Visual Literacy Today launches new initiative to encourage wider distribution of visual literacy education materials
Visual Literacy Today, a unique online publication dedicated to bringing the field of visual literacy to a general audience, has launched a new initiative to expand the reach of visual learning resources and propel teaching with visuals into the mainstream.
The initiative, supported by a grant from the International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA) awarded to the magazine’s editors, Kristen Harrison and Dana Statton Thompson, enables visual literacy experts and practitioners to upload and share their own learning materials to the Visual Literacy Today website. Thompson, who acknowledged a perceived gap for visual literacy teaching materials as an impetus for the project, noted upon receiving the grant, she was “extremely pleased to have the support of the IVLA to develop this important resource” and her excitement to “make these types of materials available world-wide” for anyone interested in teaching visual literacy.
As an open education resource (OER), the Teaching Resources section functions as a collaborative space for librarians, academics, and teachers in all disciplines and at all levels (pre-K through college) to find lesson plans and share teaching ideas. All materials are published under a creative commons license to encourage sharing and distribution (with attribution) as widely as possible.
To contribute your own resources and enrich the resource, educators can upload their resources at https://visualliteracytoday.org/teaching-resources/. Materials influenced by or referencing the ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education are particularly welcome. A team of international visual literacy experts from the IVLA network will review the materials once per quarter and publish them to the site.
This initiative launches with contributions from the Glucksman gallery in Cork, Ireland; a collaborative resource from Visual Verse and M-Leuven, Belgium; and arts-based STEM resources from Discovery Diaries and Curved House Kids in the UK. We look forward to welcoming many more contributors and connecting visual literacy experts around the globe.
NOTES TO EDITORS
What is Visual Literacy?
Visual literacy is the language of the visual world. It embodies our ability to understand what we see in the world around us and our ability to use visuals to communicate our thoughts and feelings. Visual literacy in humans is both sophisticated and innate, but as our world changes, our visual literacy skills can become quickly outdated. For example, with the proliferation of fake and doctored imagery (like deep-fake videos or photoshopped news images) it is more important than ever that people are empowered with the skills to “read” images and understand and interpret them critically. Like any language, visual literacy must be learned and practiced to enable us to communicate, exchange ideas, and navigate our complex world.
About Visual Literacy Today
Visual Literacy Today is an ongoing conversation about visual literacy, a field of study and practice that explores how we see and interpret images, how we use visuals to convey meaning and what it means to be literate in a digital age. It is an online magazine for librarians, academics, artists, and practitioners, created to encourage engagement with visual literacy beyond academia. Visual Literacy Today was founded in 2017 by Kristen Harrison, a publisher at The Curved House, and is run by Harrison and US librarian Dana Statton Thompson. The site is home to Thompson’s Recommended Reads for Visual Literacy, an extensive, annotated bibliography of visual literacy, which was funded by a 2019 ALA Carnegie Whitney grant. To find out more visit visualliteracytoday.org.
The International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA) is a not-for-profit association of researchers, educators, designers, media specialists, and artists dedicated to the principles of visual literacy. IVLA was formed for the purpose of providing a forum for the exchange of information related to visual literacy and is also concerned with issues dealing with education, instruction and training in modes of visual communication and their application through the concept of visual literacy to individuals, groups, organizations, and to the public in general. IVLA members represent a wide range of disciplines including the arts, sciences, education, communication, business, videography, photography, instructional technology, health, and computer applications. To find out more visit ivla.org.
Contact the Editors
The Curved House (London/Berlin)
Dana Statton Thompson
Research and Instruction Librarian
Murray State University