My last day at ITSC 2011 began with a high-energy session by Dean Shareski (@shareski) and Alec Couros (@courosa). “Photos Across the Curriculum” challenged participants to consider how valuable images are in 21st century education. Dean’s assertion: “Visual Literacy today is as essential as reading and writing.”
To prove his thesis, Dean showed some great examples of how powerful pictures are in telling stories, and sent us all around the web to see and create images ourselves. Of course, issues of copyright (vs. “copyleft”) developed and Dean explained how to work with licensing, CC, etc. Here are some suggested resources:
An essential question I left the session with: “What stories can my students tell with media, in my curriculum, that will help create meaningful and enduring learning?” Or, said differently, how can I get my students using media to meet my learning objectives?
Fortuitously, a PLN colleague tweeted at me during the session. Anna Deese (@mrsadeese) asked her students to explore environmental science using images to make a single piece of art. From looking at the result, I can imagine starting her students’ assignment with the question: “What does ever-increasing population mean for the environment?” Take a look at the resulting image and try to argue these students didn’t get the point:
Though I wasn’t feeling super creative this morning, I took a shot at answering Dean’s question in the spirit of one of my favorite quotes: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”, usually attributed to Lao Tzu. My image creation is below.
What stories will your students tell?