The crux of Course 3 has been about the message – how to best use design and technology to get the message across. It’s also been about gaining awareness of how the message reflects the values of the people sending it and how advertising and media can skew the message in one way or another.
The story of Sgt. Pepper (Lt. John Pike, U.C. Davis campus police officer) may have been just another Occupy Wall Street news clip if Pepper Spraying Cop (warning: comments inappropriate for school use) hadn’t been created. The power of Pepper Spraying Cop is in the visual and satirical representation of the pepper spraying event, but it’s also in the collaboration of the community via the web. Across the States people are contributing their own mash-ups to the cause.
This week in Digital Photography (grades 7-8) we are going to take some time to discuss the outbreak of Pepper Spraying Cop via Tumblr and numerous other media outlets (i.e. Huffington Post, The Washington Post) . Students have been learning about the use of Creative Commons and dabbling in Photoshop for the past couple weeks. I’m looking forward to hearing their perspectives and reactions to how this all applies to the ‘real world’. I’m not expecting that many are too familiar with the OWS movement, but from the images they’ll be able to infer some of the main issues. We will use some of the strategies from Visual Thinking and questions from The Visual Literacy White Paper to help with this visual literacy lesson. Hopefully students will connect the work they are doing in class with the potential for raising awareness and affecting change (or at least decide they’d like to attempt their own rendition of Pepper Spraying Cop).