Aha Aesthetics!

Artistic while articulate is what the eye likes and perhaps for some what the brain needs. Increasingly more our society is becoming stimulated by visuals around the clock. With the invention of PPT in the late 1980’s presentations went from boring overheads to on screen sensations especially with the inventions of moving texts and the ability to add sound. Now that more than three decades have gone by there is a need for presentations from mundane to marvelous. Presentations need to be subtle and sleek while at the same time articulating a fact or facts that are appealing and attractive which has been termed “Presentation Zen.”

No longer should audiences be subjected to how many words one can fit on a screen. Rather, audiences should be inspired by the information one presents. Another way to achieve this is through PechaKucha. Other than a fun word to pronounce, PechaKucha is what I define as picturesque knowledge. Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham created the 20 x 20 (20 seconds per slide to total 20 slides) presentation format in 2003. They realized that architects as they put it “talk too much” and thought this problem was not only specific to this profession. Good PechaKucha can be described as “presentations uncover the unexpected – unexpected talent and unexpected ideas.”

With the unexpected comes the uncertain, meaning one does not always know what goes into creating a work of art whether it be a composition, movie, or art. Kevin Kelly sums it up perfectly, “It is easier to read a book than to write one; easier to listen to a song than to compose one; easier to attend a play than to produce one.” The required products for this course taught me that creativity required one more important aspect, time. In further reflection of the courses presented so far for this certification, creativity cannot be compromised whether referring to copyright and licensure.

As the society continues to increase visual influence whether it is for school, business, and/or social networking, it is imperative that we view with critical thinking skills. So far this blog has posted articles on digital citizenship and cyber safety. A new introduction to the information gained is media literacy. The Media Literacy Project of New Mexico has outlined the following components of media literacy skills:

– Develop critical thinking skills
– Understand how media messages shape our culture and society
– Identify target marketing strategies
– Recognize what the media maker wants us to believe or do
– Name the techniques of persuasion used
– Recognize bias, spin, misinformation, and lies
– Discover the parts of the story that are not being told
– Evaluate media messages based on our own experiences, skills, beliefs, and values
– Create and distribute our own media messages
– Advocate for a changed media system

The above mentioned skills are those that should be infused in digital citizenship programs for students and adults. Why? I go back to the statement that our society seemingly is on a course to increase visual media and we have to be equipped to filter fact from fiction thus equaling more aha moments.

Photography Citations:
Image: savit keawtavee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image: Dino De Luca / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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