Images and Multimedia: The Teacher Challenge

I seem to have fallen behind a bit with the Edublog Teacher Challenge, but that’s the beauty of online work — there’s always another day. I’ve missed two of the activities: thinking about how we use images on our spaces and thinking about how we embed media into our sites.

First, I use images as a partner to text, mostly, but this is something I have been rethinking or at least, wondering about. Am I using images with blog posts for the way it looks or for the way it means? I’d have to admit: it’s all about the visual. I guess that’s not that unusual or all that bad, but given this age of multimedia, am I doing enough thinking and reflecting around why I use a specific image and what message does it convey?

This had me thinking a bit about Bud the Teacher’s annual month of poetry picture prompts, in which he posts an image and asks folks to be inspired to write a poem. Each morning, I found something unusual and would let the image spark some words and thoughts, and then I would write. I love how that visual element really got to the heart of creative inspiration.

Here’s an image he posted about refrigerator art:

magnetic poetry

And here was the poem that he inspired for me, looking at some art of my young son on our fridge (Creative Commons License photo credit: surrealmuse):

Oh, Luke, how could you
flash that light saber at your father like that,
there, with your stick arms and fat head,
drawn from some innocence yearning for conflict
and placed right next to the phone numbers
of people whose numbers we should remember anyway.
Luke, you’re not going anywhere anyway,
not with that magnet stuck to your head,
and I hope you don’t mind sharing your space with a report card,
a few coupons,
a reminder or two,
and that flier for a summer camp.
Space has become a cluttered place, Luke, and you’ll have to make do
until the Force of gravity releases you.

The next Teacher Challenge activity was all about embedding media, which I do quite regularly. I am always trying out things and sharing my process as best as I can here at my blog. I figure learning is an adventure, and the more I can reflect, the more I know about what I am doing. Media such as videos and interactive applications are becoming more and more portable, allowing us a chance to engage our readers in different ways. There is also a wide range of skills that go into creating a multimedia piece, and embedding them into our blogs gives us wider publication.

Since we’re on the poetry kick, I figure I would embed a Voicethread that I had created when I did a 30 poems in 30 Days project a few years ago, and asked folks to add thoughts or comments.

Peace (in the kickstart),
Kevin

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7 Comments
  1. I’ve enjoyed seeing the way you showcase student work and embed media on your blog. I’m collecting ideas to use on my blog. I currently have a stack of student book projects to scan and assemble in a video. I–and my students–enjoy the youtube videos that I currently use.

  2. Hi Kevin
    Thanks for sharing more of your great work. As you say the beauty of falling behind, when online doesn’t really matter as it is still there for you. Great you could catch up with two posts in one. I really like using voicethread and love the one that you shared with us. Shows how collaborative it can be.

  3. I love the poem you wrote in response to the magnetic poetry. And you’re right, it is important to make sure the message of the image being used actually fits the intentions of the post. Looking great is good; meaning great is better. 🙂

  4. Kevin,
    I can’t believe you are doing the edublogs Teacher Challenge! You are an inspirational blogger! I love your comments about how we use images with our posts. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what is important to teach student bloggers for their digital writing.

    You may not remember me, but last year you gave me permission to use a snapshot of your blog in a video I created for a grant. I posted it on my blog for the Teacher Challenge about embedding video. It’s in the second video on the post “What is Blogging.” http://undefined.edublogs.org/2011/01/26/videos-and-blogging/

    Thanks, Kevin, for the screenshot and the inspiration you provide for the rest of us!

    Patti Forster

  5. Hello!
    I like that voice thread that you embedded. I also really like that 30 poems in 30 days project idea. I think that would be really fun to do with my 5th grade students. I could have them write a poem each day and have them post it on their blog! What grade do you teach and where?
    –jee young

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