Me & The D: Digital Media and Counter-Storytelling
Below, you will find images that my students created using GIMP (free!!!), which is similar to Photoshop. Students were asked to pose in front of a green screen, and then created background images- either drawn by hand, taken with a camera, pulled from the web, or created using whatever they pleased. They had to choose one of the essential questions, and create an image to represent how they saw themselves inside of the question. They also crafted reflectional essays that explained how and why they chose to focus on a particular question, if/how they changed their thinking about the question after 3 months of class, and whether or not they see themselves as having power within the question. They presented their images in front of classmates and received their own, poster-size copies once all of their work was completed. As you can see, students chose to focus on different aspects of each question, which informed my own practice as a teacher looking to better understand how my students made sense of the concepts and internalized them.
Essential Question: How can I use my literacy practice to rewrite my world?
(Left) “I constructed my image in this sort of way to show (how) the pain of a loss (can be expressed) through graffiti. When people think of graffiti they imagine gang writing or just kids destroying a building or garage, but my image shows how it can symbolize many things. It can help let out pain or stress. Art is not a crime.
(Right) “What led me to create my picture like this is the way music have a major influence on the world’s population. Music can do a lot to help the world or our lives, and one of the best ways to influence others is by doing so with positive songs that have emotions to them and by sharing with others. Music also acts as a distraction for people, helping them to get away from any problems that may be going on in their lives. There is power in music because it can touch someone else life and you may not even know it.”
Essential Question: What role does education play in the health of a community?
“My image represents my belief that people should not less adverse statements influence education in our community. In my image, I am standing in between a few of the common statements that are said about our school district. I am covering my ears with my hands to indicate my resistance against the accepted assumptions that are made about our school district. We should not let others’ opinions discourage us from pursuing a better future. Our community will benefit if we work against the standards that have been set for our education. “
“My image represents what the health of some cities look like today, compared to what they have the potential to become. If the city invests time and effort, they can overpass what anyone thought was possible. Youth are those who stand in the middle of this potential, who can move their city forward and make it what no one thought was possible. ”
Essential Question: What is the relationship between language and power, and how does it manifest itself in my life?
(Left) “My image demonstrates the sense of failure when some people try to use language and power within them. I chose to construct my picture this way because when we are confronted by our failures we would prefer to avoid them and just keep on living as we have…I see myself overcoming my sense of failure by keeping confidence in myself despite the feeling of failure, and setting goals to develop strategies that will motivate me to succeed in life. (And) when you are trying to use language to create power within you it inspires others to succeed.”