Developing a Curriculum Plan to build a Media Gallery
The Media Gallery illustrates the results from planned literacy activities. It is more than an organised list of images. It holds stories that students want to communicate in response to curriculum tasks. Teachers will want to use the student-created galleries in curriculum activities and will want to develop curriculum activities which produce galleries as the medium for communication and expression. This document may help you plan the production of galleries.
The web site describes how to build media galleries. When reading these directions, it may be useful to think about the Media gallery as being like an Art Gallery with guided commentary. In an Art Gallery, a named collection will contain images labelled with titles and artists. There are likely to be an information boards or listening posts with oral commentary about each image and the collection. The online media gallery we have built, has similar characteristics, expanding our understanding of media and expanding our opportunity to help students develop literacy outcomes in a contemporary Internet context.
The Media Gallery allows teachers to construct thematic collections of images from existing galleries during problem solving curriculum. If for example, if we had collected galleries of school events, and had received a request from an international school investigating say, cooperation, we could construct a new collection from existing images about coperative activities at the school. This has wonderful curriculum opportunities.
The following process may help you plan curriculum activities which result in Galleries being communicated through the website.
The curriculum model
After discussion with your class, develop a theme for planning, communicating and publishing stories. You might need to capture the essence of an event to share with students and families or you might use a curriculum question to encourage students to use the gallery to express their written, computer and graphical literacy.
Then encourage students to plan a gallery. Question students about choices for stories and images and undertake a problem solving exercise to select the images for each addition to the gallery.
Help students gain and develop the computing skills required to collect images and/or sounds. Your class may need to develop more complex skills for manipulating images and sounds.
Help students develop descriptions for their images, thus helping develop literacy skills, thinking skills and text manipulation skills with and without computers. Writing to the known audience for a particular purpose will sharpen the focus of your activity and enable you to specify precise learning outcomes.
Help students publish on the web site. This will increase their technical skills and their understanding of knowledge work processes in an Internet environment.
Your class will need to select one image as the signature image for the gallery. If they were attracting an audience or wanted to communicate briefly about the gallery, which image would be the most appropriate? Class meetings, student-led discussions or scenarios might help your students make this decision. This is a metacognitive activity: thinking about the thinking behind the communication from the gallery. It also supports collaborative decision-making outcomes.
Assist your class to review the collection; assisting them to communicate more clearly to the intended audience. You may wish to use email to talk with the audience and make further changes, based on those interactions. This will enable students to develop their communciations skills in various media and improve literacy. The interactions will serve authentic audience outcomes and develop enthusiasm for participation in collaborative publishing activities.
Play with the collection and see how it fits with other galleries being published. The media gallery has a search facility. By searching the galleries, your students can view smaller collections of images around themes or questions. This alternative perspective of the collections can be used to analyse images and stories and construct media stories to interpret and "read". For example you might see what the event being depicted in the gallery meant for "families"? A search for "families", a word likely to be used in many descriptions, would create a new collection of school life - a cross section across the galleries about what has been published about family life. This "play" will help you facilitate information literacy skills, reasoning skills and literacy (interpretation) skills of students
Notes about using the Media Gallery tool.
You will need to show students examples of galleries as models for one they might develop. Here you can play the role of audience of the web site and reflect on your experiences as an audience. This will help students plan to publishers on the web site.
Only teachers use the Gallery Control Centre to establish a gallery, name the gallery, paste in the text about the gallery (which may be written by students). You will also make a student password to a gallery. In the control room, you can also make the gallery public or private and edit gallery descriptions. You will also be asked at some point to select an image as the "signature image" to advertise your gallery. You may have built this into your curriculum activities or you might make the choice.
Students publish into a gallery while "Viewing a gallery". From the same screens that enable them to look at what has been done to date, they can add an image and edit an image using the password you have set.
Once a gallery is complete, it is highly recommended that you use the Media Gallery Control Centre to change the student password to keep it safe from over-zealous students.
Note that you can practice all the skills you need by developing a gallery and then deleting it. You may want to do this before using the web site with a class for the first time.
Potential list of learning outcomes
Learning outcomes are statements of what students know and can do and represent the level at which they can demonstrate these outcomes.
Students will know
* That a collection of images, text and sounds can tell a story about an event or place and convey opinions and feelings. Stories can be read and written.
* That a remote readers of computer-generated collections will form opinions, become informed and develop feelings about what they are reading
* That the Internet is a communication and publishing tool between writers and unknown and specific audiences
* That the writing process of planning, writing, reviewing and publishing is important when using any medium to communicate
* Strategies to participate in group decision making
* How to create and manipulate text, images and sounds using software and hardware.
* How to navigate a web site
* Understand the purpose for particular galleries and "read" existing galleries.
* Participate in group decision-making to develop a theme for publishing stories.
* Observe events and activities, identifying key stories they might want to publish
* Express complex ideas in images, test and sound
* Use written, computer and graphical literacy to develop computer-based versions of their stories
* Apply computer skills to obtain and improve images
* Organise segments of a gallery in an order that best communicates a story
* Use the Gallery tool to publish online
* Use their thinking, planning and organisation skills
* Solve problems which emerge when using computers for technical tasks
* Review the gallery to evaluate the strength of their communication
* Visualise the impact of their communication on an audience and predict their reactions
* Make decision to improve their communication and publishing for a known audience
* Develop enthusiasm for collaborative and publishing activities
Dependent on how you design support lessons for this curriculum activity, students may develop the following technical skills
* Entering and editing text
* Spell check
* Gathering images with a digital camera
* Resizing images
* Cropping images
* Using graphics software features to enhance images
* File management - naming, saving, finding and backing up files
* Navigating a web site
* Entering data into a web site
* Following on-screen instructions and prompts