Sparking Critical Thinking About Images in a Meme Culture

Pamela Graham

ID

Snelling, J. (2019). In a Meme Culture, How to spark critical thinking about images. School Library Journal. Retrieved from https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=In-a-Meme-Culture-How-To-Spark-Critical-Thinking-About-Images

This article explains visual literacy, now incorporated into the language arts, which involves the ability to observe an image and make meaning of it. Given that there are millions of YouTube videos and social media posts uploaded each day, students need to be aware of how to differentiate the real from the fake. Many still trust that “seeing is believing” and forward memes and photos without a thought of who created them. The article shares strategies for helping students determine if an image is real or Photoshopped, such as slowing down and applying reason and critical thinking, tracing the source of an image, and creating their own “fake” images to understand how easy it is to doctor them.

I liked this article and thought it shared practical advice for how we as educators can help our students become more media-savvy.

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How to Design a Library that Makes Kids Want to Read

Post by Kim Chaney

Topic: Library Design, ID

Bierut, M. (2017). How to design a library that makes kids want to read. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/michael_bierut_how_to_design_a_library_that_makes_kids_want_to_read

Summary

In this TED talk, Michael Bierut discusses how he had an unintended consequence in his library design project that caught on and beautifully infiltrated the New York City schools. As a graphic designer he was tasked with developing a logo for The School Library Initiative. This was a project spearheaded by the Robin Hood foundation, a philanthropic organization geared to enrich the lives to lower income students. In the process of failing to succeed on his logo project, he opened the door to complete library redesigns that brought in the local culture of the community. After one successful redesign, the idea spread throughout the New York City school system. The TED talk discusses his process and highlights some of the library transformations he was a part of.

Summary

I found this to be a highly inspiring TED talk (as most of them are), especially for a new school librarian who has the opportunity take over a library that is in need of an update. Through his own experience and humor, Bierut brings to light ways that a librarian can update his/her library space in very simple ways. While his redesign ideas were more involved, using local artists and photographers, the images provide ideas that can easily be done in a public school