The visual dominates our visual culture and has become an essential tool for universal communication. The information landscape is embedded in contemporary culture through the internet and social media; wi-fi and remote access to library resources enable immediate access to information. The visual has become an essential resource and source to share. Image cross boundaries and non-verbally illustrate information – a global language that unifies all cultures. Therefore, when communicating human rights issues, images narrate the past and present. How do our brains process these visual resources, and what influence does this neurological process have on interpreting visual images of culture or human rights?
For generations, and perhaps since the inception of the motion picture industry, teachers of history have recognized the utility of incorporating Hollywood, or commercial, film productions into their classrooms as a visual stimulus.
Word clouds, created by a variety of web applications, are enticing new tools for some social studies educators. Teachers should be prepared, though, for the possibility that our zeal for a new resource may prevent us from adequately examining its value. This article recounts a class activity involving the creation of a word cloud, the Wordles of major documents from the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, analyzes the lesson’s strengths and weaknesses, and offers guidance for the meaningful use of word cloud applications in the classroom.
It is a truism that archaeology is a profoundly visual discipline; it is paradoxical, then, that so much of its output exhibits a poor level of what here I opt to call visual competence. There are, of course, many glorious exceptions to the picture I will sketch out here (pun probably intended). Yet as someone who returned to the UK university sector to teach archaeology after a decade as a jobbing illustrator and then museum educator and writer working closely with designers, I am as often dismayed as thrilled by the quality of images in many new archaeological publications, and other documents and presentations created by archaeologists for specialist or public consumption. This is an international issue.
The importance of visual literacy development is demonstrated using social studies examples from an innovative, collaborative arts program. Discussion of the Visual Thinking Strategies approach, connections to the Common Core State Standards, prompts for higher-order critical thinking, and the application of historical and social science ideas in the classroom are presented.
The University of South Africa (Unisa), is an open and distance learning institution in a developing country. Technological development provides a wide range of distance learning technologies as a means of addressing the educational needs of distance learning users. This paper reflects on the importance of visual literacy for instructional design, as well as for teaching and learning strategies used in the Department of Geography at Unisa. The reflection aims at creating new opportunities for the development of visual literacy.
Visual producers have a deep and inseparable relationship with the institutionalisation and development of archaeological practice. Their role in articulating concepts, circulating knowledge, refining interpretations, and publicising sites, finds and features – indeed demarcating those sites/finds/features in the first instance – is hardly a point for contention today.