Visual literacy can become a major part of your classroom. Imagine being a visual learner, and having a ton of resources available to you, to instruct a completely visual lesson. As a visual learner, I would have loved having more visual literacy implemented throughout my schooling. In order to do this, we need to first understand one key question…what is visual literacy? Being visually literate means that you can derive meaning from images. These images can include everything that we see! We need to be able to read and write visual language. As teachers, we need to be able to teach our student to analyze images for their message, understand images, examine media curriculum to connect visual literacy to teaching, review the framing and validity of the imagery, create unique visual displays using the Web 2.0 tools (mentioned in the previous blog), and explore the different tools available to them for creating visual stories (Blog Week 5). Now that we understand a bit more about visual literacy, we need to understand why it is important, and how we can make use of it as teachers. You may not even realize how often you are employing visual literacy strategies, as you could be doing this all the time. Therefore, we have the option do look deeper into visual literacy and apply it exciting ways. We can make learning fun! Although the curriculum stresses the idea of critical thinking, it does not stress enough how important visual literacy can be for this. Our students will all think and interpret things in different ways, and give different meanings to different images (Blog Week 5). In today’s classrooms, it is clear that there are broader literacy needs for our students. These are skills that we have the ability to teach our students in which go far beyond use in the classroom. Regardless of the path you choose in life, the career or job you accept, visual literacy can have vital importance (Toledo Museum of Art, n.d.). Understanding what we see can have a major impact on both our own lives, and the lives of others as well. So how can we teach visual literacy in the classroom? How can we make this concept truly beneficial to our students? Visual literacy can mean many different things ranging from film, dance, images, and maps (Toledo Museum of Art, n.d.). Our world is consumed with visuals and media, and we can use this to our advantage. Let’s be real, our students are pretty good at keeping up with new technologies and advancements, so we need to keep on top of things too! If these images and media devices are consuming our world, then our students need to understand how to critically analyze what is being presented to them. We can even use our own blogs to keep students up to date with the success requirements, and to encourage classroom discussions (Blog Week 5). Teachers can rely on technology to create higher order thinking, and advance the learning of their students, regardless of the grade. We are allowing our students to have deeper interaction with texts of all kinds. If students are using the technology and media tools, they also need to understand how to be smart and skeptical about them. Visual literacy is a critical life skill that can be used within all academic disciplines…so let’s get looking! Take a look at the following links to get you started.
Media Literacy Blog Week 5. [Text]. Retrieved from http://mdl4000.weebly.com/week-five.html
Toledo Museum of Art. (n.d.). What is visual literacy. Retrieved from http://www.vislit.org/visual-literacy/
Visual Literacy and Art, (n.d.). Youtube Video. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Stc9EyGAOY
Visual Literacy Across the Curriculum. (2012). YouTube Video. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQNbAtK3c3g