Today, visualization has the potential to become a mass medium. Engagement — grabbing and keeping the attention of a viewer — is the key to its broader success. The clearest, most precise graphic in the world communicates nothing if nobody looks at it.

As society moves towards more visual presentation of data/information, it’s clear that even “before viewers understand the data, they form strong impressions of the intended message based on colors, fonts and the like.”  Comparatively, when discussing the writing process with students, teachers talk about the characteristics of good writing and how to engage readers.   Additionally, the mantra of “revise, revise, revise” emphasizes the need to constantly improve  word choice and sentence structure to keep a reader’s attention.  We place importance on the precise selection of words to elicit the correct image we hope our writing “paints” in the minds of the readers. Young writers are taught to carefully select only the most important pieces of information, examples, and/or details to keep their writing focused and reader hooked.  Nowadays, a picture really does say a thousand words.  It is now equally important to educate students about how to  select/craft a visualization so it properly and effectively communicates the intended information.  Teachers and students alike need to understand the power of a well designed visualization and what it communicates to the audience.  Clearly,  images and graphics are the “visual voice” of our students.