Multimedia for Social Change


Aprendamos – Summer Updates 2 by jlipshin
June 15, 2011, 11:10 am
Filed under: mm4sc, Reflections

Aprendamos Week Five and Six Updates

These past couple weeks have been extremely busy, but I think very productive. There were a number of highlights:

–       Last Monday, Miguel and I began talking about gender, homophobia, and bullying.

  • We began with the gendered advertising remixer, which was a great success just like it was in Grecia’s class last session. The students really found the tool to be funny and it was very useful in starting to talk about gender stereotypes. After taking turns playing with the tool, we filled in a chart detailing what was “boyish” and what was “girly” about each ad, and then proceeded to think of examples which broke down these stereotypes (i.e. female superheroes). They liked the remixer so much that the students had me show it to students from Bernadette’s class the next day during their break.  🙂
  • After playing with the remixer, much of our subsequent discussion began with students saying things like “that’s gross because that’s gay.” However, by the end of the discussion, I think the students seemed to really comprehend the consequences of homophobic slurs and bullying. I showed them the video of the ten year old who refused to say the pledge of allegiance because of the lack of equality for LGBT people, as well as a short news clip featuring Cheryl Kilodavis’ children’s book My Princess Boy. I think that seeing boys their age who liked to dress up like girls and kids who were committed to the rights of LGBT people was a new experience for the students, and afterwards their answers to my questions were (on the whole) much more sensitive.
  • I also showed them the ACLU video featuring the mother of Seth Walsh, one of the gay teens who committed suicide last year. Although it’s usually difficult to get the students to be quiet when they are watching a video, they were absolutely silent when watching this one. I really think that they grasped the gravity of the issue. Juan even recounted to me one of his cousins who was gay and who was bullied in the same way, and amazingly, Angel even confessed that he has been mean to “boys who act like girls” before. It was a really, really awesome moment to say the least.

–       Since last Tuesday, I have also been working with students one-on-one to create personal videos about their friends and families.

  • Using the pictures they took with IDEPSCA’s cameras, the students learned to order their pictures into a coherent narrative argument. We discussed the notion of editing and montage, and how making a video is just another way of writing a story (i.e. it has a beginning, middle, and end).
  • Before recording the voice over for their videos, I had the students write out what they wanted to say for each of the pictures and memorize it. Framing this activity as constructing a “script” made them much more excited about the writing process – most of the time, it’s hard to get them to jot down more than a couple sentences, but when they know that the writing will go towards the making of a movie, they were willing to write whole paragraphs!
  • Overall, I think the videos have been coming out pretty well. I’ve been noticing that most of the voice overs have been filled with comments like “this is ….”, but I’m really encouraging the students to be more descriptive by using phrases such as “I like this, because ….” instead. Also, Joselyn has been very creative and poetic with the way that she took her pictures, so I’m curious to see if her video will turn out to be different than all the others.
  • Here are links to all the individual family videos I’ve done so far. Included is also a link to a video/drawing activity that Miguel did with the students (I’m assuming he already discussed this at one of the staff meetings).

–       Finally, here is a link to a video that I made with Bryan last week. He wasn’t pleased with the video he made with Miguel, so he told me that he wanted to make a new one that was more like a “real movie” (presumably, a Hollywood feature film.) So here’s his animated story about a roller coaster monster, complete with credits and him doing the voices for multiple characters. He even wanted me to make a trailer for the movie, but I said that probably wasn’t necessary for a movie that was thirty seconds long. 🙂



Notes on Gender and Homophobia Curriculum by jlipshin
June 15, 2011, 11:01 am
Filed under: mm4sc, Reflections

Notes from a lesson plan on gender/homophobia/bullying.

Objectives/Themes/Approaches:

–       Bullying/harassment (how to frame the discussion, using appropriate vocabulary)

–       Embracing your gender identity. Beyond gender binaries and stereotypes.

–       Connecting homophobia to xenophobia: discrimination against immigrants and queer people. (Mariella: “it’s the same thing, two forms of discrimination”).

  • Intersecting identities, queer immigrants, queer youth of color.

–       Sharing different forms of discrimination.

  • Introducing the topic both with personal anecdotes and by outlining various histories of oppression.
    • Historical Context => laws/stigmas against interracial marriage, against international marriages, against same-sex marriages.

–       Bringing all of the discussions back to the topic of LOVE.

–       Helping students to understand that laws can be unfair. (many have trouble understanding this, given their answers on the surveys).

 

Media/texts to share with students:

–       Gendered Advertising Remixer

  • An awesome tool that lets you “remix” and subvert aggressive gender stereotypes embedded in marketing for toys.
    • Lets you take the audio from a “boy ad” and video from a “girl ad” (or vice versa) and mixes them together to produce a humorous effect.
    •  The students in Grecia’s class loved it last session and it was a great introduction to our discussion on gender stereotypes.
    • LINK: http://www.kaltura.org/demos/RemixGenderedAds/

–       “My Princess Boy” by Cheryl Kilodavis

–       ACLU Video on homophobia, bullying, and teen suicide.

  • Video featuring the mother of Seth Walsh, one of the teens who committed suicide last year due to homophobic bullying. It’s really, really heartwrenching, so some of it can be edited down for the students (particularly the beginning and the end).
  • LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y5CbtXoO74

–       Will Phillips

  •  The amazing 10 year old who refused to stand up during the Pledge of Allegiance because “there is not liberty and justice for all, especially for LGBT people.”
  • LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iho2Q5eWQyQ

–       “It gets better” campaign (Columnist Dan Savage) => From Miguel

–       Xicano Soul (“Gay Latino Love Story: He Swallowed”) => From Hugo

Possible Activities or Projects:

–       Gender Performances (“Character walks”) => Alejandra’s idea.

  • Having students pretend to be a character (i.e. wrestler, ballerina) and then analyze the character’s embedded gender stereotypes.

–       Having them deconstruct gender stereotypes in pop culture artifacts that are part of their everyday life.

  • Alejandra said she’s tried this before with Grand Theft Auto pictures.
  • Idea: Maybe we could even put these pictures in VoiceThread and have the criticism be voice over commentary?

–       Another Idea: Maybe we could even teach students how to do their own video remixes (like the Gendered Advertising Remixer)

  • Take existing material from a variety of pop culture sources and mash it up into new and exciting ways.
    • People have been remixing for years.
      • Hip-hop, collage, sampling => Can do “identity remixing.” 🙂

–       Having students send a letter or video to President Obama. (Make a change like Will Phillips!)

  • Helping students recognize that they have a voice, that even though they are kids, they are capable of making an intervention and making a difference.


Aprendamos Summer Updates 1 by jlipshin
June 15, 2011, 10:47 am
Filed under: mm4sc, Reflections

Hey everyone! Here are some notes on what has been happening with Aprendamos this summer. They’re not quite fully fleshed out “reflections” (at least, not yet), but they give you an idea of what we’ve been up to. 🙂

Weekly Check-In 6/3

Highlights:

–       Students remaking images of themselves in Photoshop.

  • Almost all of the students thought that this was a fun activity. They all experimented with different filters, colors, and fonts, and some of the students became so comfortable with the software that they started driving the computer on their own. That moment, when students’ ask “can I try?” and start to experiment with the tools on their own, is always really exciting. 🙂

–       Bryan making his own video.

  • So with most of the students, the activity was to take the video they shot with Miguel last week and put the Photoshop-ed image of themselves in the front of it, as an introduction.  With Bryan, however, he had bigger plans in mind! He wanted to tell this elaborate story about a roller coaster monster and his friends, and so I helped him do just that. After creating a hilarious Photoshop-ed image, he drew pictures of each of the story’s events in a sequence. I then took pictures of each of his drawings and then inserted them along a video timeline, which he then provided voice over commentary to.
  • The final product was really, really cute. We added credits to his movie and he even wanted a trailer for it, although I told him that I thought this was unnecessary because his movie was 30 seconds long! Anyways, he seemed to really enjoy being creative and I thought this was particularly great because usually it’s very hard to get him to do any work in the class. Many of his classmates also loved the video, so Miguel and I are talking about possibly doing this activity (or some variation of it) next week.
  • URL: http://vimeo.com/25110510

Areas to work on:

  • There was one thing that stood out to me this week. During loteria, Sade repeatedly said that she wanted the students to call out the cards in Spanish and English, although sometimes they only called it out in Spanish. She’s told me a few times that she feels ostracized because she is the only one that doesn’t speak Spanish, so if that activity could be conducted in both English and Spanish I think that would be better for her.

Questions for everyone else:

–       How did the food pyramid activity go yesterday? I know that my timing is absolutely rotten given that Michelle Obama and the USDA just publicized that “the food pyramid is out, and My Plate is in.” But I still think the activity had the potential to be valuable on a number of levels…

  •  I think Liz mentioned this yesterday, but just to reiterate, I picked food cut-outs for the activity that would be somewhat trickier for the students to put in the appropriate categories. For instance, there were some like peanut butter on toast that could fit into multiple categories (proteins and grains). I also wanted to include foods that would demonstrate how health is affected by how a food is prepared (i.e. how grilled chicken would be a healthy protein vs. how chicken nuggets would be part of the extras category. I did the same thing for potatoes vs. French fries.)

–       Did the students seem to get this insight? And did this activity fit well with the fruit salad activity afterwords?