Learning about visual language.
Text as Visual Language

Some stuff that might help us. What ideas we have for each other.


Designed to help the brain make sense of information.

Our brains love to think and memorize in visuals, also we imagine the relationships between objects and information in visuals, not in words. Try this – If I say Pen, Paper, Computer and Telephone - what comes to your mind first? Does alphabets (P-E-N) appears first to you?
the actual visuals of the objects recalled from your memory. Also didn’t you just visualize your working desk? As all the objects (Pen, Paper etc) immediately made a pattern in your mind and formed a context your mind spontaneously visualized a ‘complete’ picture.
That’s why infographics are very effective tools for learning content design.
Infographics represent data in a visual format which is easier for brain to articulate.

Infographics are visual representation of information and most probably the oldest learning and communication content designed by human being. From Egyptian Hieroglyphics the journey of Infographics started to visually communicate a complex concept document events or telling stories.
Modern Infographics started off as visual elements such as charts, maps, or diagrams that aid comprehension of a given text-based content. Today – in learning context, I would like to include process diagrams, concept maps, visual narratives, simulations etc. under Infographics.

Ask most people to read a 50 page report, strategic plan or proposal, or sit through a 30 page Powerpoint presentation, and their eyes will glaze over. "Alternatively show them an exciting visual tool that brings the topic to life and shows them everything they really need to know - and you'll achieve a whole new level of interest, engagement and retention."

Learning with and about infographics

Media Literacy
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5 Core concepts
1. All media messages are constructed.
2. Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules.
3. Different people experience the same media message differently.
4. Media have embedded values and points of view.
5. Most media messages are organized to gain profit and/or power.

5 Key Questions
1. Who created this message?
2. What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?
3. How might different people understand this message differently?
4. What values, lifestyles and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?
5. Why is this message being sent?

Dave Winters Media literacy links


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There are several characteristics and capabilities of photographic images that bring them learning power.

Images have a direct route to long-term memory
With a more complete understanding of how the mind works we are beginning to realise that a new balance must be established between the use of images and the use of words. The brain is divided into two hemispheres, left and right. Both gather in the same sensory information but each half handles the information, or parts of the information differently. The left side, or logical left as it is known, is the analytical, verbal, sequential, symbolic, linear half. The right side allows us to have imagination, visualisation, understand metaphors and create new combinations of ideas; it is more spatial, holistic and relational (Edwards, 1982).
There is large amount of info in one place

Use of images

  • To illustrate concepts and to show examples of what you are talking about during a lecture when you can't visit the real thing (e.g. building site practices, e.g. VR model of Roman villa) or see the item (e.g. chemical model)
  • To inspire discussion of a topic, looking at multiple aspects and contexts (e.g. general history, social history, industrial history)
  • To enforce and extend language and common terms of the object being discussed, using subject-specific terminology (e.g. archaeological items from excavations)
  • To categorise within a subject discipline and potentially build reference collections for student project work and research
  • To teach diagnosis and treatment (e.g. medical, dental and veterinary images)
  • To lead onto extension exercise tasks e.g. research and source other images of that topic (e.g. Neo-Classical architectural style - key buildings and features, key architects)
  • To stimulate students writing a story/poem about that image - enhancing creative and language skills
  • To encourage team work and foster collaboration and the sharing of a learning experience (e.g. group-based project work)
  • To encourage students to become independent learners (e.g. through the use of CAL/distance learning and VLE materials)
  • To encourage critical thinking skills (e.g. describing a photograph from many different viewpoints)
  • To illustrate case studies (e.g. where text may prove to be slightly ambiguous an image can define points)
  • To enhance visual communication skills (e.g. decoding the message from a photograph)
  • To help identify emotions and mood (e.g. from documentary evidence)
  • To document an event and analyse practice (e.g. taking images via a digital camera of a student show to provide documentation and analysis, field work)
  • To assess student's knowledge, understanding and observational skills (e.g. Art History, Medicine)
  • As a prompt to get students to research all aspects of a topic (e.g. mineral: mineral form, what type of rock formation found in, mineral assaying techniques, mining operations, industrial processing techniques and uses of that mineral)
  • Within CAL or VLE materials to introduce unpopular topics (within a subject discipline) in a novel and, perhaps, more exciting way than a straightforward lecture/tutorial


Having Student work with video makes them consider visual elements