We’ve been doing some great media literacy programming these past weeks. Check out some highlights:
Currently, we are running a Photography as Activism class at EPIC North in Queens that encourages students to challenge the representation of their communities by using their phones as tools for activism. Students are learning the various definitions of activism as well as the role of the photographer in capturing images. When the program began and facilitators asked about who creates images of teens in the media, students often shrugged. The same answer followed when students were asked about who creates the images about their communities. This program explores those questions and many more. In an attempt to activate students’ voices, they are learning the importance of agency and choosing how they capture places, objects, and people. Their final project will be a series of photo essays.
This semester at New Settlement High School in the Bronx, students created a short documentary delving into the complex yet commonly asked question, “How do you see yourself?” The students grappled with several questions before boiling down to wanting to examine standards of beauty in the media and how it shapes self-esteem and ultimately how a person internalizes themselves. Through intense weeks of planning interviews, capturing B-roll and documenting their subjects, students were able to shape how they wanted their stories to be told.
In collaboration with Hudson Guild and their new TechUp! lab space, students in our Digital Career Path program are exploring their relationship with online media. They are learning how these spaces are constructed as well as digital literacy skills to navigate the online media landscape by carving out their own spaces. They are learning basic photo and video editing skills through Adobe Premiere and Photoshop, and have already created print mashups, video remixes, short videos and Kickstarter campaigns. These students are gaining an amazing amount of skills they are able to integrate into their final Digital Entrepreneurship projects.
In addition, students at Secondary School for Law are exploring how ads target and persuade young people to think and behave a certain way. Students are exploring a variety of topics under the GrowNYC’s Zero Waste Schools Initiative and are designing and constructing PSA’s around issues of conservation and waste reduction in order to raise awareness to other young people. Students at Khalil Gibran International Academy have been talking back to political candidates as part of our Break the Election program.
Stay tuned to see what the final projects look like!