Parsons School of Design

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2013

Michael Zoppo
Critware
Michael Zoppo
Critware

According to a study released in 2010 by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 8-18 year olds devote a daily average of 7 hours and 38 minutes using entertainment media across a typical day. That’s more than 53 hours per week! The study also concluded that the number has increased a total of 1 hour and 17 minute over 5 years. With anorexia and obesity rates growing increasingly worse, many argue that the messages found within media entertainment are drastically affecting the ways we think about ourselves. This is a call to people to start developing critical thinking and media literacy skills in order to ultimately control the detrimental effects media has on psyches. Say hello to Critware, an educational tool promoting active participation, analysis, and evaluation centered on media messages. The tool is intended to coincide with a high school course centered around bringing together topics within media studies, cultural studies, and fi lm studies in one space for dialogue and critical conversation. Critware is a virtual space that supplies classrooms with a contextual shaping tool which populates fi ndings from the 16-week course. It will work to add and stimulate dialogue around the subject matter as well as transform learning into a fun, interactive, and visually stimulating work of art. Most importantly, it will give classrooms the means to draw connections otherwise invisible to the naked eye. The tool will become a safe house for all plotted information working as support in conversation inside and outside of the classroom. At the end of the 16-week course students will be transformed into critically aware individuals who will be able challenge, question, and re-construct the messages found within media and also have this really cool visual which documents and displays their process.


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