Students today also need visual literacy when creating multimodal texts. What we can add to the international curricula of the English language is how to effectively find, interpret, evaluate, use and create images and visual media within our written or spoken texts.
According to the IVLA (International Visual Literacy Association) the term “Visual Literacy” was first coined in 1969 by John Debes, one of the most important figures in the history of IVLA. Debes’ offered (1969b, 27) the following definition of the term:
“Visual Literacy refers to a group of vision-competencies a human being can develop by seeing and at the same time having and integrating other sensory experiences. The development of these competencies is fundamental to normal human learning. When developed, they enable a visually literate person to discriminate and interpret the visible actions, objects, symbols, natural or man-made, that he encounters in his environment. Through the creative use of these competencies, he is able to communicate with others. Through the appreciative use of these competencies, he is able to comprehend and enjoy the masterworks of visual communication.”
© University of Greenwich
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1.Those texts that have more than one mode, such as print and image or print, image, sound and movement. Multimodal texts require the processing of more than one mode and the recognition of the interconnections between modes. This process is different from the linear reading of print-based texts.
2.Texts that incorporate elements of audio, visual and/or animations along with written language (words, sentences in a variety of segments and formats).
Students […] today quickly learn the range of technology that allows them to multi-task with a variety of digital media and mobile technology to surf the internet, send a text message or photo to a friend, play a digital game while listening to music, or create their own multimedia texts through hybrid texts such as weblogs. ‘Texting’ or SMS messaging is part of what has been termed the new ‘textual landscape’ (Carrington, 2005) that has expanded rapidly with the introduction of Web 2.0 technology. The multi-tasking involved in texting, that may incorporate rapid use of abbreviated spelling, numbers, photos, graphics and icons, is a skill needed for activities such as blogs, wikis, podcasting or gaming. Moreover, this multi-tasking itself incorporates the merging and synchronising of text, images, sound and movement. Do we really know how such multi-tasking and morphing is affecting the way children learn? Are the processes involved in activities such as texting, blogging, or communicating online developing different cognitive abilities than those required for reading and writing traditional print-based texts? Or are these new modes of communication merely requiring traditional literacy skills to be applied to new types of texts?
Curriculum documents and assessment requirements for reading and writing are based on established theories around the reading and writing of print-based texts. These theories have determined specific approaches and strategies for teaching reading and writing to assist learners at all stages of learning. We need ongoing research to theorise the interactions that occur as readers process various visual, aural, spatial and textual modes, separately or simultaneously, in digital texts. Do students read digital texts for meaning in the same way as they read print-based texts? What digital reading strategies need to be developed for deeper levels of inferential, analytical, critical and evaluative understandings? What differences are there between the process of sending a text message and handwriting a message on paper? How do we incorporate the possibilities of imaginative design and production possible for a website, blog or DVD into the writing curriculum? © Pedagogic Potentials of Multimodal Literacy. Maureen Walsh (ACU National, Australia)
Digital Texts: books that are created and presented with and through digital/electronic publishing; created on computers, tablets or in other digital/electronic ways; as distinct from traditional print based texts that are published in paper forms. They can be multimodal and interactive.
Visual Literacy: The ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an images and other information presented in a visual form. This extends the meaning of literacy beyond the common interpretation as only written or printed text. It is New Literacy: The increased requirements of literacy, not only requiring understanding of the written word, but understanding of computer images, languages, software, and hardware.
What is Visual Literacy
- The ability to critically understand and use images to articulate knowledge and communicate ideas.
2. Visual literacy is 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 through a process of reading.
3. Ability to see, discriminate, and interpret the visible natural or artificial objects and symbols in the environment.
Concept mapping, which was developed by Joseph D. Novak in the 1960s, is a type of structured conceptualization by representing knowledge in graphs. Knowledge graphs are networks of concepts. Networks consist of nodes (points/vertices) and links (arcs/edges). Nodes represent concepts and links represent the relations between concepts.
Interactivity: Process that emerges from the participation of all learners that interact among themselves by an active dialogue, a constant exchange of information, points of view, queries, and ideas that occur in a learning environment.
Collective Knowledge Construction: Knowledge constructed collectively by students engaged in collaborative or cooperative activities.
Collaborative Learning: Collaborative learning is a student-centered methodology for learning. By working in groups, students’ knowledge is constructed by their participation and interaction. This is achieved by becoming involved in activities aimed toward a common goal. It solidifies socialization not only “by” learning but also “in” learning.
Developmental Stages of Digital Literacy in the Social Domain: Stages through which an individual, over time, acquires the digital literacy skills necessary to be considered competent at using digital tools and at defining, accessing, understanding, creating, and communicating digital information.
Participatory Culture: A culture in which artistic expression and civic engagement are valued and are oriented towards creating and sharing one’s creations.
Information Literacy: A concept that emphasizes the need for careful retrieval and selection of information available in the workplace, at school, and in all aspects of personal decision-making, especially in the areas of citizenship and health.
Media Literacy: Ability to decode, evaluate, analyze, and produce both print and electronic media.
4. Using and understanding the meanings of images. These meanings may be literal, symbolic, or metaphoric. Student engagement with technology enhances communication and curatorial skills.
Digital Literacy: Using and understanding many forms and vehicles of literacy, specifically those used in online and electronic communication.
Professional Identity: The personal view an individual has of themselves as a professional practitioner, according to their values and experiences.
Visual Literacy: Using and understanding the meanings of images. These meanings may be literal, symbolic, or metaphoric.
Sense of Self: More than self-esteem; a sense of self grows as an individual takes more responsibility for themselves, their learning, and their chosen profession. As one becomes more intrinsically motivated one’s sense of self is enhanced.
Metaphor: A way of describing something by referring to another thing, usually unrelated, which allows the teller to use both objects and items to explain similarities.
5. An array of abilities related to understanding, using, and creating visual information.
6.Analysis and production competences in the use of still and moving images to deliver messages.
7.The ability to look at charts, graphs, pictures, and other visual images to grasp an intended message.
8.The ability to use and evaluate information in a variety of formats.
9.The ability to look at visual information with perception. A visually literate person understands how visual elements contribute to the meaning of the whole. […] This extends the meaning of literacy beyond the common interpretation as only written or printed text.