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Introduction to visual literacy
Why Visual Language
Learning about Visual Language
Some Tools that may Help
Flowgram on infographics
Why Visual Language?
Reading and writing are more important?
More effective communication
"how many people look to the info graphic rather than reading the whole article?"
There is widespread understanding that visual-verbal language enables forms and
efficiencies of communication that heretofore have not been possible. For example,
improvements in human performance from 23 to 89% have been obtained by using
integrated visual-verbal "stand- alone" diagrams. In this case, "stand-alone" diagrams
refer to diagrams that have all of the verbal elements necessary for complete
understanding without reading text elsewhere in a document. (Chandler and Sweller,
1991; Mayer 2001, Horton, 1991)
Mary Alice White, a researcher at Columbia Teacher's College has found that young people learn more than half of what they know from visual information, but few schools have an explicit curriculum to show students how to think critically about visual data.
This new language facilitates complex, multi-dimensional
visual-verbal thought. Writers are no longer constrain to explaining by words alone.
Big, complex thoughts
Human cognitive effectiveness and efficiency is constrained by
the well-known limitations of working memory that George Miller identified in 1957 (Miller 1957). Large visual displays have for some time been known to help us overcome this bandwidth constraint.
Allow for greater creativity
Why Media literacy
external image tn_head-case.jpg
1. The influence of media in our central democratic processes.
In a global media culture, people need three skills in order to be engaged citizens of a democracy: critical thinking, self-expression and participation. Media literacy instills these core skills, enabling future citizens to sort through political packaging, understand
and contribute to public discourse, and, ultimately, make informed decisions in the
2. The high rate of media consumption and the saturation of society by media.
When one considers cell phones, social networking, video games, television, pop music, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, the internet—even T-shirts!—we are exposed to more mediated messages in one day than our great-grandparents were exposed to in a year. Media literacy teaches the skills we need to navigate safely through this sea of images and messages—for all our lives.
3. The media’s influence on shaping perceptions, beliefs and attitudes.
While research disagrees on the extent and type of influence, it is unquestionable that media experiences exert a significant impact on the way we understand, interpret and act on our world. By helping us understand those influences, media education can help us separate from our dependencies on them.
4. The increasing importance of visual communication and information.
While schools continue to be dominated by print, our lives are increasingly influenced by visual images—from corporate logos to huge billboards to cell phones to Internet websites. Learning how to “read” the multiple layers of image-based communication is a necessary adjunct to traditional print literacy. We live in a multi-media world.
5. The importance of information in society and the need for lifelong learning.
Information processing and information services are at the core of our nation’s productivity
but the growth of global media industries is also challenging independent voices and diverse views. Media education can help both teachers and students understand where information comes from, whose interests may be being served and how to find alternative views.
Global and Universal elements
There is a universality of icons, signs and labels that is often not available from straight text or even spoken word.
help on how to format text
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