Monday, November 4, 2013


In our readings for this week, the subject revolves around, you guessed it, digital literacy. Specifically, though, it is mostly focused on the use of visual media and its impact in our own lives. I feel as though it doesn't need to be argued that visual media has seen a boom unlike any other with the expansion of the Internet. From its humble foundings based in cat meme's and the early days of YouTube, it has grown into a behemoth that encompasses how many people live their day-to-day lives--and it represents a fundamental shift in how we view privacy and relationships. It has manifested in such services such as Vine and Instagram,  which exist solely to share visual media and creations with the world in a quick, easily-digestible form factor-- and also which are but a few examples of how our sharing culture, and the role of visual media in our society has changed us.

And so, back to our readings. According to Hicks, literature itself is concerned with the study of media. I was always told that writing visually and viscerally would help me get my point across. With the introduction of digital literacy and its growing presence in the classroom, our students' writing could definitely benefit from the introduction of visual media, especially considering Hicks assertion of what visual media can do to our writing: "decorating our story, illustrating a concept, or illuminating our viewers through the combination of media elements” (110). Having our students able to read visuals as literature is a lesson that can be learned from such an assignment.

In terms of our Digital Literacy Narrative, the readings helped me understand that I have to be diligent about not placing images and using them on the side, but rather putting them there for a direct purpose and in a meaningful way. They cannot be add-ons, but must remain instead an integral part of the overall product. This will be really interesting because to be honest, I'm still drifting on what I want my DLN to be. Like the spoken word poem/video we watched in class, I looked at my literacy narrative and saw a potential for a spoken word poem. I have already worked meticulously over this poem, making sure each individual emphasis, pause, and word has a meaning that is important to the whole piece. Turning that into a video without simply tacking on some cheesy music, however, is going to be the challenge.

It is true, however, that if I feel as if this is a good idea for my future students, then I must do this, and do it in a way that does not cheapen the experience. I want to create a visual that is simplistic, and accompanying music that matches the overall mood, but I don't want it to get in the way of the words I have spent hours meticulously putting together. I take poetry very seriously, you see, and I am rather a novice at using visual media outside of tacking them on to PowerPoint presentations. Using the information provided in the readings, however, I will hope to make great strides in creating a meaningful video for the class to enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Eric,
    I liked that you mentioned how visual texts are not simply pictures used as decoration on a PowerPoint. It is true; people tend to use images like cheap jewelry that is just there for show. But we need to be advocates for visual literacy. We must teach our students how to devour a visual text and search through it for information. In short, we must teach our students to READ in an entirely different and visual language that will give them a channel toward emotional attachment to ideas.