Visual literacy, is the ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image. The term “visual literacy” is credited to John Debes, co-founder of the International Visual Literacy Association. Information cited from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_literacy
The video shares with us the empowerment associated with visual imagery in the field of Education.
As the term and the video indicates that the visual media strengthens the message being communicated to the audience. There has been immense development in my interpretation of visuals, through this course. Having learnt newer methods of current trends of presentations: Infograph, Pecha Kucha, Presentation Zen, Digital storytelling and more….., I realize there are such wider choices to select from. I am beginning to feel as though I have become screen literate. As Kelvin Kelly suggests, “When technology shifts, it bends the culture.” in the article Becoming Screen Literate. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/23/magazine/23wwln-future-t.html?pagewanted=all
Being able to create an Infograph by self and having used it successfully with my classes, has been a great learning outcome. My students never appreciated the warm up process as much as they refreshed their knowledge from the Infograph I created as a part of this course! The digital storytelling project helped me nurture my creative potential to a maximum. It has been an exciting journey of transformation and evolution through this course. I will like to delve into this deeper and continue to create projects I can use in PE classes with my students. Having created Yoga presentation based on Presentation Zen style, 21st century web tools for PE Teachers: Pecha Kucha and Practice makes PE perfect: Digital story during this course, I am definitely assured that effective visuals communicate effectively. I have used these creations/ visual projects with my students and observed the positive impact it lays on their mind. It just fascinates me deeply.
I am super excited about creating wordles/ word clouds using http://www.wordle.net, and am considering myself more and more tech savvy. I have learnt that presentations can be made more effective by using the “rule of thirds”, where instead of placing the images in the center, they should be placed towards the “power points”, to create a deeper impact. I feel prosperous with technology around to help me and support my student needs. I feel accomplished that the projects I shared with my students have made them deep thinkers about the issues they have been exposed to.
Prior to this course, I had restricted myself to using and creating PowerPoint presentations, since I had been most comfortable with their use over the years. As a learning outcome of this course, I feel it is worth coming out of my comfort zone and exploring newer teaching practices by using Web 2.0 tools to develop my teaching potential further. I am eager to review and revisit my lessons and presentations, created using traditional methods over the years and replace them with the latest teaching modules suited to our 21st century learner needs, appropriate as per their abilities.
In Physical Education area, since students prefer to be physically active, it becomes a challenge to have them seated and involve them in class discussions. However, a visual presentation/ a catchy story can capture their mind, and communicate the message across to them at the same time. By viewing movies/ pictures of students in action, they anticipate themselves to be a part of the action and are better affected. This course has been the most practical one for me due to its applicablility in Physical Education, in terms of its implementation and visual approach. I am eager to use the learnings from this course, for the immense benefit of my students. I am confident that effective use of visual approach can communicate the message to our students in the right tone/ voice.
Teaching in an international school, one does face the challenge of teaching students with limited English language skills. In Physical Education, we have some students who have very limited understanding of the vocabulary. I feel the strength of visuals plays such an important role here, since images speak for themselves. These students get a fair opportunity with the presentations of visuals that convey the message across without words. I would like to take advantage of this aspect from this course, and reach out to my ESL students as well along with the rest of my students.
I have thereby decided that I must begin working on creating more visually designed projects for my upcoming units. This will enable me to continue to tread on the digital and the visual path. Truly, visual literacy is a boon. Regular readings have supplemented and strengthened my thinking process. I am thinking OUT of the box now, with due thanks to this course and heartfelt gratitude for my instructors. I find myself better equipped and prepared to play around with images, am able to manipulate and support them with sounds to create visuals that will lay a deep impact on the brain of my students, and foster effective communication.
The article, Brain Rules: Vision by John Medina, touched my heart and brain the most, since it resonates and affirms with my belief in the need of physical activity to get your brain working at its best. It also suggests that exercise improves cognition, according to the Rule 1: Exercise boosts brain power. http://www.brainrules.net/vision.
As my next first step, I plan to use this information, and research more relevant information to create a visual project and share it with my students to highlight the benefits of exercise, besides the other evident reasons. Of course, I will remember to give due credit to the author of this book and others in the attribution section.