Over the while, I’ve noticed that content creators are getting younger and younger. While many of our students are consuming media, many are also creating on a variety of platforms, often in their spare time. Keeping this in mind, I’m realizing more and more that my media lessons of creating a poster or a cereal box also need to evolve. While there is still value in these lessons, this year, I’ve been trying to see how I can support students in using technology tools that are board approved to extend these lessons. One tool that I have found great success in using this year is Adobe Express. In this post, I’m sharing what we’ve been working on and how I’m hoping to support students in creating media connected to curricular areas.
Media is all around us. Simply put, media can be described as words, images, graphics and/or sounds working together to convey a message to the reader. When teaching Media Literacy, I often start off by having students identify the purpose, meaning and audience for a text. Almost every time, I start off with print media which is probably something that I could expand on since there are so many different forms of media. We often do move into commercials. From there, we often create a list of conventions and techniques associated with media and how they are used to create meaning. Finally, students often are asked to demonstrate their learning by creating their own media work; speaking to the specific conventions and techniques they have used.
This year, I had students design a new menu item for a fast-food restaurant. The item had to be something that would be appealing to a specific audience and would have to be in line with the identity of that specific restaurant, but elevating its existing offerings. Some students picked well-known fast food places in our school community, while others chose local less-known places where they enjoyed meals with their families. They designed their menu items and then we jumped into Adobe Express to learn about how they could create a short commercial, pitching their item. The idea of being able to create their own short commercial took the activity to a whole new level of excitement. Once I helped students to log in and showed them a couple of features, they were off to the races. With limited tech, we’re taking turns and have used it as an opportunity to get feedback from peers.
The results so far have been incredible. Students have added sound effects and some tried to create their own music to add to their commercials. All of the images they have used have been their own creations and some have even worked on creating clay images to represent their food. Many of their commercials have far exceeded my expectations and it’s been a pleasant surprise. While there has been great value in my lessons of the past with posters and cereal boxes, this has been a reminder of how extending this work and using tech can really spark some great ideas that far exceed my expectations. While students enjoy consuming media, they’re really excited to create and share with others.