A website we used earlier this year by the Federal Trade Commission called Admongo is an online resource for “tweens.”
“Media literacy” is one of our means for approaching projects in our G21 framework. Many have identified both media and visual literacies essential to an education that prepares students for the world in which we live. I came across a fun activity to explore issues relating to media and visual literacies with your students.
The basic premise is… “Am I being manipulated?” Mass media sources today are seemingly obsessed with manipulating just about everything we see on TV and in magazines. They can superimpose flags on the swimming lanes during the olympics. They can airbrush away blemishes on model’s faces. In movies, they can totally transform a natural environment and brush-in some mountains. The hard sell for students is: you can’t believe anymore what you see with your own two eyes.
In comes tilt-shift photography. This style treatment and transform your typical digital photograph to something extraordinary. A slim area of focus, and wide area of blur creates an optical illusion. You think you’re looking not as something “real,” but something put together in miniature.
Mrs. Cantor shared with me a cool website that will transform your digital photos into tilt-shifted masterworks. Using this website, you or your students can transform photographs to see if they can see if the new photo manipulates their senses. It will give them a real, hands-on experience of exploring what media manipulation can do (both good or bad) to our perceptions.
I began watching a TED Talk today by Philip Rosedale, the founder of the SecondLife environment. Last school year, Goochland High School students participated in a project with Mrs. Berry on the teen grid.
This presentation, about half-way through, got real interesting. Rosedale makes the point that language alone is messy, that add an image (his example: a chair), and no translation is required. It’s a universal symbol. We know what a chair is (at least for most cultures). It spoke to me about the importance of emphasizing that instructional materials include images, 3D models, and icons. It makes sense if you believe him when he says the “impact” of the images (with or without text) is more memorable. I’m embedding the TEDTalk below, for your perusal.
Thanks to Kim Bachmann for the link to this online presentation.