018-06-07-at-13.51.50-e1528374228570.png740924Pamela Pieterszhttps://www.jilster.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/LogoWeb_zwart-tinified.pngPamela Pietersz2018-06-07 14:22:392018-07-23 09:55:53The life changing magic of a ‘tidying up magazine’
“What mainly drove us to do this, I think, no, I know, is the friendship and love we each feel for Cindy. Combine all that friendship and love and what you get is a big fat wedding magazine”. Wendy, Rian and Maaike, along with 17 other women, made a wedding magazine for their friend Cindy.
Everyone has a part to play
Wendy studied graphic design so she was in charge of the design. Rian was in charge of getting in touch with the other girls and managing their pages, and Maaike was in charge of interviewing Cindy’s husband-to-be and their kids.
They had each of Cindy’s friends as well as her fiance and kids answer the same questions on their respective pages in the magazine.
How do you know Cindy?
Describe Cindy in one word
What kind of dress do you think Cindy will wear?
What celebrity wouldn’t Cindy mind spending a night with?
What’s the last thing you and Cindy did/talked about together?
Why are Cindy and Martijn such a good match?
The cover page
There was quite a bit of back and forth when it came to the cover page. There were a ton of ideas, but ultimately Wendy’s idea was chosen. She suggested using a photo of Cindy in her wedding dress. But how were they going to make that happen? It was before the wedding, and they couldn’t risk Cindy finding out about the magazine.
They made a plan to try and convince Cindy to wear Rian’s wedding dress during her bachelorette party and it worked! They got a few photos and used the best one as the cover page.
Making a magazine together
“Working in the editor went well. We used the chat option a fair amount to discuss the contents of the magazine and Rian mainly used templates to design the magazine. She then tweaked them a bit to make them unique.”
“We gave Cindy her (and a little bit her husband’s too) wedding gift on the day of the wedding. It was a really special moment that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. I got goosebumps! Cindy was completely touched and pretty soon we were all holding back tears. So yes, I’m definitely making more of these magazines in the future.”
History, Dutch and Art subjects all in one magazine. Second year high school students at the Liberal-Christian Lyceum High school in the Hague, Netherlands, combined three subjects into one project. They created a magazine called ‘The Golden Age Project’. Their history teacher, Mirjam Zeilmaker, coordinated the project.
Combining Subjects reduces Workload for Students
Mirjam enlisted the help of her colleagues for this project, and she explains why: “This project enables students to hand in one magazine containing all the required works for History, Dutch and Art. We grade the magazine for all three subjects. The reason we chose to do it this way is because it saves the students a lot of time. They’re already swamped by so many exams over the course of the year, and this magazine project removes a great deal of the workload. Plus, it’s a nice change from the way things are usually done.”
Creating a magazine is a large project with a lot of small moving parts. To a 13 or 14 year old, the scale of this project may seem daunting, but Mirjam knew how to handle it: “You explain to students that we’re going to do it step-by-step and over the course of a few weeks, so we have time. As long as you keep up with the schedule and update your own schedule accordingly, it will all sort itself out. The result is your own Golden Age Magazine.”
Create and Use a Step-by-step Guide Book
The students created the magazine over the course of 6 weeks. Mirjam created a step-by-step guide book containing all the information the students would need to complete their magazine. So not only are the students completing exercises pertaining to each subject, they are also learning how to plan accordingly.
The Guide Book contains:
History, Dutch, and Art exercises
Schedule with weekly tasks
Instructions on how to use Jilster
Mirjam also added a guide with step-by-step instructions on how to use Jilster. She tried the editor out herself first: “Doing this allowed me to write out clear instructions on what to do and what not to do for my students. I tried to get their creative juices flowing by showing them a few example pages I had made myself, and telling them to check out some magazines at home, in stores, and to bring magazines into class.”
The Project in Action
The magazine was graded on content for History, spelling and grammar for Dutch, and design and creativity for Art.
For Dutch class, the students had to read a book from a book list and write a book report. They also wrote a letter, consisting of at least 300 words, to the book publisher. Students were allowed to read the chosen book during the first ten minutes of every History and Dutch class leading up to the assignment deadline.
Dutch class magazine project assignments
Letter to publisher
For History they created a project that combined historical events with people in present day Netherlands. Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter was a Dutch admiral. He was one of the most skilled admirals in history, most famous for his role in the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th century. His descendant Frits de Ruyter, currently lives in The Hague, so the school simply got him to visit for a day. He gave the students a presentation about his forefather and his family history.
A few of the students were tasked with organizing this event themselves. A few other History assignments included seeing a historical movie, visiting a museum, writing a review about both, and adding a recipe for a dish from the Golden Age.
History class magazine project assignments
Organizing an event with a speaker that can give a presentation on historical events
Attending a presentation on a famous historical figure
See and review a historical movie
Visit and review a museum
Look up historical dishes and add a recipe
A magazine project wouldn’t be complete without creativity and design elements. The students got to work on the magazine cover during Art class. Another assignment for Art was to recreate a historical painting using themselves, classmates, family and/or friends.
Art class magazine project assignments
Create a magazine cover
Recreate a historical painting or photo
What are students saying?
When asked about the project, students Juliette and Liam excitedly tell us about their experiences. “We mostly use books at school, not computers. This magazine project has allowed us to use computers as well. It has taught us so much more than the books by themselves, like working with different computer files, for example.”
Juliette has especially enjoyed using the templates. “The templates are really helpful. Using these in your magazine gives you a good base to start with. Templates make it easy to create a recurring theme too. I also really liked that we were able to work on the magazine at home. Jilster was fun to work with, not like regular homework.”
Finding their way on a Computer instead of their Phones
Jilster allows you to experiment with different elements on a page. You can decide right away to keep what you’ve created or edit it. If you don’t like the way something looks you can easily try something different. Mirjam witnessed this happening first hand when her students started working on their magazines. “The search was on to find the right file types, images, and backgrounds to get the ‘look’ they wanted in their own magazines. At times it seemed like a text box would disappear under some layers. This was frustrating, but having to manage all the elements on a page was good practice for the students.
“They don’t have much experience working with computers. They’re more at home on their smartphones. They’re so used to things coming to them easily, that having to figure things out themselves is a good challenge.”
What’s next for the magazine project
Next year they’ll be making a magazine again. “After the students completed their assignments for the three subjects, they added them to their magazine. The complete package was downloaded as a PDF file. This PDF file is what they handed in. Or they handed in a printed version of their magazine. We weren’t able to order all the magazines in print. Next year however, we want to have the three best magazines printed.”
“We’ve noticed that having a competitive element in the project improves their performance. Plus, the printed magazines are a great promotional tool for open day events, when prospective students visit our school. Also, they serve as good examples for future students that are going to work on their own project. A printed magazine gives them a good idea of what to expect for their own magazine.”
“End of year projects would be great to see in magazine format as well. Especially for students that want to do their end of year projects on fashion.”
Some tips before you get started
“Education is a breeding ground for wonderful new ideas. We want to share these ideas as much as possible so that other teachers can be made aware of the magazine project.”
Take your time with this project. It will take longer than you think.
Arrange a meeting for your colleagues wherein you explain how Jilster works
Create a guide book for students, with a guide on how to use Jilster
When it’s time to grade the paper, you can do so using the custom link to the online version of the magazine
A magazine project can also be used for other subjects and topics
https://www.jilster.com/wp-content/uploads//2018/03/Blog-Post2-min.png756945Pamela Pieterszhttps://www.jilster.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/LogoWeb_zwart-tinified.pngPamela Pietersz2018-03-12 16:39:062018-03-12 16:40:38One Magazine Project to Rule All Class Assignments
Manon de Ridder (which literally translates to Manon ‘The Knight’) is a student that did a ‘Color and Style’ course. For her end project, she made a magazine showcasing the course and everything she’s learned.
Manon is full of ideas and can’t wait to get started on any of them. She has been busy completing her course and starting her own company, ‘Manon L’Eco’. She provides home visits to women who want personalized color and style advice. Women can enlist her services for professional recommendations on colors, clothes, and makeup, tailored specifically to them.
Manon travels the Eco-friendly way: “How do I travel to my customers? By electric bike. I’ll planning on doing that the first two years my business is running, and, depending on the growth of the business, I can upgrade to another mode of transportation.”
Manon also sells beauty products that are Eco-friendly. “The environment is extremely important to me. That’s why my company is called Manon L’Eco. The name is a play on the word ‘ecological’”.
She is planning on continuously adding content to her end project magazine, which she has called ‘A hint of color and style’.
“I’ve received so much positive feedback on the magazine and some people have even asked if it’s available for purchase! That why I’m planning on adding more of my own photos to the magazine, so that I can use it for my company as well.”
Get the look you want
Manon enjoyed using the editor to create her magazine: “Whether you use any of the pre-made templates or not, you have the freedom to make the magazine look exactly the way you want! Also, since the editor is online, you can use it anywhere. All you need is a computer with internet access. The editor is super easy to use too, which is why I’m recommending it to everyone.”
One last tip Manon would like to share: “When you’re ready to order your magazine, splurge and go for the magazine with a glossy cover. The format is absolutely beautiful.”
https://www.jilster.com/wp-content/uploads//2018/01/Jilster-COM-blog-posts1-min.jpg756945Pamela Pieterszhttps://www.jilster.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/LogoWeb_zwart-tinified.pngPamela Pietersz2018-02-19 16:22:032018-02-19 16:25:53A hint of STYLE: student end project magazine
Lisanne Bos (21) spent quite some time thinking about what to get her grandmother for her 75th birthday. She ended up getting the entire family involved to create a personalized magazine that turned out to be the perfect gift for her grandmother’s 75th birthday.
Sentimental gift idea for grandma
It all started in February of 2017 when Cora (51) and Irene (48) (Lisanne’s mother and aunt) came upon the idea to make a magazine for their mother’s 75th birthday. They started by reaching out to the entire family and setting up a date to meet up and discuss the birthday magazine.
Birthday gift for grandma from granddaughter
Lisanne: “It took all of 10 minutes to fill a whole page with ideas and topics for the magazine. We had a lot of fun thinking of anecdotes and repeatedly had to stop ourselves from laughing so much as we told each other stories. Once these ideas, topics and stories were in the magazine, thinking of things to fill the remaining pages was a bit harder. We ended up adding things like a coupon page, a horoscope and an article about art.”
Online magazine editor: A personalized birthday gift for grandma
The editor has plenty of pre-made templates to choose from, a fact Lisanne appreciated very much. “We used one style for the magazine, to keep it coherent.”
Lisanne’s tip: “Save the page you’re working on frequently. This prevents losing any changes made.”
Rave reviews for grandma’s birthday gift
Lisanne: “Everyone that’s seen the magazine thinks it absolutely beautiful. They say it looks professionally made, like a real magazine. And grandma? She read through the magazine with tears in her eyes. She must have read it 75 times by now.”
https://www.jilster.com/wp-content/uploads//2017/10/Wordpress-blog-post-featured-images-1.jpg533659Pamela Pieterszhttps://www.jilster.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/LogoWeb_zwart-tinified.pngPamela Pietersz2018-01-05 12:50:032018-01-05 16:48:50What kind of birthday gift do you get a grandmother who has everything?
Phillipe was faced with a problem. His friend’s 50th birthday was coming up and he had no idea what to get him. During his search he discovered Jilster and decided to make a magazine. This is the story of how that magazine came to be!
Finding a special gift
Phillipe’s friend was turning 50 soon. He knew he had to think of something big to give him. Something special. He turned to the internet for help. Searching online he came across Jilster and decided to create an account. ‘What a great idea’, he thought, ‘a personalised magazine, that’s what I’ll give him!’
So Phillipe got started on a magazine for his friend. He gathered stories from friends and family, added texts and photos from years ago, as well as more recent ones. He finished the magazine with some time to spare, so he decided to order it early, and it’s a good thing he did.
When in doubt, contact customer service!
The day arrived when the magazine was delivered to his home. He opened the package and was pleased with his work and the quality of the magazine. Very pleased indeed! However, his gift for his friend wasn’t quite ready yet… one of the pages had a tiny red smear. He contacted customer service to find out what could be done.
A birthday magazine with an imperfection simply cannot do. So we wasted no time reprinting and shipping the magazine for his friend, free of charge. The magazine arrived on time, and this time, it was perfect.
A magazine just for Morty
At the party Phillipe gave his friend his very own birthday magazine. The ‘MORTY’ birthday magazine. Everyone loved the magazine, and Morty? He may have shed a tear or two at the sight of it. ‘A whole magazine featuring me… imagine that’, he thought, happily. He was touched by the wonderful gesture from his friend. He couldn’t imagine a better gift for this milestone, his 50th birthday.
Phillipe let us know he recommends making a magazine for any birthday and told us he would be back soon. He was pleased with the customer service as well as the high quality of his magazine.
https://www.jilster.com/wp-content/uploads//2017/08/Wordpress-blog-post-featured-images26.jpg533659Pamela Pieterszhttps://www.jilster.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/LogoWeb_zwart-tinified.pngPamela Pietersz2017-09-11 01:00:372017-08-30 16:19:05What to get a friend for their 50th birthday
Our Intern Elseline made a magazine for her mother’s 50th birthday. Lucky for us, she is studying Graphic Design and has a few choice tips for us to use in our own magazines!
Elseline has been spending her free time working on her mother’s magazine. Her mother had no idea, which made it extra exciting! Elseline: “My mother was incredibly moved by the gift. She had no clue that she would be getting her own magazine. Some photographs made her laugh, but I could tell she was really touched as well.”
De magazine was filled with personal stories, photographs and quotes. Elseline even got her grandmother, grandfather, dad, brothers and aunt to contribute with a few anecdotes and photographs of her mother. Elseline: “I got to hear stories about my mom I didn’t even know about! I really enjoyed working on this project together with my family. It’s a really great way to show someone how much you care about them.”
Since she’s a graphic designer, Elseline has graciously decided to share some valuable tips with us. Tips we can use in our own magazines!
1. Font and font size
“I used a maximum of 3 to 4 fonts in my magazine. I also used a different font for page titles than I did for regular text. For regular text I used font size 10. This is a size that is legible in the printed magazine.”
“I chose a few colors that I used consistently throughout the magazine, in images and paragraph titles, to make the whole magazine cohesive.”
“I added some quotes to my magazine too. Quotes I knew my mother would enjoy. These quotes were spread throughout the magazine. Here too, I made sure to pay attention to the colors I was using. I found a lot of the quotes on pinterest. As a graphic designer, I sometimes get my inspiration from the internet.”
“The online editor enables you to create a spread too, just like the magazines sold in stores have! Next time you’re browsing a magazine, pay attention to the layout of the different pages. The content will often be spread across two pages. You can create your own spread in the editor with a nice family photo or a quote you like, as in the example above.”
5. Uploading video’s to your magazine
“Have you ever heard of a QR-code? By using this code you can add your own video to your magazine. In my magazine, I uploaded a video of me as a baby. My mom can use a special app to scan the code in the magazine, and it will send her to the video. So she can easily enjoy my first steps into the world all over again. You can create a QR-code by using a QR-website.
A QR-code allows you to turn the code into an image. This image (square) can be placed on a page in your magazine.”
https://www.jilster.com/wp-content/uploads//2017/08/Wordpress-blog-post-featured-images-8-min.jpg533659Pamela Pieterszhttps://www.jilster.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/LogoWeb_zwart-tinified.pngPamela Pietersz2017-09-04 15:02:262017-08-31 15:06:015 Tips from a graphic designer
What do you get your best friend on her wedding day? 40-Year-old Renate had a plan. She rustled up all of their friends and together they made a magazine featuring her best friend Melissa, who was getting married to the love of her life.
Friends for life
Renate moved in next to Melissa when she was only 3 years old. Now, 37 years later, they’re still good friends. Renate: “We’ve had our fair share of good times together. One of my favorites still has to be when we found out we were both pregnant with our first children at the same time! And last year we both got married, and so we both got to be each other’s bridesmaid. Truly a crowning year for our friendship!”.
Renate wanted to find a gift suited for Melissa. A gift worthy of their friendship. Renate: “Not just any gift. I was looking for something special you couldn’t just go and buy from a store. SOmething unique and personal.” Together with Melissa’s other friends she started work on a newspaper.
The benefits of a magazine
While they were working on the newspaper however, they ran into some problems. One of them was that they had too many text and photographs. Marieke, another one of Melissa’s friends, suggested they make a magazine. This format would enable them to fit all the text and photographs.
They shopped around for a magazine editing program, but quickly came to the decision to use Jilster. It was easier to use and cheaper than the alternatives. Renate: “We prefered Jilster because we could easily add our texts and images to the pages. We thought the editor looked cleaner too.”
Once they had discovered Jilster they dove into the project with gusto. According to Renate they may have been a bit too excited: “If we had taken a bit more time to get to know the editor, we probably would have done some things differently. I think we would have used the templates more, so the magazine would have looked a bit more put-together.”
Everyone contributed to the magazine. Melissa’s family members wrote stories and added photographs from her youth. Melissa’s friends then combined everything in the editor. Renate: “Because we let everyone contribute freely, it turned into a very diverse magazine, with no two pages alike.”
Her friends added some other pages too, like one filled with facebook comments, another with a crossword puzzle, and a horoscope page with predictions about Melissa and her husband’s marriage.
After the wedding, they gave the magazine to the newlyweds. Everyone was ecstatic. Renate: “Even handing over the magazine to Melissa was a great moment. Emotional too. It’s such a special thing to have all of our memories combined into a magazine and being able to leaf through them together while we enjoy some wine.”
Most birthday gifts for mothers consist of flowers or household appliances, but for true fashionista mothers celebrating a milestone, only a personalized magazine will do! Elles and her daughter did just that for her mother’s 80th birthday and you can too.
A true fashionista
“My mother was a true fashionista. Throughout the 60’s she worked as a seamstress at Fashion House Gerzon. This fashion house was famous for being a high profile female fashion store in The Hague.”
So famous in fact, that even film and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn modelled at Gerzon (pictured right), which isn’t surprising, considering her close ties to the Netherlands (Born in Belgium, Hepburn spent her childhood between Belgium, England and the Netherlands).
Elles’s mother’s passion for fashion wasn’t limited to the Netherlands: “During her pregnancy with me she attended various high profile fashion shows abroad too, and in 1962 she married my father in a church in Amsterdam, donned in a fabulous wedding dress. Sadly father passed away a few years ago, however, even though my mother and I have always been close, my father’s passing has brought us even closer.”
Mother and Daughter working together
“I wanted to give my mother something special on her birthday. I happened upon Jilster on the internet and the idea to make my own magazine spoke to me immediately. I asked my daughter to create an account right away so we could get started.”
“It was easy to get family members and friends involved too. The editor has a built-in feature to send invitations to work on the magazine via e-mail. Everyone got their own page so they could fill it with their own photos and text. Another useful feature was being able to ‘leaf through’ the magazine as we were working on it, so we could see each other’s pages and get inspired. My daughter and I added the finishing touches at the end by filling the empty pages with stories, photos, and advertisements we made ourselves.”
Praise for ‘Hanny’
“The reactions to the magazine were full of praise! My mother got emotional seeing all the personal stories and photos throughout the years.
“I am so incredibly thankful I was able to do this for my mother, and even more so because I was able to do it together with my daughter.”
“When I started on this magazine a couple of months ago, I had no idea I would come across so many powerful memories. For example, I discovered that my mother lived through the harsh Dutch famine of 1944-45 (“Hunger winter”) and the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Shocking events that have become world history today.”
https://www.jilster.com/wp-content/uploads//2017/07/Wordpress-blog-post-featured-images23-min.jpg533659Pamela Pieterszhttps://www.jilster.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/LogoWeb_zwart-tinified.pngPamela Pietersz2017-07-17 14:37:412017-07-17 14:43:00The best gift for mom's 80th: her own personalized magazine