A creative exercise

Media Literacy and interpreting what you see is such an important skill and it needs to be taught to all children. It used to be so easy. Who remembers the campaign to save the Northwest Tree Octopus?

Telling right from wrong was so easy back then. The concept of providing fake or misleading information via website and images was just starting. Of course, today, we should all have our BS Detectors turned on and up high when we’re reading content.

But that octopus is so cute.

I remember so long ago now when we purchased digital cameras for every school in the district. It was the first of this kind of easy to use technology and teachers and students had a whale of a time messing around with the technology and experimenting. Unlike the traditional camera where you were limited by the capacity of the film, you could just erase the memory and start all over again. The Flat Stanley Project was huge and influential in the way that the camera was used. Quite frankly, it was one of the best investments for student creativity at the time.

When you marry the content, you get today’s challenge – fake science – and this story was all over the internet this past weekend.

Top Scientist Admits Webb Telescope Star Photo Was Actually Chorizo


Once you know the rest of the story, you see it. (and maybe can’t unsee it)

Of course, there is a huge lesson for the classroom about verifying everything but it can get difficult with news agencies repeating and replaying stories without doing their own independent research.

As I read this story and think about the presence of cameras everywhere these days, this concept fell from my mind quite easily. My suggestion for a classroom activity is to combine the two concepts. With student cameras, smartphones, etc. why not go off in search of commonplace objects around the classroom or the school?

Then, drop that image into a document or a blog post and compose a credible story to support the picture. The idea would be a persuasive piece where the student is convincing people that what they’re actually seeing is something else.

I like the concept to support both writing and photography but perhaps even more valuable, is the ease with which you can create a story and document it with an image to persuade the audience they’re seeing something that doesn’t really exist.

OTR Links 08/09/2022

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.