Knowing Wes’ concern with human rights, I was interested in tieing together the concepts discussed in the documentary “Seeing is Believing“.

The film addresses many of the ideas we discuss in the Read/Write Web; mainly the idea of placing the power of technology in the hands of the people. The focus here is on third world countries and the ability of average citizens to bring awareness to the masses via the use of a simple technologies and distribution methods.

Specifically, the camcorder has some of the greatest potential:

As British filmmaker Lesley Woodhead points out in our film, camcorders may be causing the greatest upheaval since the Industrial Revolution.

Some of the images gathered by camcorder campaigners may only be for local community consumption; some amateur video documentation may result in changing national public policy and law; some of it ends up in human rights alerts on the net, educating a world about various issue-driven campaigns. Some camcorder material ends up as visible testimony at world courts and war-crimes tribunals. And some of it ends up filtered by independent journalists and mainstream broadcasters through to the world’s most important news-nets.

This documentary helps demonstrate just how powerful these simple tools can be. With services like youtube and others gaining popularity, we must awaken to the importance of digital storytelling not simply a literacy skill but also in achieving change and awareness to important issues.

I believe in education we are way too text predujice. We still talk about reading and writing as the most important literary skills. Our Saskatchewan curriculum features six literacy strands: reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing and representing. All of these are to be given equal emphasis but most teachers would admit to favouring the first two.

Seeing is Believing is the type of film that all teachers need to see.

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On this day..

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One Response to Seeing is Believing

  1. Conn McQuinn says:

    Dean –

    I heard a story last week that supports your “text prejudice” comment. I taught a multimedia workshop, and one of the participants at the end of the week showed a series of PowerPoint presentations he had worked on over several years. It turns out he is an education professor, and he shared that in his professional circles, if you use images or pictures in your PowerPoint presentations, you will catch flak from your colleagues for including “non-content” material. The idea that only text is content should be laughable, but instead it was disturbing to find that this concept is apparently deeply ingrained in many of our colleges of education.


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