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The importance of teaching the elements and devices of visua

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Naarah Van Andel

on 31 August 2013

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Transcript of The importance of teaching the elements and devices of visua

The importance of teaching the elements and devices of visual literacy
Definition
According to Dictionary.com (2013), visual literacy is best defined as the ability to comprehend or interpret pictures or other visual images such as advertisement, art or signs and symbols.
As reported by the Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) South Australia (2013), visual literacy is defined as the skill of seeing and comprehending visual details, the ability to read and write visual text and to understand the meaning and messages in visual text.
As stated in Winch et al (2010), visual literacy is defined as "more than the ability to decode images, it is the ability to analyse the power of the image and the use of meaning in its context".
According to Rowsell, McLean & Hamilton (2012), visual literacy refers to the ability to interpret information from images.
Visual Literacy within Winch et al (2010)
Images do not always operate as separate from words but alongside them and that visual literacy must not be separated from reading and writing. This is because images expands reading and writing skills and provides further engagement and information to students.
Visual literacy supports children who are hearing impaired. As these children can read and write, they are missing the ability to listen and speak. Thus signing languages such as Auslan are used to ensure these children are not missing out on vital communication tools.
Visual literacy relates strongly to perception, it is what individuals see through their own interpretation and schemata. This also relates to body language, gestures and facial expressions.
Themes within readings
Three themes emerged from different readings.
Points for classroom success
Summary
Visual literacy is an individuals perception and interpretation of images
Educators need to incorporate a range of texts to support different learning styles
Visual literacy must not be separated from reading and writing as it is a learning tool for students
There are many definitions for visual literacy however they incorporate the same ideas and concepts
Children gain deeper meaning and information through the use of visual literacy
Implications for teaching
As the world is now an age of digital literacy, children are likely to be more skilled than the teacher in reading signs or symbols. However teachers cannot assume that all students know this. Teachers must observe those students who may be struggling and ensure that they are being equipped with the skills and knowledge required to "read the e-world" (Winch et al, 2010)
The integration of multi-modal technologies within literacy education
According to DECD (2012) visual images are becoming the most predominant form of communication. The development of interpreting visual literacy can be rewarding for both educator and student as visual literacy supports classroom learning. The integration of multi-modal technologies within literacy education allows for lessons to be more engaging for students, improved motivation to students, beneficial effects on reading, writing, speaking and listening and also caters to different learning styles so every student's needs can be planned, supported and scaffolded.
Characteristics associated with visual literacy
As stated in Winch et al (2010), the characteristics of visual literacy include the understanding and interpretation of backgrounds, lines space, visual syntax, sequencing, connections, relationships, comparison, metaphors and cartoon conventions within images, storybooks or television. using these characteristics, students can create discussions using the Three Sharings tool and also the Three Level Guide. This creates deeper thinking and ideas for questions. This also allows students to reflect, summerise and report about the text or visual literacy.
Visual Literacy and hearing impaired children
In readings from Winch et al (2010) and Nikolarazi, Vekiri & Easterbrooks (2013), hearing impaired children use visual literacy to gain further information as they cannot speak or listen. In order to respond to the comprehension needs of these students, educators need to ensure they are scaffolded by using visual tools such as images, digital tools, Auslan or subtitles within movies. This provides and inclusive environment and ensures all students needs are supported.
Student's needs
Educators are responsible for students learning. They need to ensure that each child is at the correct instructional level and that their learning styles and needs are supported, scaffolded,planned for and that their learning is monitored. Educators need to be aware of each child's learning and who may need extra support and encouragement. educators need to ensure that students are equipped with the skills needed to interpret visual literacy.
Multi modal lessons
During practicum, the mentor teacher based many lessons around using visual literacy. This was done by rotating each activity to incorporate ICT, board games, posters, books, reading, writing, speaking and listening. To ensure that each activity catered to visual literacy and to each learning style; a weekly planner was used. This provided was a week overview which allowed lessons to be planned without clashes and overlapping of subjects, concepts and ideas. During the literacy block, students worked in small groups which rotated around the use of computers, writing and reading. the use of the group rotations allowed all students to have the use of ICT each day.
Effectiveness of visual literacy
Mayor Cox (2013) stated that educators need to provide a variety and a balance of texts to cater for different learning styles, instructional need, interests and to create engagement. Visual literacy is effective for learning as children gain more information through the use of images and digital tools. When children learn to read, they use images and visual tools to gain meaning, comprehension and they can see letter and word formations.
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