Next year I would like a… TARDIS (please)

I couldn’t let the major event of last week pass without writing a quick blog post. I’m not talking about the ‘big freeze’ but rather the finale to David Tennant’s association with Doctor Who. Most people who watch Doctor Who talk about who is ‘their’ Doctor – a large proportion of the people I know associate the show with the likes of Tom Baker and John Pertwee. I started watching the show when David Tennant

Doctor Who – Infinite Possibilities

A few people have asked me to post some information about the Doctor Who work my class completed last week. It was planned with the aim of beginning to engage some of the learners who had negative attitudes towards literacy. I’ve always found using the children’s own popular culture in the curriculum to be an effective way to make them realise that literacy is relevant to their own lives. This isn’t a new idea of

The one that started it all…

I’ve just noticed that Walt Disney’s Snow White is being re-released on DVD and Blu-Ray in November. I like to use this film in class when analysing multimodal texts. Some of the scenes are exceptionally powerful (and quite terrifying), in particular the transformation of the Evil Queen into the old peddler woman. It’s actually become very hard to get hold of on DVD as it was only released in 2001 for a limited time. The

Hacking popular culture…

I’ve always loved the way that media can be edited, remixed and reinvented with the use of digital technologies. I started doing it myself at a young age (see previous blog post). I noticed how Angela has recently blogged about remixing as a means of transformative story-telling (here). She uses the term hacking popular culture, which I think is a brilliant way to describe the process.

Creating Space for Critical Literacy

A few months ago I wrote about using texts of popular culture as a means of exploring issues of racial prejudice within a critical literacy framework. I then said I would reveal more about a project I was planning based around the issue. With a hectic workload and conferences to attend, I completely forgot… so now that the project is actually over I am able to give more detailed account.

Injecting SATs with a strong dose of popular culture…

SATs arrived into my classroom this week without fanfare or pre-warning. I won’t teach to the test and I give them little acknowledgement in my class. They are not the backbone of our curriculum, they are an assessment tool and nothing more. My class entered the classroom to see their desks rearranged in rows (something I had to do). None assumed we were doing tests and instead commented that it was like ‘High School Musical.’ I thought this was

High School Grumble 2

OK, so I caved. I watched High School Musical 3 and enjoyed it. After my previous blog post where I grumbled about the franchise escalating out of control, I felt I should watch the latest film. I was really pleasantly surprised. The finale of the series (above) is very touching and signifies the end of the cast’s association with the films. Disney were appearing to be ending on a high and went up in my estimations. Then

Consumers or Producers?

I first started video editing when I was fifteen. One of my first big projects was to rework the video introduction of the TV programme Survivor to include teachers for my school intranet. On reflection this practice links with Barbara Comber’s work on critical literacy (Comber, 2001). She talks about subverting texts and redesigning them for real-world use to have a particular effect – this appears to be what I did at the age of fifteen. A

A High School Grumble

I have never subscribed to the notion of popular culture and new technologies bringing about a ‘toxic childhood.’ I have always believed (and still do believe) that schooled literacy should take account of new and varied literacy practices so that children can make meaning through the modes that society provides. However, yesterday I visited ‘Toys ‘R Us’ (a different story) and was greeted by a huge multimodal display that incorporated the brand of High School