Just sitting here listening to Jason Ohler speak at the Leadership 2011 conference in Edmonton, AB. My interested was piqued with a couple of statements he made around digital literacy. "We limit our students from expressing themselves with the medium they know. They live a non-digitalized life at school and digital life outside of school."
He's referring to how many times we take the cell phones or smartphones from our students and force them to write an essay about an outcome that could been demonstrated with some form of media that the students already know and used outside of school.
Now he wasn't saying that we stop writing, in fact, he said that the writing is critical to good productions with media. However, we need to encourage the students to use the media they are familiar with to create visual writing. It's important that common activities for math, language arts, science be done in ways that a story can to told with media.
To illustrate, he showed the video by Hans Rosling that took normal boring stats and animated them telling a story.
I think this is a great illustration of bringing the ordinary alive.
On a another note, here's a great tool, Tagxedo. This tool turns words, speeches, and more into shapes. It's something like Wordle but with specific shapes and patterns. Pretty cool.