I read a blog post on infographics recently that reminded me that the idea is not a new one. We have seen visualized information our entire lives in newspapers, magazines, and textbooks. Perhaps the reason for the rebranding is e fact that anyone can now create and distribute one to a wide audience with relative ease.
And there is the point when it comes to visual literacy. Visuals are everywhere and created by everyone. Our kids must be equipped to vet the deluge of informations they consume on a daily basis. The. Visual Literacy White Paper, a report commissioned by Adobe, contends that images are becoming the “predominant form of communications.”
Beyond needing the skills to comprehend images and videos in this increasingly visual world, students need to be able to create products that communicate effectively as well. That is where the skills learned in the visual literacy COETAIL class really helped me in my instruction.
We must prepare our kids to create better presentations, a process that keeps the ideas of presentation zen in mind. It has already begun to guide presentations I make in class and the way I teach and support students as they create themselves.
The Pecha Kucha style of presenting can help students with the skills necessary to employs the ideas of presentation zen. It is quite impossible to have a slide full of text and only speak on it for 20 seconds. I saw fruits of this in my class as I experimented immediately following the COETAIL class on the subject.
Digital storytelling has become incredibly important toady. The presentation zen article about Dan Pink’s book highlights the importance of meaning in presentations. Helping students discern meaning and create it in their own work is a skill that needs to be focused on.
For all the talk about the importance of visual literacy, I hope that we don’t forget the meaning behind. It would be easy to teach how to make beautiful products without any substance. I also hope that educators won’t scrap all their writing assessments in favor of digital stories – the writing skills must be developed first. Still, the visual medium of communicating is growing and our students need to be prepared for that.