An initiative of the American Society of News Editors, School Journalism wants to help make high school students care about news, and in doing so, become media-literate citizens, well adapted to their ever-evolving digital world. The engaging and concise site lays out a wealth of resources for students and their teachers. Teachers can access lesson plans, reading lists, and current research in media literacy, civic literacy and journalism, while students will find reference resources, student journalism and photojournalism contests, as well as perspectives on college programs, scholarships and careers in journalism – and let us not forget games! News games, of course.
Born in the same era as photography, the Smithsonian Institution boasts an astounding 13 million photographs, spread across its many museums and collections. The challenge of making all of these images accessible to the public has been met by the Smithsonian Photographic Initiative, a beautiful and highly functional site (a Webby Award winner), that allows users to locate and view photos from the Smithsonian’s science, technology and history museums, art galleries, and research centers, even from the National Zoo! The Initiative site is itself an excellent teaching tool, as each photograph has accompanying text so that students (and all viewers) can learn about the image’s context and history. Building on this, the Initiative offers a lesson plan for K to 12 students, which selects four of the 13 million photos as examples of different aspects of the process and history of photography. Through this lesson the Smithsonian Photographic Initiative means to show students that “while not every picture tells its own story, every picture has a story behind it.”
The Getty Museum – Lesson Plans
The Getty has devoted a great deal of time and effort into its education program, so much so that the lesson plans come with their own search engine. Covering topics from math to visual art, the Museum has created lessons that introduce students to its collections in an imaginative variety of ways. Educators can search for lessons by grade level and subject, and choose between short activities and multi-part lessons, including many photo and image-based offerings.
Vision Project – Education Services
The source of a lot of outstanding documentary work, Vision Project describes itself as an organization dedicated to the development of documentary photography, investigative journalism, multimedia and education. VP has crafted a series of seminars, lectures, workshops, full semester courses, and study abroad programs that aim to give people the skills to create the sort of images that effectively document reality and create positive change. These programs are used by a variety of different organizations and institutions, and Vision Project also has a number of ongoing initiatives, such as an annual six-week program that teaches visual literacy through digital photography and journalism to high school students in White Plains, New York.