Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Photoshop Effect: a cool project

Anytime someone says they care about student achievement, the first thing I ask is for their definition of "student achievement". I do this because too often "student achievement" has everything to do with testsandgrades and very little, if anything, to do with real learning and student engagement.

Here is one of the projects I've had success with. When I say success, I mean that students have been authentically engaged in creating their own understanding for a concept that they can see in a context and for a purpose.

Here's the question that guides this project:

How do you feel about photoshop in the media?

To kick off the project, I like to show these Dove commercials:

Then I share this two part documentary on The Photoshop Effect:

Inside Verily: The First ‘No Photoshop’ Fashion Magazine: The founders of Verily have pledged not to use photoshop on their pages. They explain why we need more realistic beauty standards.
I tend to encourage kids to use a program such as Microsoft Publisher to create their project, but I am not married to any particular software. The kids simply need a blank canvass where they can create word art, text boxes, and import pictures.

They then print their projects off in full colour and comb bind them. When they are done, they are the author of their very own book. Here is a picture of the comb binder and book.

Here is an example of a student's book. Click on it to read through it:


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