Education Tools

A New Kind of Literacy

Each day, students are bombarded with hundreds of images. Television, films, video games and the Internet are all part of the multimedia culture in which we live. In a time when political campaigns are waged through 30-second commercial spots and wars are fought in “real-time” on television, students need to be taught to “read” and “write” in the language of images and sound, just as they’ve been taught to “read” and “write” printed communications.

In the last 40 years, the field of media literacy education has emerged to organize and promote the importance of teaching the critical and creative thinking skills necessary to sort through these images with an eye to viewpoint and the overall goal of message. Students are exposed to more images in one day than their great-grandparents were in a year. The ability to sort through constructed images and sound bites with awareness for message and agenda is a skill that grows more necessary with each passing year. Still images, such as photographs or paintings, are a perfect starting point for the introduction of these concepts.

As part of the Museum’s new Media Literacy Curriculum, a visual literacy educators kit inspired by the exhibition Who Shot Rock & Roll has been created for use in middle and high school classrooms. This Educators Kit was developed for the Museum by award-winning media literacy specialist Frank Baker and can be used to teach media literacy concepts with any exhibition featuring photographs or paintings.

The kit includes suggested resources for teachers and classroom activities designed to complement the Who Shot Rock & Roll school tour and studio program.

For more information about the new visual literacy educators kit or on the Museum’s school tour and studio programs, call 803.343.2186.

Download the Media Literacy Curriculum Kit.

This Website was Built by Students!

This site was developed by students from the Lexington Technology Center in partnership with IT-ology (the Consortium for Enterprise Systems Management).

This past fall the Museum was approached by the Consortium for Enterprise Systems Management (now called ITology) with an intriguing offer: Seasoned IT professionals would team up with high school students on a computer science track at Lexington Technology Center to provide a needed IT service for the Museum at no cost. A website based on the special exhibition Who Shot Rock & Roll was quickly identified as the perfect project.

A team of five students was chosen by their Lexington Technology Center instructor Tracy Wilbur and the consortium chose five local IT professionals to serve as their counterparts and mentors. Each student was assigned a specific role from Project Manager to Business Analyst and the IT professionals were assigned identical roles as their counterparts. Working with their counterpart, the students created the website from the design stage to the final product while coping with deadlines, client suggestions and comments, and the issues that arise when working on a project as part of a team. This is a wonderful example of what can be attained through project-based learning.

The students involved in the project included Sydney Spangler as project manager, Andy Moyer as business analyst, Jenny Clark as web designer, Jared Beaudrot as web developer and Aaron Reeser as quality assurance.