Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Pro's of a Media-Infused Presentation

As I thought about creating my media-infused experience using the Discovery Education Board Builder I was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of possibilities that I was provided with.  How can I make a truly unique assignment that is focused, content specific and allows students to respectfully and ethically assess a topic?  As I examined my curriculum I decided to focus my lesson around the end of World War 2, more specifically the Yalta conference.  By providing students a scenario in which the foundations for the future of the world were being discussed the need for respectful and ethical considerations need to be considered.  As the students have learned, it was the failure of those two ideas at the end of the First World War that led to Hitler and the other dictators rise to power.  As Howard Gardner states, “The biggest threats to ethical work are posed by broader trends in society.”  (Gardner, 2008)  The Yalta conference allowed the powers to correct the mistakes of the past and lay the groundwork for a more peaceful future.
                By using the Board Builder I am able to better provide situations and assignments that work to develop my student’s respectful and ethical minds.  This is made possible with the ease at which media can seamlessly be integrated into the presentation.  If I were only able to provide written words from secondary sources, the author’s biases and assumptions would be hard for the students to assess and ignore.  However, by using images and videos which could be primary sources, the students are free to assess the material free from the influence of others.  In turn, it allows me as the educator to craft questions and experiences that truly allow students to assess genuine situations and pose authentic reactions.  Providing students the academic background information from which to build their decisions, and provide respectful and ethical assessments.  By building upon past knowledge, Treaty of Versailles, the students will understand the moral decisions that were made at Yalta based upon the images and videos on the Board Builder.
                With the ease of constructing these Boards it will also be possible for students to construct their own situations with diverse types of media in which ethical situations can be examined.  This would allow the students to take ownership in their learning and examine situations through a different lens.  By examining ethical dilemmas the students will become more well-rounded people that will hopefully make the decisions that benefit the masses and not those that cut corners and help just a few.

Gardner, H. (2008). 5 Minds for the Future. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Press.

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