Representation: Photograph vs. Video vs. Audio

“Representation refers to the use of language and images to create meaning about the world around us” (Sturken and Cartwright, 12). I “get” this statement, but do different mediums inherently speak a different language? I ask this because I have both photos and video from which to create my final project. Additionally, because of confidentiality issues, I may need to extract audio from the video.

Video combines image and sound, but does this necessarily tell a complete story? Do the moving images distract from what one still image can convey? For example, a photo taken in a Los Angeles public school’s classroom shows a mix of two dimensional technology and three dimensional models. Also, there’s a photo of a covered smart board that’s in a storage closet. The snapshot freezes time, and audience members will likely grasp what’s literally in the image. What does this covered piece of expensive equipment signify in a world full of meaning? My interpretation is that technology isn’t always the solution. Meaning, the teacher has much more basic issues, one of which is limited physical space.

My Course Project

My course project is in the planning phase, so I will update this description as the semester progresses. The basic idea is that a colleague is doing a study on technology in learning environments. The age groups observed will be grammar school and high school students. We’re doing home visits in both Los Angeles and San Francisco, where we’ll observe students as they complete course related tasks. Additionally, we will visit at least one school to document technology in the classroom.

My project partner is the primary researcher for this study. My role is to assist with documentation (audio, video, and still images).