A Piktochart on Advertising

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It seems like forever since I’ve blogged last! Anyway, as you can see, I created my visual using Piktochart, and the information I included is about advertising and how you – the consumer – are the primary target. This week I’ve spent some time simply looking up interesting facts about advertising. What I’ve discovered is incredibly interesting. I’ve tried not to limit myself, however, to simply the positive side of advertising, but to the negative side as well (this is what I’ve chosen to display on my visual). For example, in case you’re unable to read the facts under the quick facts section, they are as follows:

  1. More than $500 billion is spent on advertising worldwide,
  2. By the time a person in the US is 65, they would have seen roughly two million TV commercials,
  3. and over $15 billion per year is spent in advertisements directed towards children in the US.

So, as you can see, and like I stated earlier, you (the consumer) are the primary target in the advertising world. However, nobody is considered too young, either. Children are targeted as well. Interesting (and kind of scary) right?

On the other hand, however, in terms of actually making this visual, I would have to say that it was rather difficult for me (the technically challenged). Picking the template was easy, as was manipulating the text, but maneuvering the text boxes and attempting to change the background were both difficult tasks. Once I figured out how to do it, however, it became easier.

In terms of possibly using this particular tool in the classroom, on the other hand, it would be neat to use this to display classroom rules, formula charts and other “cheat sheets,” classroom announcements, or simply having the students utilize this tool for assignments or projects.

On a different note, however, I think there is some value in presenting information in these visual/graphic styles. I say this because it’s just like graphic design/advertising. In graphic design/advertising, the primary goal of the artist is to convey the needed information in a neat, orderly, and attractive manner, one that is aesthetically pleasing. In doing this, in my opinion, it helps information to stick in one’s mind far better than simply reading it off a plain piece of paper. Therefore, like I said earlier, if one uses these as informational pieces or cheat sheets, the given information will stay with the students longer than compared to having it displayed in a way that’s boring.

 

The Radio Rediscovered (Among Other Things)

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Photo CC: By oroD Doro

“‘…contemporary podcasts resemble radio shows from the past.'” In this quote from the article “What Teens are Learning from ‘Serial’ and Other Podcasts,” a high school English teacher by the name of Michael Godsey describes the benefits he’s witnessed in incorporating podcasts into his classroom. For example, in listening to ‘Serial,’ his students are “learning at the highest level,” helping students develop their analytical skills, critical reading skills, and public speaking skills, the latter two concerning reading the accompanying transcripts and debating with fellow students. Concerning the digital storytelling aspect of this assignment, some educational benefits of watching and creating digital stories include, according to the “Teacher’s Guide to Digital Storytelling,”                  “[teaching] students how to navigate the writing and creative process, including brainstorming, constructing unique voices, narrating, and… structuring arguments in a compelling and logical manner.” In looking at these educational benefits, an individual can easily attach certain standards to each, therefore meeting the state and/or national standards for learning. On the other side of the spectrum, however, some disadvantages to incorporating podcasts and digital storytelling in one’s classroom may not be, in terms of podcasts, enough to hold the students’ attention, as the younger generations (including ours) are used to intense, highly-stimulated T.V. shows or video games. In terms of digital storytelling, however, one disadvantage may include lack of money for the required equipment for students to do his/her work. In reading the “Teacher’s Guide to Digital Storytelling, technologies such as video cameras, computers, and the accompanying software are required. If none of these things are available, digital storytelling in the classroom may be virtually impossible. Moving on to the next question of possibly having my future students create in these forms, I would have to say that I definitely would (if the necessary equipment is available) have my students do so. I say this because it would serve as an excellent introduction to the educational benefits I listed before. In utilizing these things, it could possibly be easier for students to learn to create through writing. In the end, my biggest takeaway would probably be realizing that in incorporating these into one’s classroom, so many standards are hit that, at least for me, it would be a no-brainer. Also, to tell the truth, I became pretty excited about the possibility of using these things in my future classroom!

ILP: How About Those License Plates?

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Photo courtesy of the Omaha World-Herald

Okay, so if anyone has been following the whole license plate debacle, then you immediately know what I’m talking about. If not, however, then you soon will! On March 22nd, Gov. Pete Ricketts unveiled the new license plate design for Nebraska, as a new design has to be issued every six years. Unlike what we’ve had in the past, however, which have been somewhat attractive, he unveiled well . . . something else. This new design featured (I say featured because the DMV has thankfully halted production!) what was supposed to be the Nebraska Sower, which is depicted atop the state capitol. It also contained a blue stripe running the top length of the plate with Nebraska spelled out in yellow, and the years 1867-2017 on the bottom portion of the plate, a nod to the state’s 150th anniversary. This new design was met with harsh criticism and ridicule, however. First of all, it was “sexually suggestive,” to put it nicely. The way the artist portrayed the sower with his grain satchel looked like a man flaunting his well, you know! On top of that, it simply looked like he was just standing on top of a cupcake. Nice, right? Now in terms of the actual design of the plate, it’s a horrible design, in my opinion. Yes it’s simple, but it’s also boring as all get out. I appreciate the fact that the blue and yellow was a nod to the colors of the state seal, but it looked like a plate from Michigan. It was really funny, however, as members of Nebraska Through the Lens (a photography group on Facebook) starting posting their version of the new plate, spicing it up by redesigning it and adding images that reflect true Nebraskan life. It will be interesting to see what the new design will be, but I certainly hope that it will be a better design than what was originally conceived.

Just for comparative reasons (or if you are curious as to what past Nebraska plate designs were) check out this website!

Also, if you want to see what Comedy Central had to say about the new design . . .

http://www.omaha.com/go/comedy-central-show-pokes-fun-at-nebraska-s-new-license/article_e4fac69e-f2b3-11e5-9ee7-b75578345777.html

 

 

Time to Unplug

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Photo CC: by Peter Sunna

I’m sure we’ve all been there; tethered to whatever device may be at hand, mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. What’s the point of this? “Well,” one might say, “to stay connected.” Connected. Connected to what? Connected to our “friends?” Connected to our own little cyber world in which we live? Or connected to our devices; those devices which we cannot live without. I don’t really watch Jimmy Fallon (I’m more of a Jay Leno kind of person. Headlines anybody?) but I know he does this bit where he writes “thank you” notes. These “thank you” notes aren’t restricted to just anyone; they’re written to anyone and anything, including smart phones and their accompanying chargers. I say smart phones and chargers because I recently saw this one in which he was writing one to the chargers of the world, thanking them for being the human equivalent to leashes in public spaces; spaces such as the airport, restaurants, hospitals, etc. While he was writing this “thank you” note, it showed a guy at an airport, sitting on the floor scrolling through his phone while it was charging. I oftentimes feel like this guy, wasting my time on my iPhone. Therefore, I can honestly say that most of the time I don’t use technology mindfully. I try, however, but there are so many things to read and catch up on and so many people to talk to. It’s often overwhelming. Just as Paul Miller described about having a number of tabs open and talking to numerous people at once. I often try, however, to disconnect in purposefully leaving my phone at home if I go anywhere, or simply leave it on the kitchen counter while I go about my day. It’s interesting, however, as I constantly have that urge to check it, just as was talked about in the TED talk. Most of the time, however, as was discussed in the article about the teens disconnecting for three days, I always feel a sense of freedom, as I don’t have to constantly be checking up on the book of faces or seeing what’s trending in the world of Twitter. It’s also important to unplug and actually physically connect and interact with individuals because in my mind, that face-to-face time is invaluable. Whenever I spend time with my Grandparents, I always make a conscious effort to stay off my phone when I’m there, because those are moments I want to keep and cherish forever.

Here are the links to the article and video I referred to:

https://online.csc.edu/portal/site/ba0a8fa0-d272-4966-bdbd-c8ada577356f/page/8fcab236-c20b-4da2-897d-698c0b7ca87d

http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/03/06/turned-off-how-teens-respond-to-a-no-tech-challenge/