“Talk that Talk”: The Language of Images and Film

Multimodal texts are all around us. Almost every one of our students engages in multimodal texts from the minute they wake up to the second they go to sleep, so it is important that we teach our students and familiarize ourselves with the semiotic systems which make up these new forms of texts.  Anstey and Bull stress the fact that our students see these semiotic systems in print texts, visual texts (commonly seen in pop-culture and include both still and moving images), and multimodal texts which “rely on the processing and interpretation of print information, with blends with visual, audio, spoken, non-verbal, and other forms of expression produced through a range of different technologies” (102).  Being that there are so many new forms and types of texts available to us, which do you find yourself using the most in your classroom?  Does the type of “text” you use change for different subjects you teach (math, science, history)?

Compare what you use most in school to what you use most in your everyday life. What kinds of texts do you engage in most in your daily life?  Do the kinds of texts you use in your everyday life match the kinds of texts you use in your classroom?  Do you think what is happening in your class has any relevance to the lives of your students?  If not, then you may want to rethink how you are using texts, and if they are reflecting your life more than your students’ lives.

A clip from the movie Clueless which refers to pop culture long before your students were born will definitely not be as meaningful or personally relevant for them as it would be for you. (On a related note, I recently found out that over half of my students had never seen the movie Sandlot. It was a sad day). This means we have to be “in the know” of modern-day versions of these films, and familiarize ourselves with the music of One Direction vs. *NSYNC, for example.

I don’t think One Direction can hold a candle to bands like *NSYNC or the Backstreet Boys, but that’s for another post.

But it’s more than about being “hip”, because students can sniff out right away when teachers are trying too hard. It’s about picking and choosing still and moving images that are both current and clearly relate to what students have been learning. It’s about teaching students how to talk about the images they are analyzing and find meaning from them, beyond the surface level. We have to teach them to “go deeper”. Check out this lesson plan which has kids “go deeper” into interpreting their favorite TV programs. Imagine your students filling out the Media Observation sheet after watching an episode of Pretty Little Liars, Sam and Cat, or Spongebob Squarepants!

What’s interesting is that the interpretation of texts is not just about the “reading” skills one has, but it is also constituted in the funds of knowledge the person brings to the table. The interpretation of the text involves “interaction with the text and not merely identifying the meaning of the text” (105).  In other words, whenever we or our students interpret an image, a film clip, a painting, etc., we are bringing our own personal experiences and our perspectives to our interpretations. One way we can have our students realize this fact is by viewing, talking about, and analyzing advertisements, determining how our interpretation is shaped by the author’s choices and whether the author’s perspective matches our own.

View the advertisement below and see how you interpret it with these questions in mind: What is the purpose of this text? Who is this text produced for? From whose perspective is the text constructed? Whose interests are being served by this text? Who is included or excluded from this text and why? Are there any stereotypes represented or challenged?

If you had trouble making meaning of that text, then perhaps you need to brush up on your semiotic systems.  Semiotic systems are “systems of signs that have shared meaning within a group, whether societal or cultural, that allow members to analyze and discuss how they make meaning” (107).  Our job as teachers can be to teach students the metalanguage to talk about and make sense of the construction of texts like still images.  For example, many codes make up still images: color, texture, line, shape, and form. These codes are combined through the conventions of balance, layout, and vectorality to make meaning.  Students need to be able to communicate how meaning in still images is conveyed by consuming the text and also how it can be conveyed by producing the images within the print text.

Thinking back to the amount of time you spend engaging in different types of texts, estimate the amount of time you spend teaching about still images (codes and conventions) and the amount of time your students spend engaging in them.  Do you see any discrepancy between the amount of time your students are learning about the codes and conventions and the amount of time they are engaging in it?  It’s not enough for students to simply analyze still images; they need to put those skills into practice by creating their own!

Try examining still images by using the picture below from a well known picture book.  Think about the things you need to know about the codes and conventions of still images by focusing just on color.  How do you crack this image using what you know about the codes of color? How does the code (color) relate individually and in combination, that is, through balance and layout?

Just as important as the semiotic system of still images is the semiotic system of moving images.  Because students these days are constantly exposed to TV, video, film, as well as consuming and producing their own videos, it is in our best interest to teach our students the codes and conventions of moving images. For example, we can explain to students the different types of shots, such as close-ups, medium, and long shots, and examine the effects of camera angles on portraying certain characters by watching and analyzing clips from popular movies.

Watch this clip from Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone in which both Harry and the audience meet Professor Severus Snape for the first time. As you watch the clip, pay attention to the use of medium and close-up shots. At what moment do we get a close-up shot of Snape? Why is that significant? What angle is the camera at? Are we looking up or down at Snape? Harry? Why do you think the camera angles for Harry and Snape differ? What effect do these shots and camera angles have on our understanding of Harry and Snape?

Asking your students these questions can help them see how the director wants us to think of Harry and Snape. Students can clearly see how shots and camera angles are chosen for certain effects–in this case, to characterize Snape as powerful and just a little bit scary.

Finally, examine the codes and conventions of film that are in the following music video.  (Warning: Video may not be safe for work, and we wouldn’t suggest showing it to your students. However, your students may be watching music videos of a similar nature, and even music videos can be analyzed for their point of view and messages about gender and sexuality, especially). Watch it one time without the sound and pay careful attention to other codes of moving images, such as point of view or camera position.  Watch it again with the sound on.  How do the codes in this music video reveal meaning?  How much does the sound (or the absence of sound) contribute to the overall meaning? Do you think the producers of this music video intended these messages?  Would this text be consumed differently by people who are similar to or different from you?

By focusing on the codes of still images and film, such as point of view, we can apply this same level of thinking when teaching our students to analyze narrative texts and nonfiction writing.  The relationship between the semiotic system of still and moving images and written language is that both have codes and conventions which have a profound effect on how the text is consumed and produced, and are both equally important to teach our students in this multimodal world!

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20 thoughts on ““Talk that Talk”: The Language of Images and Film

  1. Great last post with so much information to think about!

    Some of us might know a person who indeed does have that special relationship with tequila- intrigued to know their perspective of the video. I have seen Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off before but never paid attention to the crazy amount of torsos parading around. Bellies, boobies and bums! The guy to girl ratio was also terrible. So very creepy that his own grandmother took her clothes off and jumped in the pool. I remember sitting in my Psych 101 class and watching the scary movies with and without sound. Sound and images created a more intense emotion of fear than just the images alone. Actually, just watching the movies silently was almost comical. On page 115, Anstey and Bull describe a similar Theory Into Practice: Classroom Application. This is an activity that assists the teacher in examining moving images. This could be done on so many grade levels. The students and the teacher view short clips of film and then analyze them as a class from many perspectives- I will try this in my own classroom.

    In an age when our students are making meaning with so many forms of text, it is a concern that those who do not have access and exposure to this technology will quickly fall behind in their ability to communicate through various modes. Discussing the great speed and consumption of information surrounding the variety of texts available, Anstey and Bull write, “ This complexity has foregrounded the issue of access to the new forms of text. Some social and cultural groups find themselves excluded through lack of personal or financial resources.” (Anstey and Bull, p. 101) Until we can guarantee that each school has efficient computer labs and/or IPAD carts, we know certain students will be left out of some literacy practices. What does that mean when these students as they enter college and the workplace?

    Interesting to think about the ways kids are reading that are not left to right. I will watch them open games and there are words set up all over the screen but not always in an order. Play, cancel, save, directions, and controls are some of the words they identify and go to on the screen. Anstey and Bull describe the new and at times nonlinear ways we are now reading, “Multimodal texts are those that rely on the processing and interpretation of the print information, which blends with visual, audio, spoken, nonverbal, and other forms of expression produced through a range of different technologies. This blending produces hybrid texts that are frequently nonlinear (i.e., they no longer read from left to right or top to bottom) and often interactive and dynamic (e.g., through the inclusion of hyperlinks). “ (Anstey and Bull, p.102) I will take a closer look at non-linear reading this week in my own world.

    • That’s great that you are going to try what you are reading about inside your classroom. Do you think it should be focused on a specific grade level? Or do you think it is applicable to all grades? Let me know how it goes!!

  2. I love the way you incorporated so many examples of images and film due to it being this weeks topic. I love the reference to nysnyc compared to the boy bands of this generation. As educators we have to allow ourselves to connect to the images and films that are presented in our current society. Students need to feel as though we understand their culture. I love your example of the Dorritos commercial where you notice that they are mocking men who are working at the bottom because they feel as though they are of higher class and value then them. As well as how it is sexist because as the men are eating the chips a woman is hard at work finding the answer for something.
    I also enjoyed your example of the tequila song where without words the images don’t tell a story about a man who wants to undress woman. I love the way you incorporated the way that we grew up which was to look at still images and analyze the meaning, you even gave an example of pictures from picture books. We can not expect students to analyze still images when we live in a world surrounded by technology. Students need to feel connected and we can do this in the way that you mentioned, such as having students work with cameras and film. In reading your post it reminded me of our trip to the Jabcob Burns center where students receive hands on experience with multiple forms of technology.
    In thinking about the semiotic system of moving images and still images I agree with you in the way that we can not expect students to do things the way we learned them. Technology allows them to experience and practice different angles to their images and films etc. Just like you mentioned even though this all revolves around visuals and images we can connect all of these skills to their writing and allow them to express themselves through multiple outlets.

    • I also enjoyed all of the videos and images to give ourselves a sense of “multimodal” texts embedded within!
      I totally agree – students do need to feel like we understand their culture. Currently, I feel like I can connect with my students very closely because a lot of the technology they use or shows they watch are similar to the ones I also use. I want to be able to keep up with this in the future to hold that connection with my students and not have a “gap” between us. Not only that, but it makes for a more engaging and interesting lesson for the students when this is incorporated.
      I have already began to incorporate having students work with film and cameras, and since our trip to Jacob Burns it has especially opened my eyes to including this in the classroom.

  3. Great post ladies!!
    All the videos and pictures were such great resources for this week’s blog. After doing the readings for this week it has made me aware of how important it is that we teachers connect lessons and our teaching points to popular films and media in our society today. This not only engages students but it also makes them feel “smart” because they can relate to what is being taught and understand the topics. Students are even more tech savvy than their teachers!! Students are also learning about what is going on around them. The Tostitos commercial was an AMAZING connection! It was very sexist and offensive. The women working very hard and the business men thinking they are worth so much more than the workers outside. The tequila song was very interesting as well. I agree that songs need lyrics to be understood and us teachers need to provide our students with pictures along with technology in order for it to be analyzed. The last time I analyzed a picture with no words or technology was in a Museum in Italy LOL. Today all students need to be engaged while analyzing text and pictures. There are so many resources today and teachers need to utilize them all!! Just like at the Jacob Burns center, we used technology to complete activities in groups.
    I totally agree with you girls that we cannot expect our students today to learn the way we did. Times have changed so much and there are so many greater resources for them to incorporate into their daily learning. The semiotic system of moving images allows students to change the focus and move the angles to a different focus.
    All of these skills and technology that students incorporate into their learning can definitely be connected to their writing. Students are being given the choice of how they want to express themselves. All students are different, and they learn different. That is why I feel that all students should be able to share what they know in different ways.

    • I love the idea that you wrote about the students being empowered by the teachers integration of popular culture! The simple additions that a teacher could put into their lessons by ensuring that they are aware of what is popular in their students culture shows them that the teacher validates their home life, wants to work with them, and that the lessons that they are learning in the classroom are applicable in everyday life!

  4. These examples really help to illustrate that kids need to develop a wide range of skills to be successful. I agree that we need to remember that today’s students might not learn best in the way that we learned. We have so many more resources as teachers and it is our responsibility to bring them into the classroom and use them with our students. I use a range of texts in my classroom.

    I am an English teacher, so we are most focused on print, but I also incorporate art and music. I think this is important because we interact with all types of texts on a daily basis. I want to make sure that my students develop skills with print, but also with visuals because today’s society is so concentrated with visuals.

    It isn’t enough to just expose them to visuals, audio, print, film, etc. We need to show them how to analyze these texts effectively. I also think that using a variety of texts allows more students to be successful because students can excel and share their different strengths with one another.

    • I agree that using different texts allows more students to be successful. Different students have different strengths and therefore using different texts will allow for greater possibilities of more students feeling successful in school. I also love to incorporate music and art in my teaching. Once again I think it’s because of my age group (2nd grade). I try all different ways to engage them as learners.

    • I agree with you in the aspect that regardless of the grade or subject we are teaching, we need to incorporate text and visuals. This allows our students to feel connected to all that is around them and connect to their everyday lives. I also agree with you in the idea of using a variety of texts allows students on different levels to help guide one another through a complex text or subject.

  5. Great Post! Your videos helped me to realize how important it is to continue to use short clips in the classroom. Mostly I realize that I use print text more than anything. I think it is because of the age group and the necessity of teaching comprehension skills and strategies. However, this week’s reading has made me rethink some of the ways that I can help my students become literate beyond the print text. We can begin to examine more short videos that pertain to what they are learning and not just concentrate on reading comprehension but on developing their semiotic skills of interpreting visual and audio text. We went on a field trip today to the aquarium to culminate their learning of tide pool and other aquatic animals. I am happy to see that it was a multimodal text type of trip, as it involved visual, audio, spoken, nonverbal, and other forms of expression produced through a range of different technologies. My students were reading in a nonlinear manner when reading the information about the different animals. They watched an IMAX move about the coral reef and its inhabitants.
    In my classroom I use my smartboard everyday in different ways for different subjects. I use it as a print text and also to show the math problems and social studies videos. I use it for attendance, writing and science. I add audio for reading, social studies and science. On the other hand my students use the computers in my classroom daily. They go on to play educational games, search for information that pertains to what we are learning in science or social studies, and they go on to type up their own writing. I hope that what I am teaching is relevant for my students for their learning. I agree with the funds of knowledge being an important part of learning.
    For myself I think that I use many different types of text through out the day. The advertisement was great for showing perspective and stereotyping. The close up of Snape happened when he felt he had adequately put Harry Potter in his place! We were always looking up at him throughout the clip as he walked into the classroom. The camera angle for Harry was always looking down or straight at him. This was a great way to show authority. I am not too sure about the music clip. It kinda through me for a loop when the grandma showed up and started drinking and then took off HER clothes. Not sure what the message was.

  6. Great last post! You connect the readings to all of our own real world exposure to different texts in our classrooms very nicely and effectively! In my Pre-K classroom, we primarily use visual texts because at this age, my students are unable to read. During our quiet reading time, we do put K and 1-grade texts out so that students can start to begin recognizing their words with the help of picture clues.

    Ironically, I use mostly digital texts in my personal life. With the amount of time our generation spends on iPhones and iPads, our whole world has become digitalized! Acquiring texts and information online is easy and affordable. In my Pre-K class, I do not use digital texts (mainly because of our lack of technology in the classroom), but I think digital texts would be so wonderful my group of students. I also like to think about how I would include more digital and audio texts in my classroom if I taught in the higher elementary school grades.

    What wonderful questions you posed about the different videos and pictures included in your post this week. It really had me thinking about how I use different modes in my classroom! The conventions of film that you touch upon from the readings and from the clips you included, really inspired me to think deeper when viewing stills and films.

  7. Great post ladies! The videos were a great touch and they really added a lot to visually express what you were trying to share!

    The main focus, as you said, is how the different texts and medias are being used in the classroom. I think that at this point many teachers are really seeing a shift in how they need to be implementing different texts in the classroom. The initial perspective was to just drop in a picture from a show or cartoon to get the students attention mid-power point, or to try and engage them by setting up the information on a twitter feed. Really, what should be happening, is that the media should be used to do the teaching, not just grab the attention. Like you mentioned, using images from their favorite shows to analyze the text for details is a great way, or even having the students set up twitter or facebook accounts instead of compiling a biography, and conversing with the others in the class about relevant historical information. This shift of applying and using the texts and not just showing them for fun is starting to change, however in order for it to really help the students learning, more teachers need to some to this understanding.

    When it comes to using texts in the classroom, i’ll be honest and say that I only use ebooks, a new twitter account, and these old Mr. Rogers videos (http://pbskids.org/rogers/videos/index.html) as a way to interact with different texts with my kindergarten class. I am looking for more ideas and I am open to suggestions if anyone else knows of something I could use!
    At this age, there is such a range of different forms of media and shows that parents allow their children to interact with and I think that might add to the struggle. If a parent intentionally is not sharing the media with their child, should I be sharing it with them in the classroom?

    In terms of the Harry Potter scene, I have to say, I love it! It happens to be one of my favorite scenes from all 8 movies and I think its incredible how it really gives us so many different views and perspectives when just meeting one character. The viewer is really given a lot of perspectives and influence simply by the angles with which the director chooses to shoot! Snape is clearly presented as a strong, fierce, and condescending character and the camera even looks down at Harry during most of the scene. Great choice in clip!

    • Valerie,

      Do you use actual books in your classroom in addition to ebooks or just ebooks? I have a feeling that many homes are more and more like this-where most literature is on an Ipad or computers. I am not a big reader but if I do buy a book it is usually on my phone or Ipad-I rarely interact with physical print text outside my preschool classrooms. I noticed in many of the blogs that many of us still tend to use books as our main source of text. I have a feeling this is due to habit and comfort. Thanks for sharing your own uses in your classroom!

  8. Great post ladies!

    Multimodal texts are something that are beginning to take over life as we know it. It was interesting, this week in the boy’s computer class we spoke about multimodal texts and how prevalent they are in our lives compared to the past. Our students do engage in them all day long, and as teachers we will need to adapt to this fact. I find myself using a whole variety of texts in my own classroom. We use print-based as well as technology and we interact with the texts in all different ways. It’s usually a mix of options and for me, it does change throughout the subjects. For example in Social Studies I will often use the textbook and incorporate worksheets and videos. For math, I normally always create interactive Smart Board lessons because I have found that works best with my math students to engage them, and mix in worksheets and discussions.

    This is a Prezi presentation that the computer teacher showed the boys, which was intended for the parents to help them work with the boys in the increasing digitized world. I would strongly suggest taking a look at it, it has a lot of interesting information about many of the subjects we are examining in this class – including the texts the boys are using, how often kids now use technology, etc.:

    Looking at my life… I engage in a wide variety of texts. From my classroom lessons to emailing to texting to talking on the phone, taking notes in grad school, etc. I think I cover the whole range! Some of the texts I use do match the classroom whereas some do not. I often try to relate what happens in class to the students everyday lives in order to engage them and help them to make connections to what we are learning. I like to have my students interact and dissect what we are looking at. I am open to their personal responses and ideas that they bring fourth as they include their own person memories and experiences.

    I love the example you chose examining images from a book we all know well. It’s interesting looking back at these pictures and dissecting the parts of it given what we have learned in this class. There are such deeper meanings behind the color scheme, codes, layers, moods, balance, etc. than simply just a picture on a page.

    Currently, we just began a “Historical Reading Project” in our reading classes. Here, students are exploring the American Revolution and have a wide variety of options to choose from of multi-modal projects, both individual and collaborative, to show what they have learned. This is an independent project they are completing outside of the classroom. They must first read a book and complete a book report on it. After that, they move into their Indepdent Project in which they have a choice of making a book shield, making a gameboard, researching historical figures, making a puzzle piece timeline, making vocabulary soldier cards and crossword puzzles. After they complete that, as a partnership they have the option to: write a song and make a music video to go along with it, making a “news report” using imovie and green screens, making a prezi presentation, creating a newspaper on pages, or building their own project. Lastly, they read another book and fill our journal entries as if they were the characters from the book. This touches on ALL types of multi-modal texts, images, videos, building, etc. and allows students to choose what method works best for them and allows them to present their information in a fun and interesting way. They have all been extremely excited to begin the project!

    I love how you ladies mentioned many aspects of the project I mentioned above as ways to engage our students in lessons. I’m excited to “live” this project and share the results with our class as we complete it! ☺

  9. Thanks for the great video examples! I felt like your examples really helped solidify my understanding of how to incorporate the study of semiotic systems. When watching the Harry Potter clip after reading your questions I watched it through a whole new lens. Semiotic systems are “systems of signs with shared meaning within a group whether social or cultural that allows members to analyse and discuss to make meaning” (Antsey & Bull, 2006 :107). Through exposure to numerous modes of literacy children are bringing with them existing knowledge. As children go through school their school environment and home (out of school) environment effect the way students construct meaning to texts. Multimodal texts have created higher efficiency and speed but added more complexity. (Antsey & Bull, 2006). Part of the complication is the access to new resources or texts. This no doubt will effect children’s interpretations of multimodal texts. How can we take this complexity into account in our classrooms?

    I think when early childhood classrooms practice a project approach they typically utilize multiple semiotic systems. Children listen and look at books about a particular topic, draw and/or, build, sing, etc. through their project experience. I included a youtube video of a classroom following a long term project where multiple modes of literacy are used.

  10. This post provoked so much thinking! As teachers, we do focus on still images, whether it be print or picture based. This is not the focus of our image interactions in the real word. Students are watching movies, YouTube clips, videos, computer animations, and other technological means that are not always still. Why don’t we analyze these moving images within our classrooms?

    There is so much to say about choices that are made within the creation of digital media. Just as colors and shapes are used in still images to portray certain ideas, the number of people, clothing, objects, setting, sound, music, camera angle, distance from the focus, and many other elements have to be considered when creating a digital story. We need to figure out a way to both analyze and teach these strategies and choices within our classroom. Children are storytellers, but as of now, in a typical classroom, they share these stories through print and still illustrations. They make choices such as descriptive vocabulary words, color, setting, and other elements, but not all of the elements that may be considered when telling a story. A story is an adventure, so why does it usually stand still? Students should know how to bring a story to life and the decision making skills that are part of this process!

    I also loved the lesson plan you included on how to incorporate media into school by having students analyze certain aspects of their television shows. Many children go home and watch TV, even if just for a small moment of time after school. This television should be used as a tool to help create critical thinkers that dive deep into all stories they are presented with. Character studies from texts can be turned into a character study on Elsa or Anna from Frozen! This also includes the element of interest for the students and will motivate them to work, learn, and think critically!

  11. Great post ladies!
    When you said “Multimodal texts are all around us”, the first thing that popped to my head was a commercial for tablet where 4 women are gathered under a beach cabana in their book club. They were all on their tablets to read the text, which is a great way to incorporate reading into today’s technology, however only one of the women had the tablet where she was able to highlight the text the group did not understand and look it up on YouTube. None of the other tablets had this feature. The point is multimodal texts exist all around us and they are transforming how we learn and read, both for educational purposes and pleasure. How fascinating is it that while we are reading on a tablet whether under our beach cabana or in our classrooms that we can highlight a text and look it up in a different mode aka on YouTube. Technology is accessible to all types of learners.

    I love the idea of giving students the chance to interpret their favorite shows or videos or even songs. There are many ways in which students can analyze shows, videos, and/or songs, such as looking at the characters and analyzing what they say about our culture, or analyzing what the director or other people (sound person, director, casting director, song writer, etc)
    who went into making the show bit, video, or song are saying about our culture. Students can also analyze paintings or still images like you wrote in your post (low tech) and contribute their own personal perspectives into the interpretations.

  12. Great post, ladies! I especially like how you had us, as readers, reflect on the types of texts that we use in our every day lives. I read books, for both pleasure and school, as well as magazines, online articles, etc. It is incredibly important, as you said, that our students are exposed to “every day” reading materials in the classroom. Not only does providing students with every day reading materials make them versatile readers but also using these types of reading materials peaks students’ interests. If we, as teachers, choose our every day reading materials carefully, it’s important that we do the same for our students in hopes that they’ll love every day reading and do so when they’re in settings other than school.

    I also love that you discussed having students analyze still images, as well as creating their own. It’s important that students are able to “read” pictures. As a teacher of kindergarteners, I’ve been working with my students on how to use the pictures to tell a story as well as using pictures to help figure out what the text is saying. Students need to know that images are powerful and that they can be used in many ways.

  13. This was such a great post and I really enjoyed reading everyone else’s ideas. I thought about the questions you both posed and realized that I do not engage in multimodal texts with my students too often. Being a substitute doesn’t make this so feasible for me. However, I think incorporating some of your ideas into my own classroom would be great! I also liked the lesson plan that you embedded into your blog. I liked the idea of having my students watch tv shows and then write about it. They could write about the characters in the show, the setting, the plot, the conflict and the resolution. Sometimes, this is what children need. We need to think outside the box and have children enjoy learning.
    The use of commercials, still images, and film clips can also be also be beneficial and engaging to young children. During my student teaching experience, my supervisor pointed out the importance of making learning fun and educational. She also mentioned the importance of getting children to think critically (not making answers to questions so obvious). I thought about this and felt that this is can also be done with still images. Teachers could use pictures from a book to talk about pivotal moments in a story. Teachers can have children analyze these pictures and then have them make predictions/ infer what might happen next in the story. So much can be done with this! But, as teachers we have to think about what works for our students.

  14. I really appreciate how you guys and many other classmates mentioned how important it is that we understand the new and different ways our students learn. We are teaching digital natives and as Anstey & Bull articulated on p. 101, “The greater variety of texts that are available has created greater speed and efficiency in the consumption and production of information”. While our students are easily engaged by multi-modal stimulation in the classroom, it is still our job to keep in mind that children need to be taught how to use their efficient and high speed consumption in the most productive way for our society.

    In a way, your post shows us an example of how to do that with our students. I love that you included some examples of moving images that we can connect with on a more personal level as young women. I would expect to the same for my students. The music video and commercial remind us that we can always be decoding our media in order to constantly be aware of unequal and misrepresented images of different sociocultural demographics. By doing this with our students – obviously with some more student appropriate content- we are teaching them the skills to decode the digital world around them the same way children were taught how to understand and think about literature or just print text by itself many years ago.

    The uneven distribution of funding for technology in schools presents an incredibly challenging and in my opinion heartbreaking reality for students in less funded schools who are becoming illiterate in more ways than ever before. Without access to technology in every classroom, students are missing out on the myriad ways learning and creating becomes interactive and fun, as it is in schools with more money. Many students who come into underfunded schools are already struggling academically for many sociocultural reasons, without the opportunities to learn basic skills in communicating digitally, how will they ever better themselves or even simply get a job after high school?

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