In our second unit, we focused on Innovation, and how communication is essential to speeding positive change in our world. Asking questions like 'How can we reduce misunderstanding?' and 'How do we express ourselves in a noisy world?', we studied the power of visual language. Using the United Nation's Global Goals, students created visual representations to empower people the world over to understand the goals and participate in #envision2030.
On the first day of our unit, students entered the room and were given slips of paper. They were asked not to share, but instead to follow the directions on their given paper, without the help of friends. Some students rushed to type their text into Google Translate, while other were left staring at unfamiliar characters on the page!
We then tried our experiment a second time, though this time, all students were given the same message, written in emoji! As expected, everyone successfully followed the directions in minutes-- a testament to what visual language can accomplish!
(please walk and sit down, crosslegged in rows of three, looking toward the windows)
We talked about the history of visual language-- the Sumerians, heiroglyphs, cave paintings. Students actively engaged in discussion about what emoji is, how they use and experience it in their daily lives, and how fun it is. After being introduced to the Global Goals, we discussed the challenges of solving these world issues when confronted by the barrier of language. And we resolved to create our own visual representations of aspects of the Global Goals!
Students worked in groups on their goal, researching and learning more about it before listing keywords related to their goal and writing a 'Why' statement to capture the essence of their goal.
For their projects, students were given the freedom to create their visual language in any form-- stopmotion, digital drawing, animation, game screencast and more. Students experimented using apps like Forge, Autodesk, Stopmotion, Roblox & Minecraft. After completing their work, some students assisted in building this site (special thanks to Nikita, Zoe & Aryik!).