ting arranged to replicate a print shop as closely as possible. Computers in the computer lab, copy machine, and bind- ing machine are in close proximity to each other, and long tables are available nearby.
familiarize themselves with its capabili- ties and so the learners will begin to feel comfortable using the program. Learn- ers are encouraged to create various items using “The Print Shop” to get the feel of it. Learners can choose to add decorative touches to the calendar pages if they wish. We used pumpkins from clip art to add to the October page, for instance. Hopefully each learner will then be able to create at least one month’s calendar page. If any learner doesn’t feel capable after work- ing with the program, another learner can be assigned to assist on that page.
The calendar pages need to be proof- read for accuracy by the learners and also by the practitioner before the printed copies are made.
After the calendar pages have been completed, two learners can work together to design the cover. The learners’ names are included on the back cover of the calendar as the pro- ducers or publishers of the calendar.
Learners figure out how to organize an assembly line to copy, sort, and bind the calendars. Learners usually want to switch off jobs so everyone gets a chance at each station of the assembly line. How the assembly line is orga- nized depends on the arrangement of the room and the location of the machines in relation to the place where the pages are sorted and arranged. It is helpful to have long tables to use to temporarily store and then sort and organize pages and covers.
Learners can use the copy machine to make as many copies of all the designed pages plus the cover as there will be cal- endars produced. We used regular copy paper for the pages and colored card stock for the covers.
Using the long tables, the pages are sorted and assembled to be bound as separate calendars.
Our binding machine is called a “Docubind” machine. The binding of the pages involves three people work- ing together: one person to stack the pages for one calendar in the machine, the second person to pull the cutting handle, and a third person to put on the plastic “comb" to finish the job. Binding the pages is the last step in the assembly line.
Individual learners work on assigned tasks until the job is completed. The participants personally deliver the cal- endars to their intended recipients.
Assessment Completion of the birthday calendars fulfills the objective of gaining work experience using technology and work- ing together. The quality and usefulness of the finished product is judged by the acceptance and recognition the birthday calendars receive from the organization for which the calendars are produced.
Practitioner Reflection The learners had little actual work experi- ence and very little experience taking the responsibility for seeing that a job is done and done well. This activity gave learners the opportunity to gain more confidence using the computer and other office machines and to work together as a team and produce quality work. In addition, learners were able to make some contacts in the community as we approached vari- ous organizations about making Birthday Calendars for them.
The activity was very worthwhile and enjoyable. The participants learned many valuable skills that will carry over to the work environment: using various office machines, meeting a deadline, working together, performing accurate work, deci- sion making. We have repeated this activity several times. With each new cal- endar, the learners become more efficient and creative.