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Bring The Media Show to your school!

Posted by Gus at 6:50 pm, August 31, 2014 | About the Show, episodes, Kickstarter

We’ve had a couple of requests to describe the workshops and presentations that The Media Show could do for schools, colleges, afterschool programs, libraries, and pre-service teachers. So Gus has drafted a list of just a few possibilities, below. Workshops are intended for junior-high or high-school audiences, except where otherwise indicated below. As a reminder, we are currently offering these workshops only through The Media Show’s Kickstarter fundraiser, an offer which lasts only through just before noon on Tuesday, September 23!

Privacy, Online Security, and Digital Literacy
As a doctoral student and postdoc at Teachers College, Columbia University, Gus did research on Internet users who put their finances, safety, and reputation at risk when they posted inappropriately revealing messages online. Gus now works for an organization dedicated to supporting users’ anonymity, privacy, and right to free speech through the development of encryption and circumvention tools — the kind Iranian activists use to organize, and the kind Glenn Greenwald used to contact Edward Snowden. In this workshop, Gus will share the online skills necessary to help users young and old protect themselves, regardless whether they’re on technology as old as land-line phones or as new as iPads. This presentation is ideal for teachers in training or as professional development, or for college or graduate students.

Dos and Don’ts of Photoshop
In this workshop, which Gus developed with her Marist College students, students use the website Photoshop Disasters to collaboratively develop and refine their criteria for what makes a “good” photomanipulated image and what constitutes a “Photoshop Disaster.” We may use the Media Show Photoshop episode to discuss the ethics of photo manipulation, and/or the stock photo episode to talk about the effects of stereotyped images on how we think about the world around us.

How (Not) To Make Viral Video
While making The Media Show, Gus and EdLab learned a lot about what makes video go “viral.” This presentation will discuss a number of well-known “viral” videos and their commonalities. Gus will share the backend analytics data for The Media Show, discussing tactics which worked and which did not. This presentation could be modified for a range of audiences, from high school students to masters students to nonprofit and educational media planners.

Yell and Sell – Ad tactics
A classic media literacy workshop, focusing closely on how specific ad tactics can change the image of a product. Students will watch the Yell and Sell episode of The Media Show, which introduces the “yell and sell” and “branding” tactics used by different advertisers. They will then compare and contrast the different with sound, pacing, visual, and message elements of the two strategies. Using their lists of elements, they will develop their own ads by manipulating video or print clips from existing ads, changing the strategy to change the product image. The workshop ends with a presentation of these ads. (This is the lesson featured in http://themediashow.pressible.org/topic/the-case-study/teaching-media-literacy/classroom-practice ) Ideal for any teacher seeking discussions about ads, particularly language arts, communications/journalism, social studies, etc.

What Is Media Literacy?
This workshop is for teachers in training or college undergrads in communications. Gus will talk about the arguments in media literacy studies that went into the development of The Media Show, drawing on her ongoing conversations with media literacy leader Renee Hobbs. Participants will begin with a short writing exercise, identifying their own preconceptions of what students should learn about media. The class will engage with Media Show episodes to explore different approaches to media literacy.

TV Tropes
“Tropes” are story elements which come up in literature, television, movies, and comics over and over and over again. When used too much, they’re essentially writers’ crutches; when used well, they can be shorthand to let writers accomplish a great deal quickly. This workshop will have middle-to-high-school students explore tvtropes.org, a nearly inexhaustible, crowdsourced list of tropes in different media. They will seek tropes they recognize, and see if their own ideas for tropes exist in this database already. They will watch the TV Tropes episode of The Media Show as an example of how to use tropes, then make their own episodes (or write scripts) using a few tropes of their choosing. Great for literature classes, communications classes, or just for fun!

Greenwashing
Students will watch the Greenwashing episode of The Media Show and use sinsofgreenwashing.org and greenerchoices.org to explore the concept of “greenwashing,” or companies making a big public show of their environmental friendliness. Students will then develop their own ads, either in print or in video, using “greenwashing” tactics to sell less-than-friendly products. Good for science classes, communications and media classes, social studies classes, etc.

Ads and ethics
Where is it OK for ads to be in our lives? When do they become too intrusive? Students will watch Media Show episodes about billboards, jingles on cell phones, and ads on classroom tests (yes, some teachers have actually been selling ad space on tests!). After small-group discussion, they will put together a “sock-puppet” debate about their groups’ conclusions about the ethics of advertising in different spaces of our lives — creating and using actual sock puppets to have the debate. The debates will be filmed for posterity! Recommended for ethics classes, debate teams, social studies, etc.

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