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Visual Education and The Internet Camp: A Study of Underprivileged Children and Their Web Pages
Unformatted Document Text:  4 analyzing, expressing and recording something at once so complicated, public and objective. In 1977, when the children were preparing the work for exhibition in Chicago and New York, they decided that they had to photograph the mines and the land the better ‘to explain’ the place to outsiders” (p. 121). Ewald’s ideas are applied here to children’s construction of web pages. A web page is a visual tool like Ewald’s cameras that children become more consciously aware of and knowledgeable about through creative activities that take place in an educational program. The children may have been literate in the use of the Internet, but connecting their knowledge to the creative process of web page design provides an appreciation for the medium beyond everyday, casual usage. The creative interaction and product (the web page) that the children made, provide insights into the mind-sets of the children, what their interests are, and how their social milieu leaves its mark on them. 2 Kubey (1998) attests to the fact that there is little evaluative research regrading the effects of media literacy programs. This study hoped to fill a small gap in this area, especially regarding the impact of a visually-based media program. In the experiential approach to education espoused by an early advocate of visual literacy, Earl C. Kelley, we find the roots of the idea of direct media experience in the classroom. In his 1947 book, Education for What is Real, he says that the most important factor in education is the arrangement that the student makes with his or her environment through the senses “of which vision is the most important” (Kelley, 1947, p. 52). There is a difference between knowing and knowing about. A child might know about the Internet and he or she may have used it many 2 This theory is also used in more serious contexts such as child abuse cases in which the child is asked to draw pictures so that psychiatrists can understand underlying feelings and thoughts (see for example, Wakefield & Underwager, 1998; Burgess, McCausland, & Wolbert,

Authors: Mullen, Lawrence.
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4
analyzing, expressing and recording something at once so complicated, public and objective. In
1977, when the children were preparing the work for exhibition in Chicago and New York, they
decided that they had to photograph the mines and the land the better ‘to explain’ the place to
outsiders” (p. 121).
Ewald’s ideas are applied here to children’s construction of web pages. A web page is a
visual tool like Ewald’s cameras that children become more consciously aware of and
knowledgeable about through creative activities that take place in an educational program. The
children may have been literate in the use of the Internet, but connecting their knowledge to the
creative process of web page design provides an appreciation for the medium beyond everyday,
casual usage. The creative interaction and product (the web page) that the children made,
provide insights into the mind-sets of the children, what their interests are, and how their social
milieu leaves its mark on them.
2
Kubey (1998) attests to the fact that there is little evaluative
research regrading the effects of media literacy programs. This study hoped to fill a small gap in
this area, especially regarding the impact of a visually-based media program.
In the experiential approach to education espoused by an early advocate of visual literacy,
Earl C. Kelley, we find the roots of the idea of direct media experience in the classroom. In his
1947 book, Education for What is Real, he says that the most important factor in education is the
arrangement that the student makes with his or her environment through the senses “of which
vision is the most important” (Kelley, 1947, p. 52). There is a difference between knowing and
knowing about. A child might know about the Internet and he or she may have used it many
2
This theory is also used in more serious contexts such as child abuse cases in which the
child is asked to draw pictures so that psychiatrists can understand underlying feelings and
thoughts (see for example, Wakefield & Underwager, 1998; Burgess, McCausland, & Wolbert,


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