Visual literacy


Path to my Digital story- Y:\ES_Shared\Faculty-shared\Dimgital Story

Visual literacy

I have reached at a point where I look for the opportunities to use the technology knowledge which would enhance the learning of my students.  I was not sure how to use these in my classes earlier, but now it is different, I feel comfortable using these tech tools in my classes and found them very useful and interactive.

Technology, like anything new that we learn requires some time to get used to and integrate it into our routine activities. When we are learning to drive, first time we hesitate and feel less confident as we keep at it we become more comfortable until driving comes to us almost as naturally as walking.  Similarly, after attending three Coetail courses, I am finding it very useful and informative to use for my students and I am getting comfortable with its use in my classes.

Visuals literacy is very powerful method of communication, there is a saying that “a picture is worth a hundreds of words”; or a picture speaks louder than text , despite of the efforts it took in the beginning I have enjoyed working on this. Using six essential aptitudes, as mentioned by Daniel Pink, gives us a true picture of what it should look like.  I am sure it will prove to be a powerful tool to be used in class.

As mentioned in Garr Reynolds’ blog on issues related to professional presentation design “The power of learning” Visuals that surprise people, touch them, delight them, and support your story are best because they affect people in an emotional way. People are more likely to remember your content in the form of stories and examples, and they are also more likely to remember your content if your visuals are unique, powerful and of the highest quality. Yes, a 60-second TV spot promoting tourism is quite different from a 30-minute live conference presentation.

Each assignment and project assigned to us under this course was very engaging and promoted learning through understanding.  As a result of I find myself becoming more comfortable, creative and knowledgeable.

I would also like to mention from the same reading what makes some images so powerful and others unremarkable?  The “rule of thirds” says that images (video scenes, etc.) may appear more interesting, engaging, dynamic, compelling, etc. if the subject is not placed in the center. Of course dead center is where beginning photographers or novice videographers tend to put their subject.  If you try moving your subject away from the center, however, perhaps nearer to one of what are called “power points” (where the gridlines intersect), you can create a more powerful or interesting visual by creating a bit of tension or even drama.  I used to have my subject in the center but now I have started using principles of presentation and I can see the improvement.  I applied this rule of third in my digital story and it is much better than earlier pictures.

In my Presentation Zen , my topic was “safety” at the swimming pool, I tried to use informative visuals for the presentation, as a result of which the presentation turned out to be very informative.  This, I am sure, would not have been possible without these visuals for these young elementary school students.  From my experience I confidently suggest that use of visual literacy tools would be very useful in physical education classes.

During the first class, the focus was on principles of Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity (C.R.A.P) and we also learned the techniques used by websites such as headlines draw eyes before pictures, multimedia works well than text and people scan left side of a list of headlines. This helped me to understand how one can create engaging graphics. Based on this knowledge, I worked on my first ever info graphic on the topic “Do’s and Don’ts in physical education class”.  As per the feedback provided by the students, they found it informative and interesting.

Understanding presentation design and the efficacy of visual presentations in communicating a message was the topic discussed in our second class.  In this class a number of facts were revealed e.g.  Humans understand images 60,000 times faster than text, visual aids have been found to improve learning up to 400 percent, which, I have experienced in my swimming classes; students remembered most of what was shown to them more than three weeks ago.  These facts helped to understand the importance and effectiveness of visual presentations.

I am doubtful regarding the use of Pecha Kucha presentation for my lower elementary school students.  As I feel it would be hard for them to understand the content in 20 x 20 seconds format.  Although I am sure these could be used for the older students.

Digital Story is another way of teaching through visual literacy, the tool I used in making my digital story was window movie maker and cyber link power director , I used it for the first time and feel so happy that I was able to use it.  I am very excited to be using these presentations

I realise that I was so nervous earlier especially while describing the do’s and don’ts of presentation skills, while presenting in front of my colleagues in class. But as we tell our students as PE teachers,  we also learn when we lose a game; I also took this as an opportunity to learn a new skill.

Finally, I would like to thank Gary and Dana for teaching these classes and familiarizing us with the use of these technologies to improve the quality of our classes.  I am sure I would be able to use the skills acquired during these courses and make my classes more engaging and interactive for the students.



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