In midsummer each year, we create an editorial calendar for the upcoming year. Then we follow that editorial calendar in planning each issue of MultiMedia & Internet-@Schools, ensuring that over the course of a year the 20 or so features we publish cover the scope and range of topics we deemed important, even “hot,” at the time we created the calendar. We don’t target all the content of any given issue to a single topic or theme, though—six issues with only six themes would never allow us to fully cover that scope and range.
Nevertheless, occasionally a single theme does emerge as I gather and edit the features and columns for a particular issue. That happened with this summer issue of the magazine, and the theme is visual content—locating it, preparing students to understand and deal with it appropriately, and creating it.
To start with, Stacy Hasselbacher has written a great piece, with great visuals, on the subject of videoconferencing. Her focus is largely on the wonderful material you can find from various videoconference content providers, but she devotes some needed attention to equipment and setup as well. Check out Take a Field Trip Without Leaving the Classroom: Museums, Zoos, and Interactive Videoconferencing (pp. 8–11).
Then Lesley Farmer addresses the issue of understanding visual content. Visual literacy is an area in which she researches and teaches a great deal, and her feature, I See, I Do: Persuasive Messages and Visual Literacy (pp. 30–33), draws on that work to enable you to help your students view and process visual information critically and effectively—a skill that is increasingly important in this age of ubiquitous digital imagery and manipulation of digital imagery.
And a third story this month that maps to the theme of visual content is Mary Alice Anderson’s Media Center column, Digital Cameras: Management Hassles, Curriculum Possibilities (pp. 34–36). As usual, Mary Alice draws on her own and her colleagues’ extensive experience to deliver practical advice, this time on integrating digital camera use into your school’s curriculum with minimal hassles and maximal creative impact on the curriculum.
Feature Ideas for 2008
Speaking of editorial calendars and issue themes, by the time you read this in July, we will also have been harvesting ideas, searching out trends, noting products and services, and generally informing ourselves at June’s ALA and NECC conferences in order to flesh out our 2008 MMIS
editorial calendar. Watch for it online at www.mmischools.com
soon, send us your own ideas, or, even better, send us an article proposal when you see it!
David Hoffman, editor