Today we analyzed how photographers use lighting, angles, hair, looking direction, body language, cropping, background, color, and lots of other things to get their message across to the reader/viewer. They use these tools to have the reader interpret the image in a certain way. For example in the picture below of Angelina Jolie: She is supposed to be portrayed as beautiful. I know this because her hair looks soft and light, the lighting make her features look soft as well, she is wearing white to give the image of purity, her diamond earrings tell us that she is classy, the picture is zoomed in to only display her shoulders and head so the reader can see close up how beautiful she is, the background is a soft blue color so there is not a strong contrast, and her makeup is very lite so that it seems as though she is so beautiful that she does not need make up. Every photographer goes through this process when creating an image.
Sound editing plays a large part in how a viewer connects or feels about a video or commercial. People use sound in movies to understand the emotion that is being portrayed in the visual. I think the most interesting part of the movie making process is when people use random objects and techniques to make sound effects. The people who do this for a living use the most random objects in order to make a certain sound they want. Students could learn from this because it teaches them that they cannot always believe what they hear. It would be fun to create an activity in which half of the students wear blindfolds while the other half chooses items from either around the classroom or from a selection that they teacher would provide, and the students wearing the blindfolds try to identify the object. Students will be working on their sensory skills and learning about movie production while also having fun.
Worldmapper.org is a website that shows how maps are distorted to show different populations from around the world. It shows a wide range of different categories from the amount of people who have died from malaria to the amount of clothing exported from each country. The website shows this by shrinking countries with smaller amounts and expanding countries with higher numbers. This could be a very useful tool in the classroom because it would help students see the extreme difference of populations when dealing with different subjects. You could use it throughout the year with different subjects ranging from social studies to math to science. It is a really effective website because it makes you see the size difference as opposed to just comparing data.
Another thing we looked at was how headings use words and phrases that may have nothing to do with the actual article in order to grab the attention of the readers. It was interesting to see the misleading titles and then read the actual article to try to figure out why the title was chosen. This is an important skill to teach in your classroom because it shows students that you cannot use an article based on the heading when looking for supporting research. Students often use irrelevant articles because the headings make them believe the article is about a certain idea when it could discuss something completely different. For example in class we looked at the heading “Texting Officially Disastrous to Relationships Says Study”, this leads the readers to believe that there is supporting research and data that proves this theory. When in actuality the article does not say that texting is disastrous, but that these new technologies can cause issues. It is not “officially disastrous”.
While in class today, we went through two different newspapers in order to see which articles we (as groups) thought were more important than other articles. It was interesting to see how the different groups analyzed the articles to judge which ones should be on which pages. Some people thought about the community that would be reading the articles, while other groups thought about what they would want to read in the newspaper. It made me realize how difficult it would be to be an editor to choose the layout or a reporter to go through the decision of writing an article that may not by ethically right. Reporters are faced with the challenge of deciding whether or not an article is ethically right to write about and publish within their community. They sometimes fight the battle of whether they should publish a piece that could ruin someone’s life or not report the news that the public deserves to know. An activity such as this one could be used in a classroom with older students to help them see the decision making process that goes in to the news articles they read everyday. Students could then write their own articles for a writing assignment where they could judge if they are writing an ethically right piece.
“If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed” Benjamin Franklin (1730)
This was the second quote our group had that we decided not to share with the class. I believe that his statement is very true. It seems as though that with any article or story there will be someone with an opposing point of view. It is important for students to understand this because almost everything they will read or write may have someone who has a different point of view and does not want them to publish their work. For an activity with older students, you could do the same sort of activity that we did with the different situations and deciding whether or not they should be published based on ethical reasons. It would be difficult to do this in an elementary school setting because the students may not understand the concept of being ethical.
A big issue we discussed in class was the use of product placement within TV shows and movies. I believe that adding products within entertainment can be helpful to the overall feeling of the show. The products need to be subtle though. I personally do not completely notice products within shows/movies when they are subtle. I am aware that the product is there, but I do not think “Hey, Drake likes to drink Sprite I should start to buy and drink it.” It is more like I see the product more often which then makes me feel as though it is a reliable brand. The advertising within movies/shows need to flow with the rest of the story or else the audience does notice and responds negatively because we feel pushed into buying the product. However, there are shows that take product placement to a new level by making it extremely obvious that a product is being advertised. This makes me not want to watch the program because I feel like the ads are being pushed onto me.
Advertising has taken different routes to the consumers with the changing world. Facebook now shows ads within your news feed based on websites you have visited. Which can be annoying when you visit a website one time and are constantly seeing ads for it months later. It could also be awkward when people are looking at your Facebook with you and see ads that you did not want others to see. Another way advertisements are trying to reach you is through text and email. You are able to receive text messages with deals going on at places you may visit frequently. And at many stores, they will ask for your email address when checking out so the company can send you ads and coupons through email. Which sounds like a helpful idea, but often is just really annoying because it fills your inbox with emails daily. There is a great episode within the sixth season of Parks and Recreation in which Ron Swanson wants to completely get off the grid when he receives ads in the mail without signing up for them, but he comes to realize that it is almost impossible to completely remove yourself from the grid.
Here is a clip from the episode:
The focus of class today way how large corporations own many things that we do not normally think is owned by a certain company. For example: General Electric owns 49% of NBC channels. I knew companies such as Disney owned a lot of different branches of products, but I had not idea it was at this large of a scale. This makes me want to explore further into who exactly owns the products that I use on a daily basis. Like what corporations own the food products that I buy and consume. These types of questions could help anyone better understand where the products they use come from, answer if they are safe, or help you see which companies you are supporting as a consumer.
Counting the number of adds within magazines was also shocking. We predicted that there would be a larger number of ads within the magazines, but when we calculated the percentage the numbers were much lower than we expected. Although we did not account for the articles selling us specific things, the amount of advertising was lower than I thought. I always feel as though magazines are a majority advertising, but this could be because I view magazines that were not included in out experiment. In magazines such as Cosmo or Elle, the pages are FILLED with ads because the content of these magazines are also trying to sell you clothes. There are large sections that are just models showing different outfits for you to buy based on the style of clothing you wear. They divide them by preppy, hipster, punk, etc.
Today’s class will help me with teaching because I could use this magazine activity within the classroom (using appropriate magazines). This lesson could be used for students within a unit about analyzing media/advertisement. This is important skill for students to learn because they need to be able to distinguish between facts and fiction so through the advertising and media students can see how they are being influenced.