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Archive for June, 2014

A few days ago, my daughter, who just finished 5th grade, called me over to the computer to show me “something neat.”  “Look at this animal, isn’t it amazing?  I hope they can save it,” she said.  I scratched my head at the pictures and descriptions of the tree octopus on this sharp, very official and scientific looking site, and responded to her, “Ummm, Lucie, who made this site?  It looks pretty cool and all, but I’m not so sure about this.  I think we should check on this.”

“Oh, yeah, I know,” she answered with a smile.  “Mrs. P showed us all about this stuff and how you need to really check on sources you find, like these other three…”  She was testing me.  Very deadpan, very funny.  Good job, elementary school teachers and kids!  I should add that I am looking forward to sharing this post with my daughter (and sons too) because she used my mediateacher.net site this year for a research project she did on stop-motion animation, which led to me sharing a number of books, other resources, and my input with her.

World Cup 1So as we review our previous school year’s work and look to the next cycle, it is imperative to look back at media literacy developments that might inform our ongoing work in the classroom and beyond.  Right now, the enormous media event known as the World Cup is going on, and what we quickly interpret as “reality” is often the one that is selected by the camera angles and lenses chosen for us.  Did we really see that?  Who was editing?  Did they cut out part of the whole story?  What might seem like a clear witnessing of an event could just be part of the story, and a distorted one at that.  Or not.

Twerk gone badFrom this past year, there was a media story that should enter right into any educator’s playbook: the viral event generated by the “twerking gone bad” clip with a woman in her room who falls over and catches fire.  As it turns out, this YouTube phenomenon was orchestrated by Jimmy Kimmel with a professional stunt woman (Daphne Avalon, using a pseudonym in the video) for his late-night show.  The piece from Jimmy Kimmel Live is really quite exceptional and can be used quite well in investigating authenticity and other issues associated with moving images and their role in society today.   In particular, the degree to which television shows reported the phenomenon as real, as shown in the clip from the show.

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Sizzle in Paris this summer with Hepburn and Holden as they work to get the screenwriting juices flowing

Summer Movie about Screenwriting: Sizzle in Paris with Hepburn and Holden as they work to get the creative juices flowing

Chapters 3 and 7 (Sound and Image and From Page to Screen) are the sections of Moving Images that deal most explicitly and directly with screenwriting.  One of the topics introduced in Chapter 3 and pursued further in Chapter 7 is that of screenplay format.  Currently, there are many programs available to set up writing for proper screenplay format, such as Celtx (which offers a freeware version), Final Draft, Adobe Story, and many others.  Educators or students may wish to invest in any of these or access freeware versions, but here is another easily accessible option.  Microsoft Word can be programmed so that through the style settings the basic components of a script are ready to go.

Would you like a copy that is prepared for you?  Here it is: Screenplay template.  The titles for screenplay components in this document are those that I have used in Moving Images and are described in the definitions and descriptions in Chapter 3 (p. 101-106) and Chapter 7 (268-271).  This Word doc template has been set for Courier; you may have to change the font settings to Courier New depending on your version of Word.  Please review the style settings, because they can be problematic between software versions and they might need review or updating.

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logoToday, the The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, in partnership with Americans for the Arts, released a set of national standards for the arts, including Media Arts.  Here is a link to pages that provides documents and resources for these standards.  In reviewing these standards, it is clear that they are well aligned with national media literacy standards highlighted in the pages of this blog and that formulate the core principles of Moving Images and the coursework provided with this textbook.

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