About a year ago, I found the following slideshow, creating a post about it on a previous —now somewhat defunct — blog. So, I’m reposting it here. It will be able to get archived and found easier. Plus, maybe it will resonate with you.

Consider this slide show on Slideshare: “Knowing.the.World.We.Live.in.” In this slideshow, review it at full screen so you can read the legends for each slide. Another site called this “The Power of Stars.” The message is powerful.  How do you think the message in the presentation is interpreted through visual literacy, graphic design and message design?

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About Michael M Grant

Dr. Michael M. Grant is a passionate professor, researcher, and consultant. He works with faculty members, schools and universities, and districts to integrate technology meaningfully and improve teaching and learning. When 140 characters just won't work, then he blogs here at Viral-Notebook.com. He has a beautiful wife and three equally beautiful daughters, who will change the world.

20 Thoughts on “The power of stars

  1. Rather interesting. Has few times re-read for this purpose to remember. Thanks for interesting article. Waiting for trackback

  2. Jamae Allred on September 28, 2009 at 1:19 pm said:

    The flags were a wonderful way to visually represent the instruction. It allowed the information to become more personal than with bars or graphs.

  3. Tabatha D. (UUG) on September 28, 2009 at 5:57 pm said:

    I thought the use of the flags to represent the statistics surrounding the issues of the respective countries worked well as a tool of association. Where traditional graphs would have conveyed the same data, using flags did a much better job of making the data real and of conveying the larger message that we’re talking about not just statistics, but real people with real issues that need resolution, which should be achieved through the collective work of the global community.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Tabatha D. (UUG)

  4. rdawson(uug) on September 28, 2009 at 6:03 pm said:

    I found this really interesting. I was shocked by the results that were shown in the legend. I love the way this powerpoint presented the information. The results were clearly seen on the flags. Our students today would be able to see the main problem with something using flags or symbols a lot better than using numbers. If your purpose to show something like the HIV infected people without numbers the students would see the problem a lot better because they would not get bogged down with the numbers. This technique would give the visual learners a clearer view of information.

  5. The visuals were very effective. Many times you see the statistics on such matters but that is all they are statistics. I like the visuals and what they actually represent. Using these visual on non-important topics would simply not be as effective.

  6. The flags of represented nations furl in the breeze as they stand their post outside the United Nations buildings. Representatives have an appreciation for the symbolism of each country’s flag and the sense of pride and distinction that attends. This slideshow was a presentation to the UN–so using a meaningful, familiar symbol to convey these proportional statistics was truly inspired. Good graphic design enhances the message; it evokes emotional connections and embeds long-lasting recollection. You may not remember the detail, but you will remember the images and your reaction.

  7. This was a good representation of the world we live in. It keeps you interested more than graphs or numbers would. This is a good tool to use to resonate with students.

  8. Brenda Redick on April 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm said:

    The PowerPoint presentation was extremely informative. Students should be aware of their surroundings.

  9. Danita Gibson on June 14, 2010 at 4:49 am said:

    Often times less is more. The flags play an integral part in making a deeper impression in relation to the statistical information being represented. The graphics in conjuction wth the side notes appeal to visual learners. This was an intutive method for representing the data. Much better than makin a table and chart then adding a commentary explaing the statistics.

  10. Tara Thomas on June 14, 2010 at 6:00 am said:

    This slideshow is extremely powerful. The shock factor comes in when you realize that flags that often serve as symbols of pride and power and lofty ideals of a society can also show the things that should cause great shame, fear and concern. I think that it is an excellent example of literacy in the Information Age because the use of visuals seem to now be just as important as words in expressing ideas.

    As an educator, I would be highly impressed if I had a student who submitted an example like this for an assignment. The ability to take an object and change the use of it in a productive way is what great inventors have done for centuries. This example is just not as hands-on and concrete as we are used to thinking.

    But, I’m finding out as I learn more about the strategies and methods of active learning that students aren’t necessarily engaged in making a concrete object to be actively engaged. The use of technology in the context of active learning seems to lend itself to more out-of-the-box thinking and interpretation of learning products and projects.

  11. @Danita and Tara, thank you so much for dropping by and leaving a comment. Tara, I really like your comment that suggests the contrast between pride/nationalism and then how the symbols are being used in this presentation.

  12. Megan Ostmann on June 15, 2010 at 3:42 pm said:

    A very creative presentation indeed. Clearly a lot of thought went into its design. The presentation did not include any extra filler; definitely quality over quantity. It was at once understandable and engaging. While I am impressed by this student’s creativity I am wondering about how these statistical comparisons are coming from. Are the sections of each flag representative of the actual population? I would love to see this presentation include a little more of concrete information along with the great visuals. For example, the student might want to add percentages and cite references.

  13. Anna Lovel on October 30, 2011 at 1:01 pm said:

    This is a powerful message because it uses images with which we are already familiar to present information that we may not already know. The disconnect between the proud national symbol and the real information creates a moving dichotomy.

  14. Amy Johnson on November 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm said:

    We’ve all heard the saying, “A picture’s worth a thousand words”. How about, “A picture and a legend is worth a million.” So creative and awakening this presentation was on that particular day and still is as viewers experience it for the first time.

    Just having a visual perspective adds a new dimension to awareness and critical thinking opportunities. If given a similiar challenge, students would dive right in with all fours, so to speak. This would beat researching and writing a report any day!

    • Hi, Amy. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on this slideshow. It is so meaningful and powerful. I think, though, about how it might be received by a teacher if produced by a student.

  15. Laura Wolf on September 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm said:

    Wow! There are so many aspects of this that strike me. The statistics are dreadfully sobering and especially so when displayed graphically.

    I agree with other posts that note how the use of flag area to represent the demographic portions strikes an emotional cord. I am especially grateful to be myself in my living circumstances after viewing it.

    The other forseeable effect is that I will think of these slides every time I see a Chinese, Somalian, Brazilian, etc flag. Whoever thought of displaying these human rights issues this way has really made a powerful statement.

    Thanks for making it available.

  16. CJ Anderson on December 6, 2013 at 11:38 pm said:

    Wow! I thought this was pretty cool. I think I would reward the student with a B+ or A, depending on what the requirements of the assignment where. I think that it shows the presenter to be knowledgeable of his/her audience and “The World We Live In.” It made me think about all these problems or situations in a new way. Not only are these things happening, but they are happening right now. I like the knowledge that I gained and the human connection that is emphasized by the flags of the different demographics addressed. I agree, this beats writing a paper, any day. I’m just like, nice way to think outside of the box.

  17. I would definitely think that this student put some serious thought into this assignment even though it appears to be very simple. I certainly liked the way in which he /she thought outside the box to give the reader the information about each country. I really liked the presentation.

    • Hi, Linda!
      Thanks for stopping by. This is one of my favorite presentations. Visually, it is just so simple and so powerful at the same time. There is so much being communicated here.

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