I especially liked the “Picture Perfect” aspect of “Self-Image and Identity” under “Scope and Sequence” in the area of Digital Citizenship. Since children at a young age are already involved in the social media frenzy that is, somewhat addicted to watching videos, pictures and ads online, or any form of media – it may have effects on their well-being once they start wondering and comparing themselves to what they see online, television, or magazine. With “Picture Perfect”, photos can easily alter on the computer as unrealistically flawless and it is more common for celebrities who are idolized by millions of children and adults alike. I can imagine it will have effects on our feelings and makes us start doubting ourselves. For the most part, it is unhealthy for children and youth because it may lead to feeling insecure, sickness, teasing, loss of motivation in studies, and worse cyber bullying. Once they do that, instantaneously they leave a negative digital footprint.
If students feel uneasy about themselves, teachers can make them think of what should they be cautious about in false advertisement, and what are the risks of Photoshop. It is good for students to realize that not everything one sees and hears on TV, magazine or online is true, and that altering photos is just used to sell products. To a company, we are their product to get their business going, and that we cannot go on believing anything they say. Once students realize this, they may start embracing who they are. All the drama, bullying, and peer pressures happen at school, so by doing this it could educate students how to behave online, accept who they are and accept that they are truly unique on their own way.
In addition, altering photos is a fun activity where students may explore their creativity, and this may apply in ELA, Arts, and Social Studies class (3-6). For ELA, I will have the children gather in a small group project to take pictures of themselves – a minimum of eight pictures. They will make an “All About Us” booklet. The learning goal is to see the great natural beauty within them. I will have them write positive captions of each photo, a summary of the whole process, and what could they have done better. This project may explore how to upload photos, write captions, print, save, analyze text, and form arguments. For Arts, I will have them pick the computer application such as PowerPoint and apply artistic effects, color, picture effects, etc. The aim is to compare what the photos look like after being altered with their ELA project. For Social Studies, I will have them assigned to read any informational textbook, particularly in social justice. The learning goal is for them to be aware and be accepting of other people’s differences. We may not look the same from outside, but inside we are all the same. We have feelings just like the rest. I realize that technology is advancing continually, and without proper guidance on how students should behave online it is worrisome; especially, children and youth are into posting “selfie photos” on social media. For the Government of Saskatchewan working with school division so teachers can educate students how to behave responsibly and safely online, learn proper netiquette by thinking before posting so no one gets hurt is a great thing. Otherwise, they use the technology for the wrong reason and not what it is intended to be.