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Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning

January 15, 2013 Featured Carousel, Images, Media Literacy 39 Comments

I confess, I am a visual learner! I also relate better to metaphors, since they paint a picture in my mind.

confess

My eyes roll back when I see long passages of text, that I am supposed to read, digest, analyze, understand, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I can do it (I am an avid reader), but I can wrap my mind around concepts, thoughts and content better, if it is represented visually in some shape or form.

text-schools

The majority of content presented to students in school is in form of text, the world outside of school bombards us with information in many forms of media beyond text.

Times Square-by Trey Ratcliff

Image licensed under CC by Trey Ratcliff

Our ability to navigate a media rich world and “read and write” in that world is increasingly important skill to posses.

Visual Literacy is defined by Wikipedia as:

the ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image, extending the meaning of literacy, which commonly signifies interpretation of a written or printed text. Visual literacy is based on the idea that pictures can be “read” and that meaning can be communicated through a process of reading.

I have been working with one of our Middle School teachers, Morah Ita,  and her blog. She is steadily climbing the classroom teacher’s blogging step ladder. Her classroom blog has moved from being a static replacement of the weekly newsletter sent home and information “pushed” out for students to read and consume to a hub, where students respond to prompts from her, are able to read and comment on each other and allow a global audience to their conversation.

Another upgrade we are taking a closer look at now, is a move from TEXT HEAVY to a more MEDIA INFUSED writing style.

text

 

media

Inspired by the website Visual Writing Prompts, I took the text based journal prompts on her blog and “visualized” them.
Slide1

Slide4

Slide3

Slide5

Slide6

From creating these visuals as a journal writing prompts, my thoughts turned to other subjects.

Our 4th/5th grade Math teacher is revisiting fractions. Part of her class needs more help than others in understanding and making sense of fractions.

fractions visuals

Again, the idea was to bring more visual “real life” elements to a typically taught abstractly (with numbers) or with clipart (blocks or circles) concept. Just google “visual fractions” and switch from web to images.

The meta-cognitive process of creating the slides and thinking of a questions to go along with them gave place to another opportunity for the more “advanced” students. As the teacher works with struggling students, they would be able to create visual fraction problems for their classmates to practice and solve.

Slide1

fractions

Our Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Yegelwel, shared the following on our school’s Professional Development Ning.

heavier-lighter-equal

A seesaw is a perfect balance (given the right amount of weight on each side)! How do you teach heavy, light, equal to Kindergarteners? Using balances and connecting cubes in the classroom is good, but using their bodies on the seesaw outside is even better.  We (not me personally!) weighed ourselves, figured out which child weighed the same or almost the same as another child and then tried to balance on the seesaw.

The activity is excellent. I am so glad that the teacher documented it by taking the image to be later shared among colleagues and parents via her classroom blog.

I am wondering now though, how can we continue to upgrade and continue to infuse visual literacy for our 5 and 6 year olds?  Can we take images from objects the children are familiar with (ex. from around the classroom) and create visual questions for them. The objective is to teach students not only the concept of heavier, lighter, equal, but to give them the ability to see and evaluate images and transfer the concept to real life and vice versa.

PS. I used the (free)  iPad app Haiku Deck, in case you were wondering how the visual slides were created.

Haiku Deck

I have found the app to be perfect to quickly create good looking slides. The app is very intuitive. The fluency of the creation process is smooth.

1. Add your text (you are limted to up to two lines…which is a good thing!)

photo

2. Choose an image (from Flickr’s Creative Commons pool or upload your own)

image_1

3. Choose the layout

image_2

4. Share your slides (export it as a PowerPoint file or send an e-mail with a link)

image

I then emailed the slides to myself, opened them up in PowerPoint and exported them as images to be uploaded to the blog. You can also view the slideshow on the iPad and take screenshots of the individual slides in order to upload them to a blog.

I am calling on all of you bloggers, presentation deliverers and teachers to

BREAK UP THE TEXT! Include less words, embed a variety of media to support you message/content, infuse visual literacy into your teaching!

Currently there are "39 comments" on this Article:

  1. @dmantz7 says:

    Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning | Langwitches Blog – Great post! #ntchat #educoach http://t.co/DKN0TiJg

  2. [...] New blog post: Embedding Visuals into Teaching and Learning- langwitches.org/blog/2013/01/1… [...]

  3. @lsheehy says:

    replurks dmantz7: shares http://t.co/GWx7B6Yq (Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning | @Langwitches Bl… http://t.co/qq9pYYiR

  4. mrbg (@mrbg) says:

    Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/UpfGNrCn

  5. Wonderful! Change what you do!! Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/vRWoyLrW

  6. @JenGoldthorpe @cadelwohrer @amandaluk2007 something to think about in blogging and teaching: http://t.co/d0EmwoLn via @neilringrose

  7. @engaginged says:

    Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning…yet another brilliant post by @langwitches http://t.co/r0ob9poD #edtech

  8. Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning http://t.co/ReLONvdi via @zite

  9. @timjteacher says:

    Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning http://t.co/WCsWdZXB via @zite

  10. Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning http://t.co/uUhjJtCx via @myen a good challenge from a great blogger #edchat #elearning

  11. @paulhami says:

    Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning http://t.co/466irJaM

  12. Fabulous! “@langwitches: New blog post: Embedding Visuals into Teaching and Learning- http://t.co/Wk5hjmFW”

  13. @ThinkGal says:

    Thanks, @suewaters for sharing Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning — http://t.co/bMHlqmoD
    Powerful for teaching and learning

  14. @Amendor says:

    Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning http://t.co/pei77U7j

  15. @OZTLNet says:

    Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning http://t.co/Jc5oul3F

  16. Visual Literacy Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning http://t.co/2gCG9gUz via @zite

  17. Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning http://t.co/Z2px0aKN #education

  18. @DanLaw7 says:

    Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/9J33MxDs

  19. Using visuals in teaching and learning/ Langwitches Blog #deafed http://t.co/uckKch7S

  20. Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/gK6AKTrv, see more http://t.co/U8GoLtze

  21. Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning http://t.co/fOezM3YJ

  22. Gr8 article 4 blogs RT @langwitches: Using @haikudeck to create stunning visual images to embed visual literacy …- http://t.co/sn9ESPdA

  23. @crysrose28 says:

    Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/VjCRQFGh #esl #tesol #Edchat

  24. “Embedding Visuals Into Teaching & Learning” http://t.co/0uf1ygHr #HCCSC2012

  25. Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning http://t.co/CCqn8H4d Thanks for the tip!

  26. Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning http://t.co/SpDs38hI

  27. Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning #edchat #tlchat http://t.co/eY1oG9hx

  28. TE (@thbeth) says:

    #eadsunday #moocead Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning http://t.co/OGNfvQET

  29. Embedding Visuals In Teaching and Learning  http://t.co/k4tyHNyi #edchat #edtech #mlearning visual literacy strategies supporting learning!

  30. @jenngatz says:

    Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning | Langwitches Blog http://t.co/lTrXbg8U We’re living in a visual world! #edchat #ipaded

  31. Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning http://t.co/VFHDTJ9Q

  32. Lisa Noble says:

    I’m going to do a little bit of pushback here. I loved the post, and really liked the idea of using Haikudeck for visuals, and yet, I am a person who finds the blog above extremely choppy visual, and I tend to lose the flow if there are too many cuts. My eyes don’t roll back at chunks of text, and it usually tells me that there might be some deep thinking here, which is often what I want. I guess I’m looking for a balance. I love a well-selected visual that supports the text, but I don’t want to be so overwhelmed by the visual that it gets in the way.

  33. @kedreaming says:

    Great ideas! Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning http://t.co/VRCwtcRb via @zite

  34. @jasmont1 says:

    Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning @langwitches Blog http://t.co/XDfhbspU
    #vicpln #tlchat #austl

  35. Kris says:

    This is such a cool technology, would you mind posting this in my LinkedIn group about teaching with 21st Century Technologies?

    I think the group could really benefit from learning about ebook publishing!

    http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Teaching-Math-Science-21st-Century-4816728/about?trk=anet_ug_grppro

  36. An important part of visual literacy involves using images to convey or create meaning. Students as designers should be engaged in conversations about WHY they chose a certain image. Too often immature designers chose an image because they “like it”, “it’s cute.” or are swayed by the animations or sound effects.

    I would love to hear about how you selected the images you did. What did you search for? Do you share such searching thought process with students?

    Thanks for reminding me about Haiku Deck. It definitely forces designers to lighten up on the text load. I also like its option of searching for Creative Commons images.

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