">Then and Now
For my project, I chose to create comic strips on the theme using the moving image in the classroom. Part of this motivation came from my students who use any spare moment in the class to peruse their Manga comics. I figured this was a great opportunity to learn how to create comic strips and later incorporate them in my curriculum. These would be especially effective for the two ESL students that I have in my class.
The first comic strip, titled Then and Now
, illustrates the difference in today’s world from the world that existed before the Internet became widespread and a necessity. As teachers, we need to prepare our students for the future – for jobs that may not even exist yet – not for the world that we grew up in. New literacies, or “sophisticated uses of technology and multimodal, multigenre compositions” (Kist, 2005, p. x) are slowly becoming more common tools in the classroom that allow students to create meaning and express themselves.
The second comic strip titled Homework 2.0
, was inspired by the presentation that Sprout gave in class. They said that even though scientific studies have sometimes shown that watching television is less beneficial to young children than interacting with parents or peers, statistics show that a large percentage of children are watching TV for over two hours per day. For this reason, Sprout decided to create programs for children that are educational and relevant.
largely deals with inclusion of parents in teaching new literacies. This was a topic that was not touched in depth during the conference. As an elementary school teacher, my reality is that parents are constantly involved in the classroom and sometimes even in aspects of curricular development. Some of these parents associate media with “fun” and not as “learning”. Parental education on matters related to new litearcies is crucial for teachers to teach using media effectively.
is the third comic strip. It deals with the importance of teaching media literacy in the classroom. Media literacy can be a powerful tool in combating propaganda, stereotypes and misconceptions, and developing critical thinkers. Catherine Gourley’s presentation which showed Duck and Cover and Kist’s case study on deconstructing advertisements (Kist, 2005) both address this issue.
Use in the Classroom
After initially trying some of the recommended websites, I finally settled on www.bitstrips.com to make my comic strip. I soon realized that numerous decisions are made in the process of designing the comic – character placement, color choice, face expressions, scenery, camera angle, and perspective are just some of the things that come into play. Since many of the students in my third-grade class will not be able to complete the film activity that Jen Powers’ described in class, I feel that they can learn many aspects of film-making, such as, high angle, close-up frames and perspective shots through comic strips. In a higher grade they can take their learning to the next level and tackle making short films.
Kist, W. (2005). New Literacies in Action: Teaching and learning multiple media. New York: Teachers College Press, Columbia University