"All of us are watchers - of television, of time clocks, of traffic on the freeway - but few of us are observers. Everyone is looking, not many are seeing." - Peter M. Leschak

What is Visual Literacy?

"Visual literacy is the ability to **interpret**, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image. Visual literacy is based on the idea that pictures can be “read” and that meaning can be communicated through a process of reading." - as defined in Wikipedia

"Visual literacy is the ability to see, to understand, and ultimately to think, create, and communicate graphically." - Thibault, M. and Walbert, D. (n.d.). Reading images: an introduction to visual literacy. Retrieved March 14, 2010

Visual Literacy Activities - "Visual literacy is defined as the ability to understand communications composed of visual images as well as being able to use visual imagery to communicate to others. Students become visually literate by the practice of visual encoding (expressing their thoughts and ideas in visual form) and visual decoding (translating and understanding the meaning of visual imagery)."

"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." Mary Alice White, researcher, Columbia Teacher's College


The Visual Literacy White Paper
The Visual Literacy Wiki - comprehensive wiki of resources for teaching and learning about visual literacy

What Resources Can We Use to Teach Visual Literacy?

Visual Literacy Lesson Plans from AT&T Knowledge Network (21st century literacies)
PBS Teachers - Focus on Visual Literacy - links to resources for teaching various visual literacy skills
TRY THIS ONE: PicLits - "Inspired Picture Writing" - youccan choose a picture, then have students drag and drop words that describe it - or go freestyle and compose sentences, paragraphs, etc.
Yale Digital Image Library - vast collection of digital images from a variety of univeristy and government archives and collections - can be used to teach the skills associated with visual literacy
Pics4Learning - "Pics4Learning is a copyright-friendly image library for teachers and students. The Pics4Learning collection consists of thousands of images that have been donated by students, teachers, and amateur photographers. Unlike many Internet sites, permission has been granted for teachers and students to use all of the images donated to the Pics4Learning collection."

TRY THIS ONE: Image Detective

Resources for Creating/Using Video in the Classroom

SchoolTube - "A place for students and teachers to share video online" - Watch this video about School Tube and its partnership with the National Elementary School Principals Association.

"“More core teachers are using SchoolTube.com to record lessons, so if students are absent or need to review a lesson, it is there for them to do. It’s an amazing opportunity for students to share and use technology to its fullest,” confirmed Ladue’s Dean of Students Mike Tarpey." - from Unique Access to Learning

Examples:
1. Why learn persuasive writing? Persuasive Stories
2. Learning about Body Systems: The Circulatory Song by kids
3. A PSA for school bathroom safety - interesting way to teach it...

TeacherTube - "Our goal at TeacherTube.com is to provide an online community for sharing instructional teacher videos."
Examples:
1. If you are teaching multiplication there is a great skit by Abbott and Costello on how not to divide. The short clip gives humor and opens discussion on the incorrect ways to calculate a division equation. This simple video will capture the students' attention and allow the classroom teacher to give a mini lesson on division with the students are engaged.
2. Teaching Math - can't quite get it across - here's a brave teacher who did a "Simplify Rap" to help her kids learn how to divide...

Read more at Suite101: Using Technology in the Classroom: Teacher Tube, Online Resource for Educators http://teachertipstraining.suite101.com/article.cfm/teaching_with_technology#ixzz0m7KdyTdj

Having students create visual products for learning

PhotoStory3 - a free video making tool - using still photos - this is the easiest tool for kids to learn. Free to download and use.
Getting started equipment: webcam, microphone, digital camera, computer with appropriate video applications...
Michelle Harclerode at Diplomat Elementary has created a fabulous website on making digital book trailers using PhotoStory 3 - check it out