Session 1: Making Better Readers with Digital Photography

Categories Education, Technology

Sally DeVincentis is a vendor, but she was a Special Education teacher for 25 years. With a background like that she’s got my interest. (This is why I love this WiFi connection. In less than a minute I looked up her business and linked in her website.)

The key to this session seems to be “Visual Literacy,” a skill that begins to develop before verbal literacy.

Ok, we’re 12 minutes in and she’s still talking about theory. I know a lot about this already, but I’m not faulting her for this – I’m sure most of the people in this room are learning this for the first time.

“TV is a student’s FIRST professional teacher.” As much cash as we spend on learning how students think and learn, advertising companies spend much, much more. What can we learn from them?

  • Tell a story.
  • Bombard with visuals.
  • Make it relevant to the viewer’s life. (Personalize it!)
  • Limit the words.
  • Provide multi-sensory cues.
  • Go from the concrete to the abstract.

The theories are done, now she’s showing the products. While she says she’d like us to like her products, she does mention that we can do similar activities on our own without their software.

The first program has a library of digital pictures that can be organized so that every student has their own gallery, but you can add your own. It has a section that will let students edit photos in your gallery, but the coolest part is where students can create a book using their gallery.

The result is a digital product that has the page turns animated as it speaks to students in a distorted computer voice. You can also print the book so students can take it home.

Aaaaah! She’s showing off all of the transitions it can put into a slide show. I know she’s deliberately showing the variety, but how many people who use this product will do the same thing? Bad, bad, bad design.

The session’s winding down. I think I got a few ideas out of this, but I’m still hoping the other sessions speak to me more.

Aaron Smith is a Media Arts & Technology Teacher who spends most of his time on computers. In his free time he plays video games, edits videos, and misses his wife dearly.