DIGITAL MEDIA LITERACY IN THE CLASSROOM

MULTIMEDIA DIGITAL LITERACY

By Michael Jacobson-Hardy

 

USING DIGITAL MULTIMEDIA LITERACY TO EMPOWER STUDENTS TO BECOME PROFICIENT LEARNERS

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Teaching digital media in the classroom can be a powerful way to engage and educate young people, particularly those who have experienced only traditional teaching methods.

Digital media is today’s primary media. Teachers need to understand how to reach students and having an understanding of this powerful tool can help. This book will offer teachers a way to engage and build positive relationships with young people through the teaching of digital media including photography, video production, website design, and more.

But more than learning digital media, this book is about you, and the joy you will find following the interests of young people. You will never know where this relationship that you build with your students will take them, and this fascinating use of digital media will carry you and your students to places unknown.  We simply cannot predict the future of this technological advancement. I will share with you what I have learned about this creative art form and it’s use and application in the classroom. 

Today’s workplaces require that people work together in groups in order to come up with creative solutions to a variety of problems.  They need minds fully alive and engaged. Your enjoyment of your students will lead them to believe that they are worthwhile, that they are significant. I want to know who my students are and what they think. I am not trying to teach them something that they do not already know. I am simply offering them the tools to express themselves, something about who they are, and what they want to say to the world. I am trying to nurture something that is not readily accessible. Many students do not think of themselves as worthy of being listened to. They struggle to be seen and heard. Some don’t think they matter at all. These tools that I offer can be used to reach young people and this is where you, the teacher, can play a vital role.

Eric Santiago was a student of mine who struggled in school. He was often found roaming the halls. Teachers did not like him very much because he refused to learn. Eric was in my photo/video classroom for the semester. I like Eric. I like all struggling learners and he was one of them. I gave him the assignment to make a CD cover of his own choosing. He went online and found pictures of basketball players. Basketball was his true love. He was often found playing on the small court outside our school. So it was basketball and my relationship with him that helped him learn.

He methodically copied and pasted images into a slideshow and seemed pleased with his work. Ours is a visual world, and he liked digital images. He sat for a longtime and worked on making a collage of players with text that he wrote about each one. One day I was out sick and the substitute teacher commented that he was surprised that Eric got all of his work done so fast. He was the first to share his project with me online. I wondered how it happened that such a disengaged young man could create such interesting work, and even be the first in his class to email his assignment to me. The substitute teacher commented that mine was a very good class, that most did their work. “Even Eric did his work,” he said.

Eric often got frustrated with his work, but he kept trying anyway. Photo editing programs can be challenging to many, but he wanted to learn. One day I sat with him in class while he tried and tried to make a good photomontage. But we both got frustrated with the process. The computer program simply was not working properly. Rather than erasing the borders of his image the way we wanted, it painted white all over his work. I couldn’t solve the problem, but I tried hard to figure it out with him. But this proved to be a good experience for both of us. He said to me “It’s ok if you take a break mister” as I worked feverishly to solve the problem. “It’s alright,” he said. He watched me struggling on his behalf and wanted me to know I didn’t have to solve the problem. I could stop. It was enough that I tried hard to make things work for him. A student needs to know how much you care. I was trying hard to help him but failed to solve the problem with the software. But we became good friends in the process. He learned also that he was not the only one who makes mistakes and fails.

I wanted to keep him engaged in school so one day I asked him to pick a movie about basketball for the class to watch. He chose Hoop Dreams. I put him in charge of the computer and projector. I was struggling to full screen the movie on the projector but couldn’t figure it out. He jumped up and showed me how to do it.  It turned out he could manipulate the software and solve the problem. We all enjoyed the movie. My students talked with each other about poverty and racism. It was one of the best classes I ever had. He became central and continued to suggest other films for us to watch. I altered my curriculum around his needs. I showed another film he liked called “Love and Basketball.” He warned me about scenes that might not be appropriate for school, and he even fast-forwarded them. He delighted me with his caring and thoughtful approach to being helpful in the classroom. He went from a struggling learner to a helpful student.

I sometimes think about my own struggles around learning and even identify with some of my students. I think this is good. It keeps me focused on alternative ways to teach and learn. Not all students are motivated to learn in traditional ways in school, but digital multimedia can become a very challenging and thoughtful way to learn. Much is done by intuition and hard work but these are the very skills that we all need in order to succeed in life.

 

The Vital Role of the Arts and Technology in Schools

According to research by neuroscientist Marian Diamond at UC Berkeley, the human brain can change structurally and functionally as a result of learning and experiencing in the arts. “The creative power of the brain is released when human beings are in environments that are positive, nurturing, and stimulating and that encourage action and interaction.” According to Franlkin, Fernandez, Mosby, and Fernando, “participation in the arts positively influences brain performance. For example, music, painting, dance, and drama have been cited as essential to academic and emotional development. They help reduce stress, improve learning outcomes, enhance intrinsic motivation, regulate brain chemistry, augment body memory, and literally rewire neural pathways.”

Brooke wrote “Research on the visual arts indicates that the human brain has a visual cortex that is five times larger than the auditory cortex. Students respond positively when they have the opportunity to learn through the visual arts. Teachers noticed that the motivation to read expanded when the children drew characters and subjects from their books. Drawing upon the content of science, geography, and social studies lessons resulted in noticeable differences in speed of learning and retention. Districts have reported as much as 20% increases in reading, writing, and math scores as a result of these visual arts experiences.”

In the New York Times Bestseller The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, Norman Doidge, M.D. argues that the brain can actually rewire itself, finding new neural pathways to improve learning as well as other brain functions.

A study done by Trinetia Respress and Ghazwan Lutfi of two groups of mostly African American students in an arts-integrated program concluded that: “African American students increased by one grade level in math and spelling as measured by the WRAT III. 73% of the participants increased their spelling grade level by one grade. African American students in the participant group improved their self-esteem over the comparison group as measured by Rosenberg Self-Esteem (RSE). 37% of the participants improved their total self-esteem scores. However only 7% of the comparison group showed improvement. African American students of the participant group improved their attitudes towards school by 10%.”4

Rebecca Hotvedt who wrote an article in “Educational Leadership” about using art to engage poor students said, “These were not just ‘tough’ kids; their behavior stemmed from the cycle of poverty. They had created defense mechanisms to survive in what were often chaotic home situations. To make any improvements in their lives, they needed knowledge and a sense of direction. Above all, they needed someone who believed in them. I saw my role as a teacher change. I couldn’t just teach them; I first needed to inspire them to learn. Integrating the arts into their learning provided the inspiration that they needed.”5

UCLA Professor of Education James S. Catterall in his book Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art: A 12-Year Longitudinal Study found significant advantages for arts-engaged low socioeconomic status students and ELL students says, “If learning through doing art spills over to valued human capacities, this probably takes place in part through social interactions and metacognitive processes sparked by the arts experience. Transfer also occurs through redirecting neural pathways through intense experience. That such events are more likely for highly arts engaged students than for arts-poor students seems reasonable.” (page 145)

Mr. Catterall concludes with the following:

“Our work leads us to believe that individual artistic engagement can spark long-term positive developments for students, and that cohesive arts-rich cultures in schools also produce outcomes we have called doing well, and doing good by doing art.”

See:

http://www.aep-arts.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Creativity_Commentary_02-03-10.pdf

 

“Meta-narrative understanding is a tool that orders facts or events into general ideas and allows us to form emotional associations with them. That is, we don’t just organize facts into theories, we shape even our theories into more general meta-narratives that further shape our emotional commitments. … If we think of our task as not just teaching knowledge and skills, but as also engaging our students with the general ideas that underlie the knowledge and skills they are learning, we will be able to make our teaching more engaging to their imaginations, more meaningful to them, and more interesting for ourselves as well.” (Pg. 12, An Imaginative Approach to Teaching, Kieran Egan)

“Too frequently teachers in the higher grades and at college level focus on the curriculum exclusively and do not see the students’ developing cognitive tools in the curriculum material. Consequently, they do not recognize how their subject can generate intellectual excitement to students.” (Pg. 167, An Imaginative Approach to Teaching, Kieran Egan)

Between 1950 and 1980 art education was considered to be what some might refer to as fluff. During this period art was considered to be just “art for art’s sake.” Art was not thought of to be used to enhance self-esteem or improve reading skills. In fact, little or no research was done to determine the impact of the arts on education.

But in recent years more and more studies have concluded that the arts reach students that are not being reached. They provide a reason for being engaged in school. Students who have not had success in other areas often excel in the arts, and success in the arts leads to success in other areas of learning.

Rabkin and Redmond in 2004 reported that “Arts-integrated programs are associated with academic gains across the curriculum as reflected in standardized text scores, and they appear to have more powerful effects on the achievement of struggling students than more conventional arts education programs do.” 2

Catterall & Waldorf in 1999 reported that “Standardized test scores of students in 23 arts-integrated schools in Chicago, Illinois, most serving low-income students, rose as much as two times faster than the scores of youth in more traditional schools.”

And, according to their study, many of these students went from being withdrawn or disruptive to becoming active and productive class members.

 

1. Exploring the role of digital photography to enhance student inquiry in a local ecosystem, Ann Rivet and Rebecca Schneider. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching 23.1 (Spring 2004): p47(19). 

 

2. The Arts Make a Difference,

Nick Rabkin and Robin Redmond, Educational Leadership/February 2006

Journal Citation: v63 n5 p60-64 Feb. 2006

 

3. The Effects of an Enriched Elementary Arts Education Program on Teacher Development, Artist Practices, and Student Achievement: Baseline Student Achievement and Teacher Data from Six Canadian Sites, Dr. Rena Upitis, Dr. Katharine Smithrim, Ann Patteson, Margaret Meban, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, The International Journal of Education and the Arts, Volume 2  Number 8   November 12, 2001

 

4. Whole Brain Learning: The Fine Arts with Students at Risk,

Respress, Trinetia; Lutfi, Ghazwan

Journal: Reclaiming Children and Youth: The Journal of Strength-based Interventions

Journal Citation:v15 n1 p24-31 Spring 2006

 

5. Rebecca Hotvedt, In the Arts Spotlight, Educational Leadership, October 2001

 

 

 

Examples of Reaching Non-traditional Students with Technology

 

A Student Takes Apart a Computer in order to learn how it works at the Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School

 

Students in an active video classroom will want to experiment with sound recording. Sound art or “Sonic Art” can best be described as the recording, sampling, or otherwise importing of recorded sound into a program like GarageBand and then manipulating the sound to satisfy the needs of the sound artist. Rap artists do this all the time with their “beats” or background sound tracks.

It is fun to experiment with designing your own music. With the invention of synthesized sounds and music, students can create their own music and soundtracks for their films. You may want to have students learn to create their own music and sound files.

 

Description: CurtisKennyIMG_2999

Students Make a Music Video at Northampton High School

 

CJ came into my room one day and stared at the above picture. “Who are those people,” he asked. I explained that they were two students of mine who were in danger of dropping out of high school. Rap music helped them to stay in school and complete their high school education. Both graduated and even were asked by the principal to sing at the graduation ceremony. One even became a recording engineer. CJ asked if he might try and record a rap and I assembled the equipment necessary to do so. He went online and found several background instrumentals that he could rap to, and wrote lyrics in his notebook. The next day two more students joined him, intrigued by the possibility of recording their own music. The following day another student joined CJ. I got to watch the group dynamic, especially intrigued with the process of forming a working partnership. These boys were not very good students. In fact two of them had been suspended from school for several months. Our principal arranged for them to be tutored at home and asked me to even build two computers for them to do their work from home, but now they were invited back to school and struggled to stay there. Recording music was a reason to stay.

 

CJ was a talented dancer and musician. He and his brother used to rap and dance, at the same time developing their skills in this very creative medium. Rapping requires precise timing and writing lyrics that stay on the beat is also important. But there was one problem: their music was full of language that was not appropriate for school. I told them that our principal needed to approve of their music and that that they needed to make a clean rap, one that could be heard both in and outside of school. This would take some time but not much. In just a matter of a few days they came in with notebooks filled with clean lyrics, some in English and some in Spanish. I was amazed to see what they could do. I watched closely as they worked things out. “What do you want to call our group?” one asked. “How about Four Man Squad?” asked another and it was done. They each identified with their newfound group. It was a process of working together to create a working relationship and the result was a good product, much like what happens in creative working environments, like the ones that actually lead to successful organizing and high production outcomes in the real world.

The collaboration between four young boys amazed me. I marveled at how close them became. They would sometimes put their hands on each other’s shoulders as they sang. One thing caught my eye one day. They were trying to decide who should be the lead singer of the group. The most talented rapper’s name came up immediately but Pablo, one of the boys who had missed several months of school exclaimed, “We all have talent. Each one of us has something to offer.” I sat back in my seat and watched them support and nurture each other.

I was delighted to hear Pablo’s suggestion that they all have something good to contribute. Pablo worked on his lyrics but found too many swear words in them. He counted five swears in his song and tore up his lyrics and started over again to compose a clean rap. I had never seen this boy so motivated and intent on getting it right, with full respect for my demands that the music be playable to a large audience.

The boys came in every day at lunchtime to work together and I began to videotape them. I even made a documentary video of them for their friends and families to see. There was power in what they were doing and they wanted others to know about it.

Soon several students piled into my tiny office during lunchtime where I set up the recording equipment to record, laugh, and have fun. Big speakers were added to enhance the sound. It became a lunchtime favorite thing to do and more and more students have begun to create together.

Several students have gotten permission to work with me during their study halls. A very talented student said he wanted to work with me during study hall. I began by giving him footage to edit in order to learn more about film making. He did a good job editing a film that I made several months before. Once he finished learning hot to edit in iMovie, I suggested that he learn how to record music using GarageBand. He studied the various sound effects and instrumentation until he was ready to try and record. A lovely young girl arrived and began singing accapella into the microphone. She had a beautiful soprano voice with a tight vibrato. The young man made an instrumental soundtrack with drums, rhythm guitar and bass for her to sing over.

BJ was completely disconnect from his studies. He was often found in the hall wandering when he should have been in class. He had one interest:  he liked to rap and make beats. I showed him the picture I took of the young rappers at NHS and he was hooked. He formed a band of four boys from our school and came in to my office during lunchtime. Notebooks were filled with lyrics. Technology was learned to record, edit, and produce music. We talked about doing a music video for his French class. He left my office floating on air, was even polite to the other teachers, and for the first time, really excited to learn.

 

Examples of a Student Success

Jason was a student who was in danger of failing school. He drifted through the halls when he should have been in class. One day I asked him to complete an assignment that my other students were working on. It was to study the work of several pioneering social documentary photographers in our textbook, choose one and make a PowerPoint presentation of their work. I noticed that no photographers of color were represented in the unit on documentary photography and so I changed the plan for him. I probably should have changed it for my white students as well. I told him to go online and search for the work of Gordon Parks, one of the first black photographers to break the color barrier in photography. Mr. Parks was the first black man to work for Life Magazine and the first black man to direct a feature length film, and I thought this might inspire Jason. He gathered much information and added captions and other text to his presentation. It worked. He got an “A” for his presentation. He was genuinely pleased with himself. It took my thinking about him as a young black man and engaging him in subject matter he could relate to.

Jason continued to drift in and out of the room, doing little or no work at all. One day, during final projects, I asked him to make a slideshow about his life growing up in the gangs in Oakland, California. He was sent to our community by his mother to live with a father that he had never met. He came up with an interesting idea: he downloaded images from the Internet that best reflected his experience in “Cali” as he called it. It was a powerful visual presentation. Unfortunately it was one that we could not show in school because many of the images were graphic depictions of police, thugs, and gangs. He also titled these with words we were not allowed to use in school. I thought about the idea of showing his presentation to some of our faculty to help begin a conversation about social class and race, and reaching for students of color, but hesitated because I thought some would be offended by the display. But it was real to him and the more I allowed myself to look at it, the more I was challenged to learn about his experience.

Jason asked if he could compose and put music on his slide show, and I said that we could next year. The semester was over. My offer was an invitation to have an extended relationship with him, plus a way to keep him engaged in school—a way to let him know that I cared about him.

He signed up for and entered my audio/video classroom the next fall. He had been sent to the then Florence Learning Center, an alternative learning program for learning challenged students. The program was closed and replaced by the Alternative Learning Program now at our high school. FLC was a small school for about twenty students who were in danger of dropping out of high school. He was transported by van every day to take my fourth period audio/video class. At first he seemed lost, often showing up half an hour late for class.

I received the following email disturbing email from my vice principal one day that read:

 

Michael,

I just met with Jason. He expained that he found out yesterday (during lunch) that someone, who was like a younger brother to him, died. A 14 year old kid who, from what I gather, was shot. As Jason said, “It wasn’t meant for him. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” He said it was okay to share this with his teachers but he doesn’t want to talk about it. Pretty heavy stuff. He also said it was okay for a teacher to acknowledge what happened but again, he doesn’t want to talk about it.

He has the video camera today with one tape in it but he left the other tape home. He said he would bring it in tomorrow.

-Charles

 

Jason was detached and barely participated in class during the semester, but after hearing news that his fourteen-year-old friend was shot and killed, he came to me and said in a very direct and determined manner, “Mr. J, I want to record a rap today?” He continued, “I want to make some beats today, Mr. J.”

I didn’t at first know how we were going to do this in a classroom filled with students working on various projects. It was nearly impossible to isolate and record audio tracks, so I opened my empty photography classroom next door and set up a small recording studio where he could work alone.

Before I knew it his friend Raymond, another young black man from Florence Learning Center, showed up to join him.

Motivated by the death of a friend, Jason was determined to succeed. It went well. Both students worked non-stop for ninety minutes at a time, writing and recording several takes. They surprised me the next day when they even showed up early to my class.

They were hooked. They had two notebooks filled with lyrics. These were not the kinds of students who even brought notebooks to school, but there were pages and pages of what they called rhymes. We used a program called GarageBand to record several tracks. It went well and they kept coming back for more. I added a multi-track recording studio to my classroom with microphones and headphones to further isolate background noise. They danced like children when they saw what I had done for them, all to promote their desire to make their own music. Thomas, a third young black man came up to me in the hall and asked if he could come by third period and record. The word was out and I intended to use this as an opportunity to engage these young potential drop outs in school.

A school ought to be equipped with a recording area for students to record their own music. This can be as easy as sectioning off a part of your classroom and having a sound mixer and microphone hooked up to a computer. There are many audio editing and recording programs available. I mentioned GarageBand. Another is Soundtrack Pro. There are also several programs available online like Fission and even open source free software or “freeware” like Audacity.

Having a music recording area in your school can help students that feel out of place become of the learning environment. These types of programs can enhance students’ lives and helps them engage in school. Making music, especially recording rap music, requires complex skills and creative lyric writing and more. Skills learned in this way can transfer to other areas including math, science, and technology education.

 

According to a study by Catterall, Chapleau, & Iwanga in 1999, “students in the lowest socioeconomic status quartile, those most at risk of academic failure, achieved the highest gains when immersed in arts programs in public school.”

 

One teacher in a Chicago school of struggling learners had his students experiment with sound editing programs on their computers. Although challenged in his other academic classes, one of his students spent hours in front of the computer composing musical sounds into compositions. The teacher reported “students with social or emotional problems show amazing focus and intensity, taking on tasks they find most frustrating in regular classrooms.” He went on to say that, “Students with writing difficulties spend hours writing lyrics. Problem students often show exceptional creative depth and come up with more sophisticated musical and artistic ideas than their peers do.”

I worked with my rappers on lyrics and helped them make a “clean rap”, one that we could play in school and beyond. Jason and Raymond continued to record each day and worked towards making a music video.

“They did it! They actually did it!” I exclaimed as I approached a fellow technology education teacher. She smiled with delight. We both knew how important it was to engage young black men in our programs. Jason and Raymond recorded a rap about growing up in gangs that told the story of their lives on the streets and struggles they faced along the way. Both young men smiled warmly as they entered the door of our new cable television studio to lip-sync their rap music for their music video. Two producers carefully lit the duo as I took still photographs. This became a way to engage young men in the process of making art and music. As they left the recording studio that day, they emerged with bright smiles. Jason even asked to take home a copy of the video to show his dad.

Some say wonders may never cease: Jason and “Q” and Raymond became known for their rap music throughout the school and enjoyed seeing their movie on the big screen in the school’s auditorium during our annual video festival (another way to feature and reward student work). My backing them visibly even helped bring our principal’s attention to their music.

Graduation was fast approaching and Jason and Raymond were about to walk with their class. I was sitting in the principal’s office, discussing school business, when the two young men walked in. Principal Singer had asked to meet with them earlier in the day. They seemed surprised to be invited to her office. “You have something to tell us?” they asked.

She said that she wanted them to audition for her at two o’clock that afternoon. She was thinking about having them perform at the graduation ceremony. At around one-thirty the pair arrived in my classroom. Jason came up from behind me and put his hand on my shoulder. He thanked me for everything I had done for him and asked if they could practice in my room. They were frightened by the prospect of performing in public and were equally afraid to audition in front of our school’s principal. But off they went to their two o’clock audition. I asked how it went and they told me the principal asked if they would perform their song at our graduation ceremony. This would be the first time in the history of Northampton High School that young men of color would be asked to perform a rap song in front of the entire school community.

On graduation day Jason and Raymond sang about their struggles growing up in poverty. Jason sang in English and Raymond repeated the same lines in Spanish. He apologized to the mostly white audience for singing in Spanish. I watched as his fellow students of color in the audience beam with delight. Some even wiped away tears of joy as they sang about their love for their mothers and lifelong struggles in both English and Spanish:

 “Mama I loved you, though you weren’t always there for me when I was growin’ up; hard times laying in the bed sick, throwing up. You were locked up, so was my pop, but no matter what anyone said you were still in my heart. I loved you to death though my life was filled with distress. I wrote this so this moment could last forever. I could never turn my back on the woman that gave birth to me. Because if it was not for that woman, I would not be on this earth, see…

You lied, you cried, at least you tried. I sleep at night with smiles ‘cuz I know that you’re good. You were moved to the VA and you were out of the hood. So I hope that it’s understood, even with all of the drama… don’t worry, I love you Mama.”

Students broke into applause for the young men who had wrestled with their demons and graduated high school, and went on to college.

A year after the graduation ceremony I felt a warm hand on my shoulder and turned to see a well-dressed young black man standing beside me. It was Raymond returning to visit me in school. “Hello Mr. J. I came back to see you. I want to thank you for all you did for me.” He was older and more mature, and handsome. He wanted me to know that he went on to college, was majoring in musical recording, and was doing fine.

One never knows what influence one has. These young men went from being disengaged and disinterested high school students to center-stage performers. The day I met with these young men in Principal Singer’s office, she reminded me that they both had suffered miserable life experiences. In this case, music and art was used to help build their self-esteem and help steer them on a path to success.

 

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COMPOSITION

ELEMENTS OF COMPOSITION

An eye for composition requires the viewer to notice and organize several visual elements within the frame. Some of these graphical building blocks are texture, pattern and symmetry, shapes and sizes of objects within the frame, and viewpoint and perspective. Framing is how we visualize and organize the visual elements within the rectangular or square two dimensional space or frame of a picture seen through the camera’s viewfinder. Sometimes we wish to isolate details. We care about light, shape, and form. Also light, tone, and contrast become important visual elements in any composition. Shadows and silhouettes are important compositional tools as well.

Go to:

http://www.photographymad.com/pages/view/10-top-photography-composition-rules

 

 

Inside School Reflections, Fragments, Abstractions, Patterns, and Textures

1. Reflections – Pictures of glass, mirrors or other surfaces that show reflections.

Take pictures of windows, mirrors or other surfaces around school that show reflections.

2. Fragments – Pictures that only show part of an object, not the whole thing.

Take pictures of parts of an object, a detail.

3. Abstraction – Photographs which represent reality mainly as patterns and/or shapes and not as recognizable objects.

Take pictures of lines, shapes or unrecognizable three-dimensional forms.

4. Pattern – The repetition of lines or forms in an arranged sequence.

Take pictures of patterns in and around the school.

5. Texture – The surface characteristics of an object such as:
smooth or rough, soft or hard or, shiny or dull.

Take pictures that emphasize the texture of an object or objects.

 

The purpose of this assignment is to expand your indoor composition skills.

Assignment: The class will go inside the school and find the following kinds of images and photograph them. You may photograph only on the ground level and in front of the gym, but do not go inside any classrooms.

Inside School Reflections, Fragments, Abstractions, Patterns, and Textures

1. Reflections – Pictures of glass, mirrors or other surfaces that show
reflections.

Take pictures of windows, mirrors or other surfaces around school that show reflections.

2. Fragments – Pictures that only show part of an object, not the whole
thing.

Take pictures of parts of an object, a detail.

3. Abstraction – Photographs which represent reality mainly as patterns
and/or shapes and not as recognizable objects.

Take pictures of lines, shapes or unrecognizable three-dimensional forms.

4. Pattern – The repetition of lines or forms in an arranged sequence.

Take pictures of patterns in and around the school.

5. Texture – The surface characteristics of an object such as: smooth or rough, soft or hard or, shiny or dull.

Take pictures that emphasize the texture of an object or objects.

 

Make a folder on your computer’s desktop and put your full name on it plus the word “Inside Patterns”

Drag 10 pictures that accompany the Inside Reflections, Fragments, Abstractions, Patterns, and Textures assignment into your desktop “Inside Patterns” folder.

 

Now make a slideshow of these photos using iPhoto and the editing software and share these as small Quicktime movie files with your full name on it plus the word “Inside Patterns” and save it to your desktop folder. Be sure to drag your new folder with the Quicktime movie inside it onto the classroom server.

Show your Quicktime slideshow movie to the whole class. Come up one at a time. Get feedback during student critiques.

Assignment: The class will go outside the school and find the following kinds of images and photograph them.

Outside School Reflections, Fragments, Abstractions, Patterns, and Textures

1. Reflections – Pictures of glass, mirrors or other surfaces that show
reflections.

Take pictures of windows, mirrors or other surfaces around school that show reflections.

2. Fragments – Pictures that only show part of an object, not the whole
thing.

Take pictures of parts of an object, a detail.

3. Abstraction – Photographs which represent reality mainly as patterns
and/or shapes and not as recognizable objects.

Take pictures of lines, shapes or unrecognizable three-dimensional forms.

4. Pattern – The repetition of lines or forms in an arranged sequence.

Take pictures of patterns in and around the school.

5. Texture – The surface characteristics of an object such as: smooth or rough, soft or hard or, shiny or dull.

Take pictures that emphasize the texture of an object or objects.

 

Make a folder on your computer’s desktop and put your full name on it plus the word “outsidepatterns”

Drag 5 -10 pictures that accompany the Outside Reflections, Fragments, Abstractions, Patterns, and Textures assignment into this new desktop folder.

Now make a slideshow of these photos using iPhoto and the editing software and share these as small Quicktime movie files with your full name on it and save it to your desktop folder.

Drag your Quicktime movie slideshow into your folder on the server. Be sure to drag both your Quicktime slideshow plus your new “outside patterns” folder into your folder on the classroom server. These files will be used to display your pictures on school televisions and for grading purposes.

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE NARRATED SLIDESHOW

SOCIAL JUSTICE NARRATED SLIDESHOW

Write a two-page story about a social justice issue or prominent social justice leader (See attached sheet of possible ideas). It could be about human rights, civil rights, racial equality, gender equality, etc. Or it could be about a civil rights leader like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, etc.

Research and write a two-page story online using Google Search and Google Docs and mail it to me at mjhardy@paulofreirecharterschool.org. Be sure to write it in your own words.

The second part of this exercise will be to find 20 large-size pictures that illustrate your story using Google Images and save these in a folder on the desktop of a Mac or in your Google Drive for later use.

Now read and record your script into your computer using Garageband. Then export it to iTunes.

Open iPhoto and import your pictures. Open iMovie and add your iTunes narrative and photos to your slideshow. Be sure to title it with your name and save it.

You may also add a music file to your voice narration to enhance your movie.

Export it as a Quicktime movie file to the desktop and share it with me using the new classroom server.

SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES

* General social issues

* Abortion

* Affirmative action

* AIDS

* Alcohol & drinking

* Animal rights

* Binge drinking

* Capital punishment

* Censorship

* Child labor

* Children’s rights

* Civil rights

* Creation science vs. evolution

* Drugs & drug abuse

* Drunk driving

* Environmental protection

* Euthanasia & assisted suicide

* Famine

* Flag burning

* Gangs

* Gender issues

* Genetic engineering

* Global warming

* Government vs. religion

* Gun control

* Homelessness

* Homosexuality

* Human Rights

* Immigration

* Legalization of marijuana

* National debate topic

* Nuclear proliferation

* Organ & body donation

* Pledge of Allegiance

* Poverty

* Prayer in schools

* Racial profiling

* Same sex marriage

* Sweatshops

* Terrorism

* Tobacco

* Violence

* Violence in schools

* Welfare

* World population

 

IMAGES TO MUSIC


This assignment will get you familiar with using iPhoto, but it will not require you to use a camera.
 


1) Get together with your group and come up with a theme for your slide show.

2) Think about possible still images or photos that illustrate the theme you’ve developed with your group.

3) Go on line and, using Google, find at least 20 images that you think are a good match for your theme.

4) Be sure to choose the full-sized version of each image, not the thumbnail version. 

5) Save each image in a folder with your name on it as a jpeg file on the desktop of your computer.


6) Open iPhoto, create an album using the + button and type in your name.


7) Drag & drop each of your still images into the album you created on your iPhoto screen.


 8)   Now choose a song or piece of music that goes well with your theme & the images you selected.
 
(The music must be imported into iTunes before you can import it into your movie.)


 9) Import your music from iTunes into your slideshow.


10) Select all photos in your album and click on the slideshow button. Now you may view your slideshow by clicking on the play button.


How to get music off the Internet:

Search Youtube to mp3


Choose one of the websites towards the top


Open another window and go to Youtube.com


Search on Youtube for the song you want


Copy the URL at the top and paste it into the space provided on the Youtube to mp3 website


Click connect


Your music should appear in iTunes

INTRODUCTION TO ANIMATION

Watch: YouTube – Rymdreglage – 8-bit trip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qsWFFuYZYI

Be sure to watch other animations on YouTube such as Gumby Gumbasia and Wallace and Gromit.

(Also be sure to watch Marine Violence and Hallway Racers.)

Objectives:

  • Learn about the history of animation.
  • Storyboard your first film.
  • Learn to make an animated movie.

File written by Adobe Photoshop® 4.0

Animation has been around since the early 1950s.

 

 

In 1955 while studying under Slavko Vorkapich at USC Film School, Art Clokey produced a student film called Gumbasia. It was clay animation shot to the beat of jazz music. Art showed this to Sam Engel of 20th Century Fox. Sam paced the floor a few times and then said: “Art, that’s the most exciting film I’ve ever seen. We’ve got to go into business together.” Art thought that he was going to work with Sam’s current live action projects with the likes of Sophia Loren, but then Sam continued: “Can you make little clay figures and animate them into children’s stories? I want to improve the quality of childrens TV.” Art and his wife Ruth both felt the same way about the need for better childrens programing because of their one year old daughter. So Art told Sam yes he could do that.

Art Produced a pilot with a green clay character called Gumby, and the rest is history. Art always refers to Sam Engel as the Godfather of Gumby. Sam did not want to make money off of it, he just wanted to improve children’s TV. Art and Ruth Clokey had met at Hartford Seminary school Studying religious education. Their values created the passion for the wildly popular Gumby and Davey and Goliath to come.

 

 

Go to www.premavision.com and www.premavision.com/studio/coke to view the studio setup of an animated coke commercial.

Watch Gumby Gumbasia and talk about the early years of animation.

Also, watch JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH to demonstrate more recent animated films that predate computer animation.

Finally, show some of Pixar’s computer animated films.

STOP MOTION ANIMATION (A/V I):

Form groups of three.

You are to create an animation that has a plot or story.

You may use any one of these types or styles of animation or come up with your own ideas:

  • Drawn figures on paper, colored paper, white board
  • Action figures
  • Lego’s
  • Claymation
  • Cut out figures on paper, colored paper
  • Dolls and other figurines
  • Real people moving, from which you will create still frames, which will simulate animation.

 

  • You must have an audio track. You may use different voices for each character, and you may add music.
  • You must get teacher approval for both your plot/story ideas and your planned animation style before shooting.
  • Your animation style should go well with your storyline.
  • You must write a script or treatment plus fill out storyboard forms supplied by the teacher.
  • You will need a tripod. In animation it is vital that the camera stays in exactly the same place as you shoot your animated characters moving within the scene.

Grading:

Originality…………………………………………….20%
Story or plot…………………………………………..20%
Camerawork………………………………..………..20%
Audio track…………………………………..………20%
Editing………………………………………………………………50%

 

COMPUTER ANIMATION (A/V II)

Use Photoshop to make an animated film.

Objectives: This exercise will give you a window into what is happening in major motion picture animations studios using the latest computer technology.

Photoshop Exercise 1

First we will learn how to draw and use the text tool to make an opening title slide for our video.

Introduction to Photoshop

  • Double click on the Photoshop icon on the desktop dock of your computer.
  • Look on the left-hand side and observe the variety of controls. We begin with learning how to create a new document, size your images, and paint. Then we will learn how to create text.
  • Under File, choose New and create a new blank image. The size of your image is determined by the pixels on your screen. Size the image by typing numbers in the pixels/inches dialogue box on the screen. In inches, choose 5 inches tall by 7 inches wide (or 360 pixels tall by 504 inches wide).
  • Resolution refers to how many pixels per inch you will need in order to make an image suitable for display or reproduction. All computer monitors are calibrated for 72 pixels per inch. Make the resolution 72 pixels/inch.
  • Select White for the background color.
  • Name it with your name plus the words “Photoshop1.”
  • Choose a foreground color you like.
  • Choose the paintbrush tool on the dock and select a color by clicking on the color picker dialogue box and start painting.
  • Experiment with choosing different colors on the color wheel as well as brush sizes.
  • Use the eraser tool to erase some of your marks.
  • Now click on the “T” or Text tool. Create a text box. Add some text. Try selecting different fonts, sizes, and colors.
  • As always, save your new files in your folder on the server.

 

Photoshop Exercise 2

  • Create a new document that is 640 pixels x 480 pixels and 72 dpi with a transparent background.
  • Do a google image search for a place (town, city, country, landscape, etc.) of your choice.
  • Download the landscape image to your desktop.
  • Open the image in Photoshop.
  • Select an area of your downloaded image and paste it into your document.
  • Use transformations, and the move tool to get line up your environment the way you like. It will be the background of your image.
  • Do a google image search for an animal or piece of furniture of your choice.
  • Download the image.
  • Open it in Photoshop.
  • Use the selection tools to select just the animal or furniture (don’t worry too much you can use the eraser later to clean it up).
  • Cut the animal or furniture and paste it into your background image.
  • Use the transformation and move tools to position your animal or furniture.
  • Use the eraser to make any final adjustments and to clean up the outline.
  • Flatten your image and save it to the desktop. 

 

PHOTOSHOP ANIMATION

 

This exercise will give you a window into what is happening in major motion picture animations studios using the latest computer technology.

  • For this exercise import a “large size” background image from Google images onto your desktop.
  • Open it in a new Photoshop document set to 480 x 640 pixels at 72 ppi.
  • Make a new folder on your desktop. Name it with your name plus the word “animation”. You will save all new photos in this animation folder.
  • Now open an image from google images that you would like to use to animate your movie.
  • Copy and past this image over your background image and make incremental changes or moves while saving each change as a jpeg file marked 1, 2, 3, etc. Be sure to put these into a your new desktop folder.
  • Be sure to save your new images as a jpeg files instead of a Photoshop files each time you alter the image. (You may want to drag your foreground images along the background to see how it can be animated).
  • Remember to number each new jpeg from 1 to however many images you need in order to complete your animation.
  • Make a NEW ALBUM with your name plus the word “animation” by using the + button in iPhoto. You should see a blank box.
  • Drag your animated pictures folder into your new iPhoto album folder and watch as your pictures import into iPhoto. This will give you an idea of how your animation will look.
  • Open iMovie and create a new document with your name plus the word animation.
  • Double-click on MEDIA and then the word PHOTOS and find your animation pictures folder in the box.
  • Click on one picture.
  • In the edit menu on top of your screen, choose SELECT ALL pictures.
  • Set the timing (rabbit) and import all photos at .03 second into the iMovie timeline.
  • Now play your movie. Add sound and special effects.
  • FINALLY, SHARE YOUR IMOVIE AS A FULL SIZE QUICKTIME MOVIE FILE AND DRAG IT INTO YOUR FOLDER ON THE SERVER.

PHOTOSHOP TITLE EXERCISE

The purpose of this assignment is to learn how to make titles for your videos (including your animation project) using the tools of Photoshop. After you have completed the above exercises, use the “T” or text tool in the Photoshop control panel to design your title page. Use the paint brush and other tools to add special effects including colored backgrounds and more. When finished save your file in your folder on the classroom server.

 

PIVOT ANIMATION
http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/40723/pivot
pivot stickfigure animator mac

Save each file as a BMP file and import them into iPhoto and proceed as you would with still Photoshop frames.

 

DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTOGRAPHING INSIDE FACTORIES, SCHOOLS, AND PRISONS

The Photographs of Michael Jacobson-Hardy

Lesson 1.

I will begin the first lesson by engaging students in a slide show presentation about my work photographing in factories, schools, and prisons. I will share my observations, ask for theirs, and engage them in a conversation about social class and race in the United States. I will help students see the connections between these social institutions and how they function within our economic system. I will use my work to help begin a discussion about race, social class, and economics as it relates to these institutions.

These children are doing this lesson because it is important for them to see how photography can be used to promote understanding of important issues. Photographs can be a powerful medium to bring about awareness and change.

A PowerPoint presentation will be used to engage students in the subject material of documentary photography.

Students will view the images and then begin to think about and discuss important issues regarding their immediate world around them.

Motivating Discussion:  In lesson, I would like to show you a PowerPoint presentation of my work documenting conditions and people in factories, schools, and prisons. I will also lead you in a conversation about social class and race in the United States.

Let’s begin by viewing the pictures made in factories. Who works in a factory? What do you think of the conditions in these work places? What social class, ethnicity, and race are the workers who do this kind of work?

I will talk about the closing of the mills and factories and how the export of jobs overseas and down south has impacted workers here in New England.

I will then talk about how when jobs are lost and factories close, communities are hard pressed to raise enough money to fund public schools. The result is often a rise in the prison and jail population.

I will use my photographs to help you think about the big picture and how these social institutions are connected, especially as economic conditions worsen in this country. When jobs are scarce, there is a higher incidence of school dropout rates and as a consequence, we see a rise in the prison and jail populations.

How does poverty and race impact the society? Should we be putting our resources into building more and more prisons or into building more public schools?

Look at the final picture in the prison series. What do you think it is? Several students like you say it is a looks like a new mall, but in fact, it is the Hampden County House of Correction, a multi-million dollar prison in Ludlow.

Lesson 2.

The second lesson will introduce students to some of the work by contemporary documentary photographers as well as give them a historical perspective.

Students will be required to research online the works of several documentary photographers. We will study the origins and history of documentary photography from the pioneering work of Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine to the contemporary masters including Jerome Liebling, Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Henri Cartier-Bresson and others.

Make Your Own PowerPoint Presentation

Students will be asked to go online and google the names of the following photographers and look a their work. They will choose one photographer to write about. They will be asked answer the following questions and make a PowerPoint Presentation of their work.

Students will learn about the history of social documentary photography by viewing the work of several important photographers.

Assignments:

DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY SLIDESHOW

Go online and use the Google Image search engine to view the work of the following photographers.

Photographers to choose from:

Eugène Atget      August Sander      Jacob Riis       Ben Shahn

Dorothea Lange    Arthur Rothstein   Walker Evans    Henri Cartier-Bresson

Lewis W. Hine    Russell Lee     Marion Post Walcott

Gordon Parks     Jerome Liebling    Dianne Arbus   Robert Frank

Open Google Docs and make a slide show that includes between 3 to 5 pictures from each photographer. Add captions that say something about the photographs and photographers you studied.

SAVE YOUR FILE WITH YOUR NAME PLUS THE WORD “DOCUMENT” TO THE DESKTOP AND EMAIL IT TO ME.

Documentary Photography

Assignment 2

Choose one documentary photographer to write a one-page essay about using Appleworks.

Answer the following questions:

Questions to answer on the opening slide:

1. Who was the photographer you chose to research online?

2. Tell us something about their life and work?

3. What was the principal issue they documented?

Add this to a slide show that includes examples of their work.

Photographers to choose from:

Eugène Atget      August Sander      Jacob Riis       Ben Shahn

Dorothea Lange    Arthur Rothstein   Walker Evans    Henri Cartier-Bresson

Lewis W. Hine    Russell Lee     Marion Post Walcott

Gordon Parks     Jerome Liebling    Dianne Arbus   Robert Frank

Motivating Discussion:

The following list contains some of the most influential photographers that ever lived. Some help to begin this type of photography. Lewis Hine, the man who influenced my work the most, was known as the father of documentary photography (Google Lewis Hine).

Let me tell you a story. When I was just starting out as a serious photographer I showed a portfolio of my photographs to Hollister Sturges, then director of the Springfield Museum of Fine Arts. He told me he was doing a show of Lewis Hine’s early work and asked if I would like to exhibit my pictures made in New England Factories alongside his. What an honor it was for me to share this important exhibition. I noticed my last picture in the series was hanging next to a Picasso. It was at that moment that I decided I was an artist.

Go online and google the names of the following photographers and look a their work. Then choose one photographer to write about. After you have selected one documentary photographer to write about, make a Google Docs presentation of their work. Be sure to include your name and the photographer’s name and your answer to the following questions.

Put your name plus this introductory information in your first slide, followed by a series of no less than five pictures made by the photographer you chose to study.

Questions to answer on the opening slide:

1. Who was the photographer you chose to research online?

2. Tell us something about their life and work?

3. What was the principal issue they documented?

Study my work in book form:

Factories, Schools, Prisons, Michael Jacobson-Hardy, Published by Holy Cross, 1996

Films to watch:

Hoop Dreams

Born into Brothels

Half Past Autumn, a film about the life and work of Gordon Parks.

Have students research and write a page about Gordon Parks and his work. What is significant about the man? What did he do?  What did he accomplish? What were his major achievements?

SOCIAL DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY UNIT

Rationale: This unit will help students understand what documentary photography is. It will introduce them to contemporary work as well as give them a historical perspective. It will lay the foundation for them to make their own social documentaries.

Students will be required to research online and in books the works of several documentary photographers. We will study the origins and history of documentary photography from the pioneering work of Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine to the contemporary masters including Jerome Liebling, Paul Strand, Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Henri Cartier-Bresson and others.

I will review the steps needed to initiate, conceptualize and produce a successful documentary project. For the final assignment, each student will choose a project to work on. Their work will be evaluated in periodic reviews. Students will share their work with others in the class as well. They will critique each other’s work.

Students will describe and analyze their own work and the work of others using appropriate visual arts vocabulary. When appropriate, students will connect their analysis to interpretation and evaluation.

Students will study the work of several documentary photographers and filmmakers. They will answer a series of questions related to the text that includes an overview of the contributions of several social documentary photographers and filmmakers. Students will also go online and will be required to write a one-page summary of the work of a photographer they choose from a list of social documentary photographers. Special emphasis will be on the ability of documentary photography to bring about social change.

I will begin by showing the following work by Milton Rogovin to engage students in the art of documentary photography. I believe that his portraits made of the same people over time are compelling and would make for a good presentation and would engage young people in the subject of documentary photography.

First Lesson -Motivating Discussion:

The following lesson will begin a unit about social documentary photography. I would like to begin by showing you some of the work of Milton Rogovin. He photographed people in his neighborhood in Buffalo, New York and returned several times to re-take pictures as his subjects got older. Look at the following pictures. Can you see a resemblance in each pair of images? Notice how people age over time.

Milton Rogovin Diptics

I would like to show you a PowerPoint presentation of my “Factory, School, Prison” series of photographs and talk about my work and some of the issues raised by the images.

After I am done with my presentation, and if there is enough time, 
you will be asked to study the work of several documentary photographers and choose one to research further on pages 379-381 in our classroom textbook titled PHOTOGRAPHY and answer the following questions:
(5.9)

 Documentary Photography

Go online and Google the names of the following photographers and look a their work. Choose one to write about and answer the following questions.

Photographers to choose from:

Eugène Atget      August Sander      Jacob Riis       Ben Shahn

Dorothea Lange    Arthur Rothstein   Walker Evans

Lewis W. Hine    Russell Lee     Marion Post Walcott

Gordon Parks     Jerome Liebling    Dianne Arbus

Now you will make a slideshow using Google Docs about the photographer you selected from the above list and add text from your research. Be sure to go online and look at their work and write a one-page essay including the following questions.

1. Who was the photographer you chose to research and what did they do?

2. Was their work successful in bringing about change or did it simply serve to bring about public awareness about a certain issue?

3. What was the principal issue they documented?

4. Tell us something about their life and work?