The video sample I chose to use can be viewed by clicking here.
Although our school is involved directly with United Streaming, I’ve yet to really attempt to utilize it for any of my classes. This assignment was nice in the fact that it allowed me to scan the archives for a video that might pertain to something I might teach.
I found one particular video very interesting, and although I don’t teach it at the moment, it could easily be applied to a digital photography class (which I have taught). Looking at the video even further, I suppose you could even tie in some of the concepts and issues discussed to a graphic design/digital art class (which is what I currently teach).
I would really like to utilize this video early in the year when I present the introduction to digital photography. In previous classes, I had my students form two groups, with one group representing traditional film, and the other digital. The students had to come up with different reasons why one was “better” or more advantagous than the other. In the end, the students had a civil debate on the topic. Some of the points made within this video would have great tie ins to this activity especially on the ethics of digital photography. I believe this is an issue many students don’t think about when discussing photography, and photo manipulation.
Through this video, I would want to students to gain an understanding of the positives as well as the negatives to the digital photo era, and digital photo manipulation. Just because digital photography is a technological advancement, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is without it’s downsides, and students need to realize that. Photo journalism, much like tradtional journalism, is necessary to bring truth and history to people without modification. The advancement of digital photography and photo editing has allowed photo journalists to manipulate history and events before the public sees them. Is this ethical? That’s the question I hope to get my students thinking about and discussing through this video.
There are a few ways this video could be incorporated into my class. One, as mentioned earlier, it could be used as a preceding activity to the digital vs. film debate to envoke thoughts on ethics (rather than just technological features).
This video also has it’s place for when my class enters the post-production side of digital workflow. Students always have fun in Photoshop and Lightroom manipulating photos, but there needs to be an emphasis on editing photos as little as possible, and only enough to improve exposure, rather than altering the photo beyond what actually took place at that moment in time.
I could utilize this video as a reference source for students doing research on a particular photography topic (for a small research paper). I find that providing a list of resources is a nice starting point for students beginning a research paper.
The video is short enough that I could also embed it into a file/activity on my blackboard course fro my students to watch as part of a Q&A sheet on photography.
Finally, I feel that this video could be used in part of a quick one to two day class reasearch project where I would show this video, then ask the students to search magazines at home, and here at school (I could provide older magazines for them). They would have to find 5 photos within the magazines that they found that they believe were manipulated, and then present them to the class via slides. This gets students actively engaged and aware of how photographs today (many of them in fact) are manipulated post-production in some fashion.