Muddling through the blogosphere

July 25, 2010
by blogwalker

A Case for Filmmaking in the Classroom: Argument #7

One year later, I have another argument to add to my July 2009  Case for Filmmaking in the Classroom post: Filmmaking empowers students.

In May I watched a  team of Lesley McKillop’s students (see argument #6 in last year’s post) once again step onto the stage and into the limelight to accept a 2010 SEVA for their PSA entry – totally challenging both the state-assigned student labels of FBB (far below basic), BB (below basic), B (basic), P (proficient), or even A (advanced) and the school labels of Title 1 (high-poverty) and Program Improvement (PI).

And Rudy Alfonso’s students (also at a Title 1, PI site)…what can I say?! In the previous school year, I watched many of them begin to engage with technology in Teresa Cheung’s 4th grade classroom. As they moved on to Rudy Alfonso’s 5th grade, they were ready and willing to step up to the challenges and multiple roles of filmmaking and increasingly took charge of all facets of producing movie after movie.

Towards the end of the school year, I asked one of Rudy’s students what she liked best about being a filmmaker.  She talked a bit about the collaborative aspects, and then added that she enjoyed having people from different parts of the world comment on her productions via the class blog. Filmmaking is bringing the world into Mr. Alfonso’s classroom – and it’s a two-way path. These students (like Lesley McKillop’s students) know their work is being viewed and enjoyed by an authentic and worldwide audience.  Now that’s empowerment!

October 15, 2008
by blogwalker
1 Comment

Anyone Can be Visually Literate: Graphic Design Tips for Educators with Steven McGriff

Being pretty much visually challenged myself, I’m hoping this workshop moves me beyond “making ugly stuff.” The presenter is opening with a quote on visualization: “The abilty to undestand and use image including the ability the think, learn, and express onself in terms of images.” – Robert Braden.

  • Looking at petroglyphs – and checking for meaning. Hard for us to interpet because we don’t get visual language.
  • Knowledge representaion can be described through verbal (spoken/written words) or visual (symbols/icons). What if we began teaching students the power of that combination?
  • Visual literacy theory – it’s another language. How do you know when to go to visual communication? You probably know instinctively when a clipart or image would work better than text.

Type – Everything should match your message (size, shape, white space, added shapes). Get rid of default text – and no more centering of titles.

Color – Hue (color). Colors changed based on influence of surrounding colors. When using complementary colors, make one th dominate color and the other the accent color. Analogous colors create a calming effect. Psychology of colors – they evoke passion and emotional response.

General guideline: choose four harmonic colors: primary, type, secondary, accent. Hint: consider using dark gray type instead of black; it creates a more calming effect and is easier to read.

Actions (how you manipulate the tools

  • contrast – check out Robin Williams Non-designers Design Book.
  • repetition – Be careful that you actually use same shade of red, for instance.
  • alignment – Nothing should be placed on page arbitrarily. Remember that white space can be good; so think about “chunking.”
  • proximity – Items relating to each other should be grouped together

Resource: tons of fun fonts. – fee-based service, but offers visual representations for hundreds of words. – free and offers many imag

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