Monday, April 1, 2013

Photo Stories and Comic Strips for Education

This image is part of the Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums set Playing Tricks

This is a glass slide telling the comic tale of a young boy playing tricks. The slide is from some time between the late 19th century and early 20th century. It would have been viewed using a magic lantern, an early type of image projector.

Photo stories and comic strips represent a wonderful educational resource for any classroom, including the ESL classroom. As my presentation on friction shows, comic strips can include fun images while including a great deal of academic content. The Storybird website contains an array of pre-selected images, and users shuffle these seemingly random images into a story line. I was able to select a myriad of photos involving friction, and was able to write about friction relating to solids and fluids.

As a reading medium, photo stories and comics can present concise information in a fun, easy-to-read format. Photo stories and comics can foster interest in subjects such as science and help students remember what they have learned. In addition, these resources can raise awareness about current issues and serve as an effective means of communication. However, some educators remain ambivalent about the value of this medium as an educational resource. Some may be concerned that these resources detract from the integrity of academic content, and that students might not take the unit seriously.

I intend on integrating photo stories and comic strips into my classroom. Students can distill academic content into a coherent story line regarding the concepts raised in class. This medium can serve as an indicator of content retention, while allowing students to creatively formulate a narrative.

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