Visual Media Analysis and Production
An elective class, this nine-week thrill ride explores mankind's visual world, from our earliest sculpture and cave art to modern advertising, propaganda, and film. We watch experts in art, geology, history, and media from around the world discuss the evolution of visual media, then get "hands on" with various production and analysis projects that reinforce media concepts.
I strive to show students the continuity from our ancient and classical ancestor's art, iconography, and architecture to modern media's deep-seated power to inform, influence, and deceive.
We begin at, well, the beginning, looking at ancient sculptures, cave art, and color sources for our ice-age ancestors
Next, we follow the visual trail from pagan Rome to Modern Art, stopping to explore books, perspective, and religious iconography
When photography shows up, the image becomes culturally dominant, used for art and information as usual, but now it persuades and sometimes deceives us.
NOTES for TEACHERS:
1. Link to TEKS. Although excellent media literacy sites exist, there's little practical curricular content for classes like this, so everything I do is created by me. I use LibreOffice, but I've uploaded everything in PDF format, including my three-week exams and a set of posters. I hope you can use it if you teach a media literacy class. Contact me if you have questions: bryandavis (at) lufkinisd (dot) org
2. To increase student interest, I have “bingo-ized” or otherwise gamed almost all the videos we watch in class. Students have a combination bingo card/exit ticket as they watch a video. Students who bingo get a piece of candy. In addition, my exit ticket is a “tweet” about the documentary that demonstrates insight and understanding. You can download them here. For some videos, I do different things, like scavenger hunts, but the rewards are the same.
3. I overlay bingo call numbers onto videos as well as edit them for time and content using Kdenlive, which requires Linux, but you can do the same thing with any video editor. I've placed the bingo numbers here, but I'm reluctant to upload any videos, linking instead to originals on YouTube if available.
4. My class is equipped with ten Mac Minis, several Ubuntu Linux PCs, and digital video/still cameras. Over the years, I've collected or created many things related to class, like typewriters, film cameras, a letterpress, paper-making equipment, etc. I suspect my fellow teachers think me weird, but really they're just jealous of my Goodwill finds: