In grades 9-12 , the CCSS tell us that students should “make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.”
This is a component of visual literacy. What does that mean? We talk about literacy as the ability to read and write to learn. Our students have the tools that enable them to go beyond the written word to express themselves. In today’s world, they need to be able to use visuals that give meaning to their written or spoken word. They have to be able to “read” visuals, and they have to know how to use visuals and audio to communicate.
But, let’s stop a moment and think.
This is not the 1970’s. We do not need to cut pictures out of National Geographic and paste them to a poster board to enhance understanding. Why are we encouraging our kids to use other people’s work, when it it is so simple for them to CREATE their own digital media and COMMUNICATE their own message?
- Why not use Excel or Numbers to create a graph or chart that represents data?
- Why not use Minecraft and a camera to create a video to explain your point?
- Why not use Toondo or Bitstrips to build a character?
- Why not use Zooburst to make a story come to life?
- Express your thinking using a bubbl or cacoo.
- Create a documentary with Movie Maker or iMovie.
- Embed web widgets into online writing.
- Collaborate using online whiteboards and insert the images into writing.
- Ilustrate word frequency in articles and speeches using a word cloud such as tagxedo or wordle.
Enhance your reader’s understanding. Critically think about how you want to communicate. Then collaborate, create, and communicate.
If your students ARE using visuals created by others...
With easy access comes the need for understanding the appropriate use of the visuals that are so easily available to them. Digital citizenship is a skill/concept that needs to be taught. To help you out, check out these resources:
- http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html http://digitalcitizenshiped.com/