Category Archives: Phonar

Evaluation Of The Whole Project.

I believe I have completed successfully a sophisticated piece of research analysis and interpretation. I knew what I thought the problem was, children and adults with dyslexia don’t have the ideal solution open to them to communicate positively about dyslexia. This is understandable if you think of text based methods of communication, books magazines etc. Now in this digital world the Internet should be the solution or so I thought but it is not. All the sites I looked at were text based again. I spoke to the students and they said that the Internet was good but still had too much reading so it put them of.  From all the information I was able to form an idea of how I might solve this problem using all the techniques I had learnt in all the units in this course, a truly transmedia artifact/ organism.

In creating this concept I needed to fully understand my target audience, I had an advantage because I am dyslexic but I could not just rely on my thoughts I needed to check these out by speaking to as many dyslexic people as possible. Through this collaboration I was able to come up with a product which effectively communicates a particular message (multiple messages from potentially thousands of people) to a very targeted audience using novel techniques that the digital age is only now making possible.

In my product/solution there a lot of narrative that involved more people than just myself. I put myself in the children’s hands and gave them a few simple boundaries in which to work and a narrative to work to; “positive things about dyslexia”. I decide to allow the students to take pictures and the sound track themselves and I would critically assess the photos and the sound track and build a picture video from their images and an accompanying sound track from their recordings. I particularly liked the idea of giving the children disposable cameras as they didn’t know if they had taken good photos until they were developed and their and my excitement built as we waited to get them processed, this heightened our expectations and by letting the pupils take the photos on film the risks were amplified but the result is so much better, it is fresh, real and personal at the same time. On top of this I designed and built a website that used audio and video as the primary communication medium.

I experimented with a range of narrative forms and finally decided to use audio, photographs and photo film to deliver the narrative, the best solution for my target audience. I however also built on this by having text-based poems and text based dialogue as a secondary support element.

Completing this piece of work was very hard and complex but all of this has been worth it. I feel I have grown through these units and now I have created a product that truly works for the target audience, using innovative techniques. The end product is well-rounded works on many levels and could easily be a product for a client. I feel at last I have mastered enough skills to function and create a product that I could be paid for. I think the decision I took to allow elements to be completed by pupils was brave and concerning at the same time, the results were better than I expected and the end product is more engaging because it is real, it is about them, it is fresh. I have created a collaborative solution that should grow through user interaction. I think that this product has great commercial opportunities if developed further.

 

Reference

Adler, R., Criado, V., Huneycutt, B. (2007) Border Film Project:  Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Ewald, W. Blog [online] <http://literacythroughphotography.wordpress.com/wendy-ewald/> [5 December 2011]

Ewald, W. (2001) I Wanna Take Me a Picture:Boston: Lyndhurst.

The home page for British Dyslexia Association, usefull information [online] available from <http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/> [5 December 2011]

The home page for Dudes With Dyslexia, usefull information [online] available from <http://www.dudeswithdyslexia.co.uk/> [5 December 2011]

Jarvis, J. (2009) What Would Google Do. New York: Harper Collins

McLuhan, M., Fiore, Q. (1996)The Medium Is The Message: London: Pengiun Books

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Evaluation of Blog

Here is the link of the blog that I have created for people with dyslexia to enable them to add positive feedback and their thoughts about dyslexia. I am very pleased with how the blog is looking. I feel that I have made it dyslexic friendly by giving the viewer different options on how to communicate. I delivered a talk at Langley school where I showed them the blog to get their feedback. They really liked the sound option on each of the posts because it avoided the need to read and enabled the viewer to get quick access to the information. I originally put the sound option after the text however the students said they would prefer this option to be before the text because they felt it would be the most used and popular option of the site because most dyslexics would find this an easier way to access the information. They loved the way that they were able to leave their messages visually by using flickr, vimeo, and soundcloud. One student told me that he is always put off and discouraged when websites ask you to communicate through email. So this site was great in the way it allowed other ways to communicate. They also liked the fact that you could meet other people with dyslexia on the site.  The students said that they would use this blog. I was very happy and encouraged with this informative feedback.

The photographers with dyslexia that I contacted through twitter did say that they would like to be involved with this project, however I have noticed that to date nothing has been uploaded onto the site and I am going to investigate to find out if this is a problem with the site or people just being slow to respond.

From attending the phonar classes I have gained a lot of information and learnt a lot. I have found this incredibly interesting and useful because it has taught me how to create a community and how to use all the different technologies that are available that can be used to your advantage. For example, how to make a photo film which was a new concept to me and I feel now that I will use this again and again because it enables me to add more detail to the information that I want to display. When reflecting on my classes phonar has made me completely rethink the work that I am doing and what I want to achieve from this work. I feel that phonar has given me the tools and the ability to examine an issue very close to my heart and a way to communicate to my specific audience.

I feel that this has given me a platform with the potential to reach out to people with dyslexia and build a community around an issue. My classes and what I have learnt on them has given me the confidence to take this idea forward.

Connor’s Story Blog: http://thisisconnorsstory.wordpress.com/

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“A Day in the Life”

For my assignment “A Day in the Life” I have created a film to demonstrate how the student with dyslexia sees things from their own perspective in the school environment.

In the “Border Film Project” Mexican migrants were given cameras by researchers to record their own experiences from where they were standing rather than the view of the media viewing from the outside looking in. The reality can be very different for the person experiencing the situation; you can see two very different perspectives from both within and outside the situation. I wanted to do something similar with the students who were in the Langley SPLD unit.

All too often when we hear the word dyslexia it is associated with problems, reading, writing, low self esteem and bullying. These can be very negative viewpoints from people who do not experience dyslexia.

I wanted to enable students to show what dyslexia means to them, how does it feel to be in school with dyslexia? I gave the students cameras to take pictures, recorders to record the sound of the school and suggested that they might like to write a poem of what dyslexia means to them. The task was met with enthusiasm by the students and this film is the result of their efforts. It demonstrates a very different personal perspective which is more positive than we are used to.

As one line in the poem states; “I am not dumb, I learn in a different way”

I hope you enjoy the film.

Larissa.

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Blog Site Name

When trying to come up with the idea of a name for the blog where people would interact, sharing their positive stories about being dyslexic I found this very difficult. At first I thought about having larissastory.wordpress.com because the reason I’m so interested in this project is because I myself am dyslexic and it was a personal project. When talking to Matt, he didn’t feel it really worked as the work that I was doing was with dyslexic students. Also when speaking to Jonathan he thought I should make it quite personal by using one of the children’s names. So I thought if I used Connor’s name because he was the first dyslexic child that I worked with which would give a personal story to the blog and allow other people to open up and put their stories on. But since having my feedback from the class, they didn’t really feel it worked with all the info on the site, they thought that it should include the word dyslexia such as ‘dyslexia project’. I can understand their opinion and agree with it because I have been doing so much work with the dyslexic students so for me it is a project. But I want it to be a growing project because I want people to interact. I think the name is always going to be a difficult thing and something I will probably change again, I just need to give some more thought to where I want this to lead.

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Permission off parents

Because I had photographed children and I had been working with them whilst they were photographing, I had to ask permission off the parents if I could use all the information. I was scared they would turn around and say no to and it also reminded me of when we went to the British library where Ben White was talking about the boundaries of copyright and permission. I was unsure if the parents would agree to what I am working on and if they wanted their child to be a part of it. The head teacher of the SpLD helped me write the letter. Below is a copy of the letter.

From today I’ve already got some peoples permission. That was quite overwhelming for me because it felt like people were believing in me and that I was doing the right thing and they wanted to be a part of what I’m doing, as I truly believed that no one was going to give me their permission.

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Audio Poems

When looking at the images and sound that the students had made of the school I thought the poems they had written linked well to these images. So I thought it would be a good idea having them reading out their poems with the images. The students were very excited about doing this. It was funny because when they were reading their poems they stumbled on some of the words but I didn’t actually mind because I thought this linked quite well to what the videos about. But what made me smile even more was that they were so determined to get it right that they sat there practicing it a couple of times and they were really proud, so even though I got them working to their difficulty they were still determined to get it right and I loved seeing this will power in them.

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Dyslexic Site

I sat down with Matt and discussed my ideas about what I actually want with making this site. I told him that I was very nervous and a bit daunted about making this and worried if people would interact as such. He sat me down and showed me how Phonar worked. It was nice to see that actually some of the ideas I was having were already being used in Phonar and that I could pull some of those ideas to make them into my own. So for example, how they have groups for vimeo, flickr, soundcloud and how using these social sites can work on a blog. Matt told me that he thought a wordpress site would probably work best for now rather than making a complete site from scratch. That actually was quite a relief for me because I’m not very good when it comes to coding on sites (I don’t know if this is because of my dyslexia and half the time I’ve spelt it wrong). I feel a lot more comfortable with this as I have made blogs before and the issue that I thought I would have of adding sound to each piece of writing that I put on a post isn’t as hard as I thought because soundcloud will work on wordpress, that is a good thing. Its just going to take more time adding sound to every piece of text that I put, but I do feel this a must for a dyslexic website. Fingers crossed it all works out in the end.

The other thing I was worried about was that people wouldn’t communicate on it, that I’d make this site and then it would just sit there. Jonathan helped me by sending out a Tweet asking for dyslexic photographers, it was amazing to see how far this Tweet went and see how many times it got re-tweeted and I got emails back saying people wanted to help that was even more surprising. I have sent an email out to people asking if they would like o help me. Here is the email below.

Hi

I am a third year photography student at Coventry University. I am looking into dyslexia in different ways to communicate other than reading and writing. I am building a blog to advertise all the good and positive things about being dyslexic and how it feels to be a dyslexic. This blog will hopefully help children that have found out they are dyslexic or parents that have a child who is dyslexic that it is not all doom and gloom.

I am myself dyslexic so i feel this would help other dyslexics. Where I need your help is I want to get lots of people shouting about the positive things of being dyslexic and showing the young children that there are different pathways to take and that you can achieve and that its not all about reading and writing. I want dyslexic children to start believing in themselves. I am working at a dyslexic school at the moment doing different workshops using photography to help build their confidence but still I feel this is not enough so I would be really grateful if you could help me.

If you would like to help could you create a short video or audio or images on who you are, what you do, when you found out you were dyslexic and how you have turned dyslexia to be a positive rather than a negative to get where you are today.

It would be great if you can help. I would like to stay away from words and do this message visually because i feel it would be better for the dyslexic children.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Larissa Grace

Email: larissa_jo-ann_grace@hotmail.com

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