Tuesday, August 27, 2013

George Lucas on Teaching Visual Literacy and Communications

0:09>>The issue we're discussing here in terms of multimedia literacy is
0:14that we stress so hard learning English and learning English grammar
0:20and then we shove music and art
0:25and most schools don't even get into cinema.
0:30We move those over into some sort of artistic which means sort
0:34of therapeutic or fun thing.
0:37It's not approached as a very valid form of communication.
0:41Kids know this.
0:43When you take a five year old, they can speak, they can use words,
0:49they don't know how to write very well
0:50and they may not know much grammar, but they know how to speak,
0:54they also know music, they may not know the grammar of music,
0:58they know cinema because they spend a huge amount of time in front
1:01of the television so they know visual communication,
1:03they know the moving image.
1:05They intuitively know a lot of the rules,
1:08but nobody's actually taught them anything,
1:09anymore than they've taught them anything about grammar in English.
1:12So we go through school and then later on we start
1:15to learn the grammar of English, you have punctuation, capital letters,
1:20you'll run on sentences, what a verb is.
1:23But nobody teaches anybody about what screen direction is,
1:28what perspective is, what color is, what a diagonal line means.
1:34Those are rules; those are grammatical rules
1:37that appear in an art class.
1:39If you've taken art class, the first thing you'll do is get into graphics
1:42and you start learning well a jagged line means this
1:45and a blue color means this or red color means that.
1:48So if you're trying to convince somebody that what you want
1:51to do is excite them, then you use red or yellow.
1:55If you're doing it with music then you use a fast rhythm,
1:59not a slow rhythm.
2:01You don't have to teach them necessarily how to read music
2:04and you don't need to have to teach them how to be an artist,
2:08but you do have to teach them how to use the grammar of the language.
2:11Somehow we've gotten to the point where the words have gotten way
2:16up here and these other forms of communications, which all started
2:18out equal and at the beginning, much more equal before we had words.
2:23Somehow in the educational system they'll need to be balanced out.
2:28So the kids could communicate using all of the forms of communication,
2:32not just put it into little categories and say you really need
2:38to learn how to use a verb; that's much more important
2:41than learning perspective or learning screen direction.
2:46But it's not really, especially in this day and age where the power
2:52of multimedia is coming to the children.
2:55It used to be like with cinema,
2:59only the very elite professionals worked in this medium.
3:04But now anybody can work in it.
3:07>>Are we talking about a new way of teaching?
3:09>>It is a different way of teaching
3:11in that I think English classes should broaden themselves
3:15and my personal thing I think we should rename English
3:20to be-- I mean I know in some schools we call it language arts,
3:23but I think it should be renamed communication.
3:25It's a communication class and you learn the English language,
3:29learn how to write, you learn grammar, but you also learn graphics.
3:33If you take graphics out of the art department, take cinema and put it
3:36into the schools, take music out of the music department.
3:39If you want to learn how to play an instrument, if you want to learn how
3:42to be a composer, then you can go to the music department.
3:46If you want to learn how to do beautiful renditions of paintings
3:50and follow the great artists then you go into art class.
3:54But if you really want to just learn how to communicate,
3:56then what is the basic grammar of communication then
4:00that should be taught basically in the communications class,
4:02it shouldn't be taught in some esoteric arty thing,
4:05it should be taught as a very practical tool that you use to sell
4:10and influence people and to get your point across
4:15and to communicate to other people.

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