Tag Archives: health


Model PhotoshopThis lesson used to be part of a unit which was dropped from the Year 7-9 ICT Course due to time constraints. However, the content is so powerful that I decided to include it, not as a unit, but as a single lesson. The aim is to get students to think more about how the media works, and how much of what the media portrays can and should be trusted. The content of this lesson could quite easily apply to any number of subjects including ICT, Media,PSHE/Pasotral, History and Theary of Knowledge.

I believe it the video included in this lesson is extremely valuable, not only for girls, but also for boys, as we seek to shape their values and open their minds to the world around them.


  • Let’s start this lesson by seeing if any students understand the meaning of the word representation in media.
  • One way to think of representation is ” the way that reality is portrayed or shown in magazines, TV, books, film and music”.
  • Do you think we can we trust the way that others represent reality? Should we?

Representation of Gender

  • Let’s take a look at this video, and discuss any ideas which is throws up.

  • What does the above video tell us about the representation of women in the media?
  • Can you think of positive and negative gender representation of women?

Representation Examples

  • Now I would like you to work in pairs to find examples of representation on the web.
  • Links to items are to be placed into a shared Google Doc.
  • After 15 minutes I will get you back together to view and discuss the various materials found.

Image Credit: model comparison image thumbnail used under educational fair use.

Michael Specter: The danger of science denial


In an age where we rely so heavily on technology, more and more people are starting to doubt and deny the science that underlies it. In this fascinating  talk, Michael Specter discusses the danger of such denial. Examples include the supposed link between autism and vaccinations, the growth of alternative medicine and, controversially, genetically modified foods.

This video is a great tool for engaging students to think critically about important issues, such as the nature of truth and information (e.g. why do some ideas become so well established despite a complete lack of empirical evidence?). From this, students can be asked to consider the misleading role the media often plays in this process, and how the scientific community can respond.

To fully understand the power of denial in the face of evidence, we need not look further than the current debate over climate change as a destructive and man-made phenomenon. This is a hypothesis backed by the vast majority of scientists worldwide, yet corporations, governments and the media are denying the need for immediate action.

No Impact Man


Colin Beavan (a.k.a No Impact Man) dedicated a year of his life to trying to reduce his environmental impact to zero. He stopped taking taxis, trains and elevators, only ate food grown within 250 miles of his home, left the power grid, stopped buying anything new and stopped making trash.

His inspiring book and blog follow his adventures, and attempt to distill from them a way for humanity to move forward without destroying the environment. No Impact Man’s approach is interesting as it focuses both inward and outward, calling into question the materialistic, wasteful and inefficient way we live our lives. He questions why we work so hard to buy things, when surely spending time with out friends and family will in fact bring us more happiness. This book is crammed full of interesting and surprising facts and figures, but is approachable enough to make a introduction to serious environmental issues.

Google Maps + Swine Flu


This is really interesting; but the source of the data needs to be questioned very carefully! There are some good classes to be built around this idea of not simply believing everything that is on the web.