“Riding The Wave of New Media” photo credit: me

“Ten years ago infographics were as common as tigers in Siberia, but the rise of social media has fuelled the need for instant, bite-sized chunks of digestible information, and the past three years has seen a massive increase in them.” – Ian Gould. To read more on that click here.

As an IBDP Language and Literature teacher, I’m preparing my students for more than literary analysis.  Today I’m responsible for making sure students graduate with minds savvy enough to decode Taylor Swift lyrics, memes, infographics, Tumblr posts like these, and so very much more.

“Today’s teens spend more than 71 / 2 hours a day consuming media — watching TV, listening to music, surfing the Web, social networking, and playing video games, according to a 2010 study of 8- to 18-year-olds conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation.” – from this Washington Post article

Today’s English teacher needs to prepare students for a passport to the media-rich world, not merely a library card.

Decoding an infographic can be as complex as reading a Billy Collins poem.  You need look at the way color schemes work together to establish tone, analyze the choice of certain fonts, critique the cooperation between image and text. It is equally important to think about the context in which the infographic is published, shared–and what in the world news makes it relevant to the audience.  How does the organization of the infographic work with the overall theme?  Technology is allowing us to do more with language today than ever before.

One of my very favorite infographics looks at at the different types of collaborative styles we may meet in our schools, at our workplaces, and beyond. Click here to check it out. From a Language and Literature perspective, my students could break down the way the author has personified the notion of that style.  Ultimately–I use this as a reminder with students that when we are working in teams, we want to be flexible in our approach, and we also need to value the different skills that different personalities bring to the table.  Learning to work well with others is one of the most valuable approaches to learning we need to unpack…constantly.

Part Two of the IBDP Language and Literature course focuses on Media Institutions and the way they are constantly reshaping the way we define and come to understand the world we live in.

Journalism is undergoing a massive evolution thanks to Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.  This amazing infographic does well to unpack the logos behind this ongoing shift:
Social Media: The New News Source
Courtesy of: https://www.schools.com

My grade 12 students will be preparing for an end of year exam known as the Paper 1.  This exam will be worth 25% of their overall grade.  The exam asks Higher Level students to analyze a pairing of texts, find commonalities and difference and make thematic connections.  Texts are determined by the IB, and they can be anything from a cartoon, essay, passage from a novel, lyrics from a song, to…(you guessed it) an infographic.  I’d love to partner up the infographic above with another text type looking at the way our news will continue to evolve.  Please feel free to suggest a wonderful partner text as a comment below.