Inspiring Youth Work: Resources from Adobe Youth Voices

Over the past few months (check out the August and September posts) we’ve been writing about how to integrate Adobe Youth Voices Essentials’  media-making resources into your classroom.  This month, we’re going to look at how the AYV student work and resources can be used to support meaningful youth engagement at your school.

As a community that stays connected through in-person and virtual professional development events like our Fall VirtCon last weekend, the DEN knows all about the impact of collaboration in shared learning environments.  The Adobe Youth Voices Essentials program is no different.  AYV’s Media Review provides its own platform for educators to share student work and receive valuable feedback from folks around the world.


As I was browsing the media posted here, I found Community Diversity, a moving collection of photographs taken by young people participating in a community-based class in Oaxaca, Mexico who are working on a project to document the diversity of people in their neighborhood.   From the very young to senior citizens, these black and white photographs offer a very real look at the members of this community and the varied backgrounds that they represent.  As I studied these images, several questions immediately came to mind.  How were these individuals chosen?  What did the photographers want to capture when snapping these shots?  What stories do these individuals have to tell? How are these people like me?   I’m sure you and your students have had similar experiences when viewing media.  Something like a portrait, which on the surface appears so simple, can be a powerful conversation starter.  It can also be a platform for discussing point-of-view, which is an important part of the Common Core curriculum.

Point of View

Being able to connect point-of-view to digital photography is key to both learning about your own style and appreciating the work of others.  To support teaching these skills, I searched the Digital Photography Resources.  A Place to Call Home: Photo Essay Curriculum has a number of useful supporting resources.  But the one I liked best was Story, Audience, Message, and Style (SAMS), a PDF that could easily be printed for student use. The SAMS strategy encourages students to take a step back from the Community Diversity photography collection and put themselves in someone else’s shoes.

Implementation in Your Classroom

How cool would it be to have students use their cell phones to capture images that tell their own stories?  They can then share their photographs with each other and you can post pieces to AYV’s Media Review to receive authentic feedback.   Media literacy resources like the SAMS worksheet and other AYV materials help students to not only use technology for media creation but also to analyze what they’re consuming and producing, to engage with important issues in a deeper way.  Check out the insights, a seasoned teacher recently offered on building media literacy skills in students.

Looking for help as you explore all of these resources?  Click on “Forum” in the gray ribbon across the top of the AYV website.  From technical questions to tips on implementation of the curriculum, educators are already connecting with one another to help further their use of these media-making resources.

So if you haven’t already, register (for free) for Adobe Youth Voices Essentials today and let us know what kinds of creative things you’re doing!


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