Tag Archives: media literacy

Slides from my #FETC presentation, “License to Cull: Art History, Media Literacy, Ethics and Photoshop”


This integrated unit evolved over time and was co-taught with the 6th grade Art teachers (first Yoshiko Maruiwa, and then Katelin O’Hare). It examines fine art and the fine print. Students learn about ownership, copyright, licensing, media literacy, fair use, Creative Commons, Wikimedia and Photoshop.

Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC)
Orange County Convention Center Expo Hall
1/15/16, 11:00am – 12:00pm

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Presenting “License to Cull” with @oharebros and @NewYork564 in Room 124 at 2:30! @The_School #ISTE2015 #artsed

  Super honored to be presenting License to Cull: Art History, Media Literacy, Ethics and Photoshop with my stellar art colleagues, Yoshiko Maruiwa and Katelin O’Hare from the The School at Columbia University.

We’ll share an integrated unit that examines fine art and the fine print. Students learn about ownership, copyright, licensing, media literacy, fair use, Creative Commons, Wikimedia and Photoshop.

See our slides full of links and resources below:

As part of the 6th grade integrated study of the Renaissance in English, Social Studies, Science, Art, Music, and Wellness, we designed a Photoshop unit where students locate a Renaissance painting and layer themselves into it as either the main character or an additional character. While we teach the basics of Photoshop, we also facilitate rich discussions about a variety of topics including ownership, copyright, licensing, fair use, and the public domain. Our students use their assigned laptops to research, collaborate, and create throughout the unit. We discuss the Mona Lisa’s various owners and examine a variety of copyrightable contributions that have been made to Leonardo da Vinci’s original art from multiple artists over the years. We read the fine print and Terms of Use for Google Art Project and Artstor. We talk about how Photoshop is utilized to manipulate most images on advertisements and in magazines and how that affects body image and society’s standard of beauty. We discuss ways to locate fair-use art and dissect licenses from Creative Commons to encourage respectful and ethical use of others’ artistic creations. Further, we discuss the lawsuit between the Associated Press and Shepard Fairey over Fairey’s Barack Obama Hope poster. After completing their Photoshop collage, the students added their images to a shared online album. Additionally, students included their work on their digital art portfolios where they were expected to write an “artist statement” for their piece and comment on their classmates’ creations.

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In 6th Art, starting our Renaissance Photoshop Project with Yoshiko Maruiwa.

Today, I began the annual Renaissance Photoshop Project with Yoshiko Maruiwa, my favorite 6th grade Art teacher at The School at Columbia University. As part of the 6th grade integrated study of Florence and the Renaissance in English, Social Studies, Science, Art, Music, and Wellness, Yoshiko and I team-teach this Photoshop unit where students locate a Renaissance painting and layer themselves into it as either the main character or an additional character.

Here are the directions for our 3-day unit:

1. We talk about media literacy. Today, one girl said it was like “reading pictures.” I liked that a lot. As a group, we defined media as the plural of medium and gave examples of both:

Media = how to convey or communicate information or mass communication, the news are described as “the media” and can share information using a variety of means (television, radio, internet, etc…)

Medium = how something is communicated or expressed: a drawing, painting, watercolor, television, email, texting, movies, music, commercial, song, newspaper, internet, magazine

2. We watch the Evolution video from Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty.

3. We talk about how easy it is to use technology to manipulate an image and why. (Marketing!)

4. We do a brief tour of the Google Art Project. (http://googleartproject.com)

With a team of Googlers working across many product areas we are able to harness the best of Google to power the Art Project experience. Few people will ever be lucky enough to be able to visit every museum or see every work of art they’re interested in but now many more can enjoy over 30 000 works of art from sculpture to architecture and drawings and explore over 150 collections from 40 countries, all in one place.

5. We talk about Artstor and it’s subscription service which Columbia University pays for. We look at the Permitted and Prohibited uses. I remind them that it is super important to read the terms and conditions of a website so that they avoid doing anything illegal or unethical (whether intentionally or accidentally). Everything they do online public, permanent, and traceable. (http://artstor.org)

The ARTstor Digital Library is a nonprofit resource that provides more than one million digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences with an accessible suite of software tools for teaching and research. Our community-built collections comprise contributions from outstanding international museums, photographers, libraries, scholars, photo archives, and artists and artists’ estates.

6. Students choose a Renaissance painting from Artstor that they will manipulate. The directions for the project are here.

7. We talk about ownership of Art. Who owns the Mona Lisa? Yoshiko made a simple slideshow about variations of the Mona Lisa here. We discuss copyright and fair use and discuss Shepard Fairey’s Obama Hope painting. My lesson plan is here.

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Teaching 5th graders to search and cite online images

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Nicole Haleen teaches Spanish to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades at The School at Columbia University. She might be one of the most organized people I work with. For the 5th grade study of Day of the Dead, 5th graders made drawings, dioramas, paintings, and scultptures of calacas (skeletons) before creating a digital altar to represent a family member. They built their altar in Inspiration, as it allowed them to quickly create tiers in order to populate with images and text.

Nicole asked me to come in and remind the students how to properly search and cite online images. This is what we discussed:

  1. They signed a Respectful Use Policy at the beginning of the year reinforcing that they’d be using technology academically, respectfully, and responsibly.
  2. Try to choose “advanced image search” in Google and Flickr and other sites so that you locate only images labeled for reuse.
  3. Use Wikimedia to search media. Wikimedia is a sister project of Wikipedia. I showed the 5th graders Wikimedia’s Reuse guide where they specifically state, “almost all may be freely reused without individual permission according to the terms of the particular license under which it was contributed to the project, but some licenses may require that the original creator be attributed.”
  4. It is incredibly easy from any browser (Firefox, Chrome, less so in Safari) to copy the image and paste it into Inspiration. Control-click on the image and choose Copy image.
  5. It is just as easy from any browser to copy the URL simply by holding down the Control key while clicking on the image with the mouse. Different browsers say different things: Copy image URL, Copy image address, Copy image location…
  6. We talked about how if you don’t cite/attribute a photo, it means you took it yourself, you forgot to cite it, or you stole it.
  7. I reinforced that 5th grade is a great age to get into the habit of being responsible, respectful, ethical, moral, and purposeful with information. The expectation is they will continue to do this throughout 5th grade and beyond.

Nicole lists the following sites for locating images:

http://commons.wikimedia.org
http://compfight.com
http://www.photos8.com
http://pics4learning.com
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/?CTT=97

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