Teaching Visual Literacy: Media Studies Before the Internet

media studies demo

I thought I’d share this recently rediscovered relic from my early days as a teacher.

Back in the late 1970’s / early 1980’s I started teaching a high school “Media Studies” class. (Pittsford-Sutherland HS, Rochester NY). It was one semester, social studies elective that examined the impact of media on society (mainly TV – and all very McLuhan).   Duane Sherwood, our building edtech specialist, was inspired by early TV pioneer, Ernie Kovacs to shoot this 1 minute video. I used it after my first few introductory lessons. That day, instead of their teacher, my students found a TV / recorder in front of the class. The sign instructed them to “watch this video.”   The shot took “forever” to set up. I attribute my bad acting / missed lines to sitting sideways and trying to keep a straight face. It’s just too bad I wore red flannel and khakis that day….     Hat tip to Stan Merrell for digitizing this one

4 Replies to “Teaching Visual Literacy: Media Studies Before the Internet”

  1. Thanks for sharing, Peter! This charming video reminds us that one of the many benefits of media literacy education is the pleasure students experience as they collaborate and create imaginative ways to represent their new knowledge and critical thinking skills

  2. Thanks Ken,
    I ended up with a very sore neck. I think it sort of shows in the video. But it was worth it. Had a great discussion with the students after watching it. We even did a “unit” on “subliminal advertising” – a very popular meme back then. All seems so quaint from today’s vantage point.
    ~Cheers, Peter

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